Berne(Games People Play/TA)

Last reviewed 01/2018

Eric Berne founded a school of psychotherapy based on analysing the transactions between people rather than looking for answers solely within the individual patient.

Berne described how to recognise behaviours ('games') which patients may use to score points off their families, friends and others, including their doctors.

Berne also developed a usefully simple model of the ego-states of Freudian psychoanalysis and applied it to the transactions between people. He called these states Parent, Adult and Child.

Thomas Harris followed Berne as head of the school of Transactional Analysis and developed the ideas further.


  • (1) E Berne, Games People Play, 1964
  • (2) T Harris, I'm OK, You're OK