For further information: YTCi Course Director Dave Spenceley // Administration: Andreeas Barbulis

Yorkshire Training Centre International


Transactional Analysis (TA) Psychotherapy



Psychotherapy -  by Dave Spenceley TSTA


There are two approaches in my style of working: Firstly I am very interested in getting to know you… listening carefully to your story, seeking to understand your reasons for deciding to come for therapy with me and why now.


During these early stages of the work I am interested to find out what it is you are wishing to change in your life, and how you would like to be after therapy has finished. The initial goal will be for you to find strategies in order to manage more effectively whatever has brought you into therapy. For example if you are afraid of going shopping we will be looking for strategies which will enable you to be comfortable in yourself while going shopping. This is described as resolving the 1st degree impasse / crises… what Eric Berne described as gaining social control and symptom relief.


Secondly I am very interested in how you are in your life; how you live, how you think and feel and how you make decisions about what you do and don’t do. I will be noticing with you the way in which your life outside the therapy room is reflected in how you are in your relationship and work with me. The longer you are with me the more this will become the focus of our work. We may at times use specific techniques during this phase however whatever style we work in the goal is for you to make long lasting changes in your life which will enable you to manage and find satisfaction in your future life.” (This is understood as resolving 2nd and 3rd degree impasses, or what Berne described as psychoanalytic / script cure. The EATA core competencies of TA psychotherapy say it well: “Healing the hurt of the past in order for the client to live fully in the present.”


I often describe these two phases using a traditional Chinese metaphor … “The first phase is ensuring you have a fish and so you don’t starve today. The second phase is learning all you can about how to fish so you will never starve.” I sometimes change the metaphor… saying the first phase is going to the local shop to buy a fish; while the second phase is building a fishing boat and learning all about fishing, including where the fish live, understanding the hidden currents and the life of the deep as well as learning to captain the fishing boat… all of which make for a long term project.


TA  and the psychotherapeutic relationship:




Dave Spenceley TSTA

Share on Facebook