Transactional Analysis Cumbrian Conference 2021

Here you will find an archive of workshops from our 17th annual conference

Global Connection – Global Survival

What qualities does the practitioner need to bring to their work and what qualities do they need to encourage in their clients?

This workshop builds on ideas from Transactional Analysis – such as the “I’m OK, You’re OK” position – looking at three key qualities: being welcoming, bringing curiosity and challenge, and the holding of hope. Faced with what the client can bring, the practitioner needs to be active and skilful in order to keep these qualities fully alive. And they also need to find ways to match and mirror where the client is at, not showing more welcome, curiosity, or hope than can be tolerated at any given moment.

Empathy is generally seen as an an important aspect of effective therapy. Indeed in our current global situation it is a capacity that is much needed in managing many of the challenges. Yet what is Empathy?

In Greek mythology, when Pandora could not resist the temptation to open the box gifted to her she let out misfortunes and evils into the world. She shut it when she realised. The last thing left in the box was hope.

In the challenge that the world is facing at the moment what are we hoping for the world? for ourselves? What do we mean by hope? TS Eliot wrote “hope would be hope for for the wrong thing”.

The presenters bring their current thinking and curiosity around the specific connection and survival needs of clients who present as neurodivergent. Using Berne’s metaphor of the pile of coins, they reflect on the trauma of being ‘differently able’ and the sensitivity required in working with clients who have been so regularly misunderstood and discounted. 

Using polyvagal theory alongside concepts from relational TA, trauma and body psychotherapy, participants are invited to deepen their knowledge about divergent minds and bodies, expand their frame of reference, and understand the importance of the embodied presence of the therapist.

In times of crisis good leadership is crucial, and yet leading in extremis can bring vulnerability in leaders, to whom people are looking for answers and a way through. Eric Berne wrote that ‘special qualities’ are unconsciously attributed to leaders, including ‘omniscience, invulnerability, and indefatigability’. In other words, leaders can be expected to superhuman.

This workshop aims to re-visit some of Berne’s early ideas which often attract less attention than they deserve. We believe that these concepts are not only fundamental to TA but also to raising our consciousness overall, an essential prerequisite for attending to global challenges like climate change and systemic oppression.

Ecological TA is a new movement ( that focusses on a shift in our thinking away from seeing humans as separate from nature and towards a mindset where we are part of nature.

This workshop introduces the idea of Humility being at the heart of an ecological mind-set that promotes awareness and acceptance, inter-connectedness, cooperation and action. And away from neurotic competitiveness, individual narcissism and collective narcissism.

Participants are invited on an exploration of Embodiment that encompasses the conference theme. 

Participants are invited on an exploration of Embodiment that encompasses the conference theme.