The Berne Institute’s course in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy is intended for trainees who plan to pursue a professional career as psychotherapists. The training is accredited by the Humanistic and Integrative College (HIPC) of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) for the purpose of registration. The Berne Institute is an Organisational Member of the UKCP within HIPC, and is also a Registered Training Establishment of the United Kingdom Association for Transactional Analysis (UKATA).
Accreditation and registration
Trainees completing the course will normally take the international examination set by the European Association for Transactional Analysis (EATA) for accreditation as a Certified Transactional Analyst (CTA) in the field of Psychotherapy. Success in the CTA examination qualifies you to be listed in the UKCP’s National Register as a Transactional Analysis Psychotherapist. The CTA qualification is also recognised by TA organisations worldwide as a certificate of competence to practise. It is a necessary step if you intend going on to become a TA trainer within the international EATA/ITAA framework. If you wish to have advanced TA training and supervision to apply to your own practice, without taking the CTA examination, you may also be accepted on the course.
All trainers on The Berne Institute’s TA Psychotherapy course are accredited by the International Transactional Analysis Association (ITAA) and the European Association for Transactional Analysis (EATA), and are Professional Members of the United Kingdom Association for Transactional Analysis (UKATA). They are also all registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy as Transactional Analysis Psychotherapists. All training and supervision provided on the TA Psychotherapy course counts towards the hours credits set by ITAA and EATA for Advanced TA Training and TA Supervision.
Training takes place over ten weekends* in each academic year. The total duration of the course will depend on your own initial experience and background, since it may be possible to credit prior learning towards the total hours requirement; as a general guideline only, most trainees can expect to take four to five years between entering the course and taking their final examination.
Eligibility for entry to the course
To be eligible for the TA Psychotherapy course, you must:
- have a degree (or degree-equivalent qualification), preferably in the helping professions. (If you are in doubt about the degree-equivalence of your qualifications, please consult us for an opinion).
- have completed the official “TA 101” course or passed the “TA 101” open-book examination;
- have completed at least 120 hours of recognised advanced TA training;
- complete an intake interview with one of the trainers, to the mutual satisfaction of trainer and trainee;
- take out membership in UKATA (which confers similar membership in EATA) and pay the necessary UKATA membership subscription.
(Note: conditions (b) and (c) are fulfilled by successful completion of The Berne Institute’s Foundation Year course Find out more…).
These conditions are necessary but do not confer an automatic right to enter the programme. Places are usually in high demand and a selection process is often necessary. We would advise you that the demands of CTA training are approximately on a level with those of a university Masters’ Degree course (whether or not you actually choose to register for the associated MSc award). The training calls for a high degree of motivation and an openness to self-exploration and personal change. You therefore need to have the intellectual and personal resources to deal successfully with such demands. This will be assessed at the intake interview in each individual case.
Psychotherapy for trainees
For the duration of your training, you are required to undergo personal psychotherapy. At a minimum, this should be psychotherapy of a type and frequency similar to that which you expect to provide after accreditation. We view this as a professional and ethical necessity, and it is also one of the requirements laid down by the ITA and UKCP. For the TA trainee, this implies membership of an ongoing TA psychotherapy group, as well as individual psychotherapy and participation in “marathons”. We encourage you also to benefit from personal psychotherapy in modalities outside TA. Opportunities for personal psychotherapy are available in conjunction with the training programme. Alternatively or additionally, you may arrange to undertake psychotherapy with other recognised TA practitioners.
Requirements for accreditation in TA Psychotherapy
In order to become accredited as a Certified Transactional Analyst, you must meet the requirements laid down by the relevant committees of EATA. These are set forth in detail in the EATA Training and Examination Handbook (EATA, current edition July 2014). In summary, to gain accreditation you must:
- complete minimum hours of training, supervision and experience as outlined below;
- pass a written examination that includes a professional self-portrayal, a report on learning experiences during training, a detailed case study, and essays on TA theory and literature;
- pass an oral examination before an international examination board of accredited members (this will include presentation of taped work recorded during your application of TA).
The hours requirements for eligibility for the CTA exam have recently been revised by EATA’s Professional Training and Standards Committee (PTSC). The revised figures (EATA Training and Examination Handbook, 2014 revision) are as stated in the following list:
- In all, there must be at least 2,000 hours of professional preparation for the CTA examination, including training, supervision, practical experience and personal development.
- Of these hours, there must be a minimum of:
- 750 hours’ practical experience (of which at least 500 must be as primary practitioner using TA, and at least 150 of which must be of work with groups, couples or families);
- 150 hours’ supervision (of which at least 75 must be in TA by a PTSTA or TSTA);
- 600 hours of training and professional development (of which at least 300 must be TA training);
- The additional hours (i.e. up to the overall total of 2000 hours) can be accrued according to national requirements and guidelines, and may take the form of additional training, psychiatric placement, supervision, personal psychotherapy, seminar presentation, peer case discussion etc.
You are expected and encouraged to gain a substantial proportion of your Advanced Training and TA Supervision hours totals by working with accredited TA trainers outside The Berne Institute.
Where you have already undertaken training or supervision, or had career experience, in psychotherapy or a closely related field, EATA regulations normally allow back-dating of some of the relevant hours to contribute to the required totals.
Additional requirements for UK trainees
UKATA and UKCP set forth two additional requirements that must be fulfilled by UK psychotherapy trainees. These requirements must have been met during training by any CTA who wishes to take up Professional Membership of UKATA and thus gain UKCP registration. They are: (a) personal psychotherapy for the duration of training, and (b) completion of adequate experience in a psychiatric setting. The first of these requirements has been discussed above. If a trainee on the TA Psychotherapy course has no prior experience in psychiatric settings, we shall require her/him, at some time during the training, to undertake a psychiatric placement of a type and duration agreed with the trainer. (As stated above, the hours accrued on this placement can now be counted toward the overall required total of 2,000 hours of professional preparation).