I’m New to TA…How do I get started?
The best starting point is to attend a TA 101 course. This is the standard introduction to TA, run to an internationally agreed syllabus and only by people who have qualified enough in TA. It is called a 101 because that is the coding for a beginners’ course in the US educational system. Because all 101’s have the same syllabus, you can attend anywhere. However, you might like to check the nature of the examples that the presenter will use – if you work developmentally you may find the programme less relevant to you if only psychotherapy examples are given. If you can’t get to a 101 programme, there is an option to complete a simple written test instead. However, we recommend you do the course if you can – it is much more interesting for you that way – TA is about interaction with other people so best learned in situations where interacting is happening – and nowadays that can be online as long as the presenter works that way and doesn’t fill the screen with Powerpoints..
Do I have to be formally studying TA to join the IDTA
No you do not. If you are just interested in the models and the way TA works you may become a member and would find the newsletters and other benefits very informative. IDTA membership automatically gives you membership of the European Association for Transactional Analysis (EATA) (unless you are already a member via another association) and means you recive The Script – the ITAA Newsletter..
There seem to be many different qualifications in TA…what do the initials stand for and what does each qualification mean?
The main international qualification is CTA – Certified Transactional Analyst. It is a professional requirement that people also show their field of application after the title, so CTA is followed by (Organisational, Educational, Counselling or Psychotherapy) (or sometimes more than one of these). CTA means the person has studied for about 5 years or more and passed both written and oral examinations. When studying for CTA, people have a sponsor and may refer to themselves as ‘being in contractual training’ (again with the field specified). After CTA, those who wish can attend an endorsement workshop and become PTSTA – Provisional Teaching and/or Supervising Transactional Analyst (again, they specify the field in brackets after this title).PTSTAs then become TSTA – same title without the word Provisional – after about 6-7 years study and three panel examinations.
IDTA also parners with ICTAQ – the International Centre for Transactional Analysis Qualifications, which runs professional TA qualifications that line up with an MSc. This is a staged process so you can become a TA Practitioner, Advanced Practitioner and Master Practitioner ( or a TA Manager, Advanced Manager and Master Manager). These ICTAQ qualifications have similar requirements so at the same time candidates can be undertaking CTA as an optional extra.
I have heard that there are some intermediate qualifications in the developmental fields. What are these?
There are some awards that confirm someone understands TA but are not meant to imply professional competence.The most established award is the TAPA – the TA Proficiency Award . for Children and Young People. This is a volunteer-run social action project under which schemes are run for various groups e.g. children, parents, teachers, coaches, police, unemployed people – who are expceted to produce some evidence that they have understood at least 6 TA concepts, such as strokes or ego states. There is also an Advanced TAPA. Anyone can teach the TA for a TAPA project although the evidence is assessed by someone who has done at least a couple of years of formal TA traning towards a qualification.
There are an awful lot of sets of initials for the various TA associations – what do they mean and how does the IDTA fit amongst them?
There are over 700 TA associations in 60 countries and two key webpages will list them for you. These are: ITAA (International Transactional Analysis Association) http://www.itaaworld.org – a direct membership association worldwide and EATA (European Association for Transactional Analysis) www.eatanews.org —a Council made up of delegates from countries where national associations have affiliated to EATA. Another is: WPATA – Western Pacific Association Transactional Analysis. ITAA, EATA and WPATA cooperate and recognise each others exam processes and qualifications (although since Covid EATA no longer recognise all ITAA exams). IDTA is affiliated to EATA and is a Partner with ITAA. IDTA concentrates on developmental TA only – i.e. organisational, educational, and counselling/coaching – we work to develop people rather than cure them. IDTA also has a relationship with ICTAQ – International Centre for Transactional Analysis Qualifications – an international network of TA trainers/supervisors who cooperate to provide TA qualifications that fit around the international qualifications. ICTAQ qualifications are recognized by IDTA for member category classifications.
I understand that TA has four main TA fields of application (i.e. Psychotherapy, Counselling, Organisational and educational) but does an individual have to have knowledge of Psychotherapy, as a foundation to looking into the other applications?
No they don’t. Each field exists in its own right and has its own set of competencies that are used in the qualifications process. Because professional experience is required for TA qualifications, people usually opt to study in the field they already work within. However, it is also possible to change professional focus. Individuals are welcomed into any of the fields for study purposes but need to demonstrate that they can obtain enough hours of professional practice if they want to obtain qualifications.
I see that there are discounts at conferences and events for members. Are these only for IDTA members?
No, membership of any official TA association means a discount at any events run by such associations. So IDTA gives member discount to members of any national or international TA associations outside the UK. Some of them may also give discounts to IDTA members, especially within Europe where they are likely to be also affiliated to EATA.
Could you please clarify what the IDTA memberships are – the list looks rather complicated?
This is because we want to give differential status to people who have put in the effort to get qualifications. The IDTA membership categories are:
TM – Teaching Membership – for those qualified internationally to PTSTA and TSTA level in a developmental TA field
M – (Professional) Member – for those qualified to CTA in a developmental field
ASM – Advanced Student Member – contracted trainee with EATA in DTA field – or holder of ICTAQ Certificate or Diploma
DTASM – Student Member – contracted student with ICTAQ i.e. signed up with sponsor for the Certificate in DTA
OM – Overseas Member – for those outside the UK – this includes EATA membership unless you are akready an EATA member through another association
AM/AM 101 – Associate member/101 Associate Member – general interest membership – those with a TA 101 Certificate of Attendance will be able to vote in EATA; those who are already a member of another TA association will not have to pay the EATA portion of the membership fee.
I am qualified in the TA psychotherapy field. Can I still join the IDTA?
Yes, we will welcome you. However, we will not give you voting membership but will ask you to join as an Associate Member. There are three main reasons for this: If you are practicing as psychotherapist, you will already be a member of another TA association so do not need full membership in IDTA (nor will you need EATA membership via IDTA); because we specialise in developmental TA, we will not meet any of your professional needs as a psychotherapist; and IDTA was set up because there are so many more TA psychotherapists than developmental TA professionals, and we needed to create an association where we could not be outvoted by those with different professional requirements.
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