TA for the 21st Century: Saturday 24 February 2024

In Person Programme

In 2023 we are running two conferences concurrently. The workshops below are being held in person at the Lakes Hotel and Spa.

Lakes Hotel and Spa

Ullswater Road,




United Kingdom

 Join us at the North Lakes Spa and Hotel in Penrith for our first face to face conference since the Covid-19 Pandemic


Click on the presenters name and workshop title for more information

Helen Rowland - TA for the 21st Century: continuing the conversation

One of the things I love about Transactional Analysis is that we have a vibrant and active community which engages in the development of theory and practice in a variety of formats and settings. The last 20 years have seen developments shaped by relational theories, postmodernism, social justice movements, neuroscience and the body, evidence-based practice, neurodiversity, and ecological paradigms to name just a handful.  My keynote speech will seek to reflect on ways of organising and thinking about these diverse influences going forward in relation to the core concepts bequeathed to us by Eric Berne, and how we might frame the continued development of theory and practice of TA for the modern world. In this workshop we will continue the conversation in a pragmatic vein, getting playful and challenging with both the models we love and the ones we love a bit less! So imagine a world in which you have been appointed the chief of police of TA theory:  Which models would you keep? Which models would you ditch? Which models would you rework? I look forward to some lively and playful debate! 

Michael Gavin - The philosophy and practice of OK

“The overall philosophy of TA begins with an assumption that we are all OK.” say Woollams and Brown.
This interactive and experiential workshop will explore this assertion through discussion and embodied interaction, and how it can be put into practice in our work and our personal lives.

We will call on Denton L Roberts seminal TA work – Able & Equal-and ideas from Daoism, Vedanta philosophy, and the wider “perennial philosophy” described by Aldous Huxley, and explore contexts from any and all 4 fields of TA, as well as the personal dilemmas of living in the 21st Century.


Karen Minikin - TA: Radicalising the Relational

The turn of the century saw the birth and development of the relational movement across all psychotherapy modalities in the western world. Then, big political movements such as austerity in the UK, Brexit, Covid-19 and the death of George Floyd turn collective focus outwards and systems came under scrutiny. Psychotherapy could not be excluded here and a whole host of ideas and writing on systemic and institutional oppression have flooded the market. These have called a number of previously hidden and unconscious dynamics into question. This workshop considers how we account for our histories as we step forward into the future. There will be opportunity to reflect personally, socially and politically on who have been, who we are now and who we are becoming.


Debra Payne - Thriving and Surviving in Relationships

Drawing upon the work of Jean Illsley Clarke (TA), Dan Hughes (DDP) and Debs Dana (Neuroscience). This workshop will explore TA’s continued relevance in the field of working with relational trauma within family relationships and how integrating different therapy and research modalities can provide a richer and more meaningful therapeutic experience for everyone involved in the therapeutic process.

Marie Naughton - What if I'd never met Transactional Analysis?

The American poet Robert Frost famously wrote :

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

We’re at this conference because TA came into our lives. What difference has it made to us? In this creative writing workshop we’ll explore this question. We’ll discuss Frost’s poem, and others in which poets consider significant experiences and influences. We’ll stimulate creativity with some writing for wellbeing journalling. Hopefully this will lead us into more writing – poems and prose – that may reflect some of the impact that TA has had on our lives.

Lis Heath - Revisioning Impasses: Energy and Uncertainty

This workshop will take the classical TA theory of impasses and look at working with conflicts very differently. Nora Bateson writes “knowing is only possible in the aesthetic of uncertainty”. That means inhabiting a place of not knowing, of sitting with, tolerating and resisting the desire for explanation and resolution. I will be integrating this with the Jungian notion of holding the tension and an exercise from body orientated therapy.


Lyn Wall & Jo Moores - Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. A contemporary wander into ADHD thought.

One characteristic of ADHD is difficulty with regulating executive functions such as planning, organising and sequencing thoughts and behaviour in a consistent way. In this workshop we will take a deep dive into what we mean by ‘thinking’, and what its like to have a bodymind that functions differently and can be unreliable. Taking a journey through Bion, Cornell, Kahneman and Bucci we will ‘think about thinking’, reflective functioning, mentalisation and linking as well as wondering together about how we can ‘Strengthen’ both Child and Adult ego states to create a Vital Centre, an embodied mind that can accompany us more reliably.

Agi Gault - Working in the third space.

This is an experiential workshop, based on my own learnings as a client and now how I use these learnings with my clients today.
When we are in the therapy room, the therapist and client each hold their space in the room. There is a third space, the space in which the client and therapist leave the things they either do not want in the room, or as it was in my case, could not bring into the room.

My therapy began by working with my therapist to discover what was being held in the ‘Third Space’, the space where there was no audible voice but there were some clues. This is how my therapeutic journey in silence led to my Child’s story unfolding and how the therapist used my written history to find my voice.


Click on the presenters name and workshop title for more information
Mary Dees & Joanna Groves - An experiential introduction to ecological grief tending.

Drawing on the theories and concepts Eco-TA, Joanna Macy and Francis Weller, we invite you to join us to explore, express and process your experiences around climate change, biodiversity crisis and your relationship with nature. Due to the timings, it will be a ‘toe in the water’ rather than a deep-sea dive: with some theory and gentle exercises.

Grief tending helps us explore and express our feelings such as sadness, anger and guilt. When we tend to the unspeakable and unattended experiences, we can transform our overwhelm into action, and reconnect to hope and aliveness.
This workshop will use outdoor space, so please bring suitable clothing.

Claire Bowers - Finding our Neurodivergent Super Powers.

Within our philosophy, we believe that each person has worth, value, dignity, and deserves to be treated accordingly. However, within our society this isn’t always the case, particularly for people who are Neurodivergent. Research shows that Acceptance is the foundation stone for working effectively with Neurodivergent Clients (Bowers and Widdowson 2023).

Building on ideas from last year’s workshop and research outcomes, we will consider how Neurodivergent people may risk oppression by our society (whether consciously or unconsciously), what beliefs we may hold as practitioners that risk further oppression or alienation and how we can build a foundation stone of acceptance of neurodivergence in and outside our treatment rooms.

We will explore how Neurodivergent ‘Super Powers’ can be celebrated in the therapy room, looking at how clients’ ‘special interests’ can be used. We will use Bowers and Widdowson’s Relational Affirmations to explore how a ‘heart to heart’ connection can be formed between therapist and client, giving Permission for Neurodivergent clients’ core selves to emerge safely and be treated with full acceptance.

Giovanni Felice Pace & Gun Isaksson Hurst - Rites of Passage.

Giovanni and Gun would like to invite you to a workshop titled ‘Rites of Passage’.
We are both interested in the topic, and we have in mind for this to be a didactic and experiential workshop/ meeting space.
We will consider the ‘birth’ of the psychotherapist, moving on to reflect on the experiences that have shaped our personal/ professional selves. How do we earn our professional stripes? How do we get to tolerate difficulties and be enough?

How do we, as professionals, reflect on the foundations of our practice? What does it hold or mean in our current political and philosophical climate to identify (or not ) as being a Transactional Analyst?

Giovanni and Gun aim to invite the group to explore and reflect on the existential steps a psychotherapist might need to take to feel grounded and potent enough in their practice. What does being a Transactional Analyst mean/hold in the here and now?

John Heath - The art and science of TA in the 21st century.

Art and science come together when we work with the head and with the heart. In non-emergency situations most people value the kindness of professional helpers more than their scientific knowledge. So it seems that care and compassion – the professional manifestations of a loving heart – are often more important than technical know-how. The science tells us that anxiety and depression are on the increase whilst therapy and counselling have never been more available. What does this tell us? What can we in the TA world do in response? These are vital questions for our times. This workshop will be about opening our hearts to the troubles around us, whilst keeping a clear head. I’ll talk about my own understanding of how and why to do this and I’ll be very interested to hear yours.

Jane Tillier - Roots and shoots - working with Physis.

I’m interested in offering an experiential workshop space for people to explore how ‘physis’ is an energy that goes not just ‘up and out’ (green shoots), but also ‘down and in’ (messy roots?). Participants will be invited to engage with questions and enquiries from their field of practice. In line with the conference themes I aim to develop thinking that looks both backwards and forwards in time as it also grounds its roots (and produces new shoots) in present context and considerations.

Helen Blackburn - How do we and our clients balance our need for survival, expression and quiescence?

(The especial relevance of Fanita English 3 Drives (Existential Pattern) theory today.) Combining presentation, self reflection, pair and group discussion we will explore these three Drives, and how we include them in our personal and professional lives. Although Fanita English first proposed this theory in 1992, I believe it is deeply significant today, with the rise in damaging humancentric behaviours such as social media addiction. We will explore how this understanding can support clients, students, colleagues. How balancing these Drives can help heal trauma, re-attach with a sense of belonging in the world, and how they align with a more embodied, neurologically aware and ecological approach. Suitable for all.

Pete Shotton - Are we ok now?

‘History is not the past. It is the present….the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do’ James Baldwin

What part can TA play in dealing with the challenges of the 21st century? Are our philosophical assumptions fit for purpose in times like these? In this workshop, using prompts from TA theory and application, we will explore the ways that we are creating, witnessing and responding to history.

Tess Elliott & Marion Umney - Being an Older/Elder Transactional Analysts in the 21st Century.

The 21st century is seeing more elder/older Transactional Analysts than there have ever been as more people work longer into old age.

In this workshop we will explore the variety of influences and experiences which shape who we are and who we might become. We will open the space for sharing and discovering what we do and don’t know yet about this process.

We welcome practitioners from all fields of TA to share this journey of self discovery.