14  Transactional Analysis:

learning how to feel equal!


Explain that this session examines how we relate to each other – at home / school / with friends etc and how the tools of transactional analysis may provide some

interesting insights.

A helpful resource:


You may like to use some of the slides in this presentation during the session.


Ask the students to respond to such questions as:

And add a key question:

Encourage the students to write down some of the emotions, words and phrases used when this happens.

Get some feedback and ask for responses to some further statements and questions, such as:

Explain that Transactional Analysis teaches that there are three ego states we can operate in:

and that these are partly linked to childhood experiences and role models and they have a large effect on the way we behave with others.

Show slides 6-8 from the resource (see above) or provide a handout of these key features/behaviours:

‘Parent’ ego state

Key features: controlling, criticising, ordering, fault-finding, moralising, scolding, telling

In parent we talk in imperatives and absolutes

Examples of parent statements:

“Never talk to strangers”

“Always look both ways when you cross the road”

‘Adult’ ego state

Key features: questioning, cooperating, valuing, thinking, non- threatening, problem-solving

In adult we talk in probabilities, explaining meaning

Examples of adult statements:

“We can’t always trust other people, so it is better not to talk to strangers”

”Do you notice that traffic comes from both directions, so it’s important to look both ways before you cross”

‘Child’ ego state

Key features: obeying, sulking, crying, dependent, being frightened, feeling helpless, rebellious

In child we feel a sense of powerlessness, like you did when you were a child Examples of child statements:

“Sorry, I know it was my fault”

“I won’t do it again”

“It’s not fair!”

Encourage the students to take part in a role-play in groups of three. Allocate an ego state to each person and ask them to create some dialogue that exhibits these different reactions.

Example 1: A teacher (‘parent’) is angrily telling a pupil (‘child’) off for failing to complete homework adequately. Does the pupil accept mildly or respond by arguing and having a row?

Another pupil (‘adult’) intervenes, suggesting that the homework could be completed by the next lesson?

Example 2: A mother (‘parent’) is cross because her child (‘child’) has come home late. The father (‘adult’) intervenes to prevent a confrontation.


At the end of the role-play, prompt students to give their responses

to the following statements and questions:

A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here

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