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Eric Berne (Key Figures in Counselling and Psychotherapy series) Paperback – 5 Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Sage Publications UK (5 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803984677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803984677
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 386,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


`Stewart's report of people's reactions to Berne I found fascinating... the accounts of the complex theoretical ideas are masterful. I welcomed Stewart's clear statements about structure and his own main ideas... important studies for practising counsellors and psychotherapists and for scholars and others interested in the field of counselling... rewarding reading' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling

`Ian Stewart has done an outstanding job of presenting a comprehensive overview of Eric Berne, his life, his philosophy and his significant contributions to the fields of personality and psychotherapy... Stewart has made a significant and unique contribution to the literature of transactional analysis. This book deserves reading by all transactional analysts' - Transactional Analysis Journal

`a clear summary of Berne's work, both theory and practice' - British Journal of Medical Psychology

`The book is well documented and its major contribution is its warning to not take Berne's theory simplistically, to not be misled by `pop-culture' transactional analysis, but to turn to all of Berne's original writings and fuller sources of Berne's theories' - Choice

`An interesting and informative book' - Contemporary Psychology

About the Author

Ian Stewart was born in Glasgow in 1940. He received his secondary education at Glasgow Academy and went on to study at Pembroke College, Oxford. Graduating in 1961, he worked for five years in the scientific Civil Service in Edinburgh. In 1966 he emigrated to England to take up a Research Fellowship at Nottingham University. On conclusion of his research contract he stayed on at Nottingham as a lecturer, gaining his PhD degree in 1970.

Ian's first contact with psychotherapy was as a client. While continuing his own personal therapy, he developed a growing interest in the theory and method of psychotherapy generally and transactional analysis in particular. He entered formal TA training in 1979, and gained accreditation as a TA practitioner in 1984. For several years Ian followed two parallel careers, as lecturer and as psychotherapist. In the end, psychotherapy won the day: in 1989 Ian resigned his university lectureship to pursue a full-time career as a TA psychotherapist, writer and trainer.

Ian is the author, with co-author Vann Joines, of the basic text on transactional analysis, TA Today. First published in 1987, the book has been translated into fifteen languages and is widely regarded as the world-standard introduction to its subject. Its second edition appeared in 2012. Ian is Co-Director of The Berne Institute, a TA training centre which celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2013.

Ian lives in a small village in the backwoods of Leicestershire, together with his wife and three cats. His leisure interests include Morris dancing, cycling, fitness activities generally, and the appreciation of real ale.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stipanovsky TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 July 2012
Format: Paperback
The curative power of nature...

This book is part of a series about key figures in counselling and psychotherapy and each book - including this one is laid out the same way.

Chapter 1 is a sketch of Eric Berne's life and career.
Chapter 2 covers major theoretical contributions.
Chapter 3 covers practical consideration of how to actually "use" the theory covered in the previous chapter.
Chapter 4 is a critique and also covers other authors who have critiqued Berne without actually reading his contributions...
Finally, chapter 5 is an appraisal of Berne's influence upon current (20 years old now) psychotherapy and counselling.

Eric Berne built:
"a psychodynamic theory of the person in which transference phenomena are systematically observable. That theory comprises the familiar four colloquial headings: ego states, transactions, games and script."

He also:
"developed a contractual method of practice in which the contract goals are behavioural and measurable, yet are linked to intrapsychic change."

This book is a very good overview of Transactional Analysis as practiced by Eric Berne and is well worth reading because of how wide and deep the theory of Transactional Analysis has become.

There are differences in practice and emphasis on different theory between different "schools" of TA and this book helps to clarify Eric Berne's pressing goal as a psychotherapist - which is to "cure"...

Cure is an interesting concept and has heavily influenced my own practice as a specialist in addiction, weight loss, relationships and generally helping people to "get better" or "get well" as Eric would say.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
A wonderful clarification of Eric Berne's approach to pssychiatry, psychotherapy and understanding being human. 26 Mar. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This isn't a long book but it contains a lot of clarifying information about Eric Berne's theories of structural/transactional analysis, ego states, games and scripts. Ian Stewart does a really fine job of carefully defining what Berne actually said and wrote rather than what others claim he said and wrote. In particular he demonstrates how Berne's work has been distorted by some of the popular works on TA as well as by others who have passed negative judgments trivializing TA without having a sufficient training or background in the approach.
Above all Ian Stewart demonstrates that Eric Berne created an amazing radical approach to psychiatry and psychotherapy. And that this approach, derived from his background in psychoanalysis, could be verified on a number of levels including the observable empirical level as well as the subjective phenomenological level. The end result of this, at least for me, was to demonstrate that TA is not just another approach to psychotherapy and counseling but is in itself a powerful social psychological model that is applicable to a number of other contexts.

I have found this book to be a great help in understanding Berne's writings. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to make a serious study of
Transactional Analysis.
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