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 the 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 relationships and in the 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 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 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.
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:
If you are interested in joining one of Dave’s therapy groups or seeing him for individual or couples work please contact him.
Dave Spenceley TSTA
Yorkshire Training Centre International
Transactional Analysis (TA) Psychotherapy
Dave Spenceley TSTA