I passed my TSTA exams in Oslo in July 2013. The culmination of 11 years of study, supervision, reflection, application and insight. Not to mention relief!
I was a management educator and coach long before I knew about TA. I had been running my business in the south east (and then moved to the south west nearly 11 years ago) delivering successful management development programmes and coaching leaders in areas of confidence and communication skills.
I was rather successful - so successful in fact that I was very busy, covering a lot of miles for the business and also bringing up a young family. I felt pulled in many directions, trying to please everyone and wearing myself out in the process.
There came a point in the late 1990s where I began to have panic attacks.
First of all, I did not know what was happening, I only knew that it was very scary. Each person's panic attack is different, but with mine I thought I was dying - collapsing, shaking, unable to breathe, losing vision and sensation in my limbs and sometimes blacking out altogether. Vomiting would keep me in the bathroom for a long time, and when it was over, I would feel lethargic and sick for 24 hours or so.
A visit to the doctor confirmed the panic attack diagnosis, and ever one to turn a negative into a positive I decided to do some research about how to help myself recover.
A friend and colleague told me about Transactional Analysis. I had heard of Parent, Adult, Child - or at least I had received about a 30 minute introduction to the model sometime before. I had come away thinking it was useful, but did not like the implication from the trainer that I needed to act like a robot at work. My first realisation that not everybody who teaches TA actually understands the theory!
The more I researched TA, the more fascinated I became. I soon realised that the tools and models would not only be of use to me, but to my clients too. I realised the power of the framework of concepts, how they linked together and made sense as a cohesive whole and how applying the tools would increase self-awareness, build confidence, lessen stress in my life (and the lives of others!) and help me to develop psychological strength.
I teach the tools to managers in training sessions and when working as a coach. I use it to help me understand what is going on in a group situation, to help me prepare to pitch for business and in lots of other situations where I am in contact with others. Primarily I use it to monitor myself, to stop giving myself a hard time, understand where I might have over-stepped a mark and what my options are about rectifying the situation.
I use it to help me appreciate the positive side of my drivers - so I do not over commit as much as I used to and land up feeling bad.
I gain a great deal of satisfaction sharing these models and concepts with others, who in turn make changes in their behaviour that ripple out not just in their professional lives, but their personal lives too.
I just love my job!
Lynda Tongue TSTA-org
TA musings, happenings and theory explorations
Introduction to Transactional Analysis - two day workshop, internationally accredited. Click here.
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