According to the International Transactional Analysis Association, Transactional Analysis is a theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change.
a. As a theory of personality, TA describes how people are structured psychologically. It uses what is perhaps its best known model, the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model to do this (we will discuss these three ego states later in this paper). This same model helps explain how people function and express their personality in their behavior.
b. It is a theory of communication that can be extended to the analysis of systems and organizations.
c. It offers a theory for child development, by explaining how our adult patterns of life originated in childhood. This explanation is based on the idea of a “Life Script”: the assumption that we continue to re-play childhood strategies, even when this results in pain or defeat.
d. In practical application, it can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of psychological disorders, and provides a method of therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups.
e. Outside the therapeutic field, it has been used in education, to help teachers remain in clear communication at an appropriate level, in counseling and consultancy, in management and communications training, and by other bodies.