Over 20 years ago (Hay, 1996) I wrote an article about how there were some unfortunate myths about how the process operated for getting TA qualifications. My focus then was on the ways that trainees were misinformed about the requirements for anything other than psychotherapy (then known as clinical TA). I am re-publishing some of that as a blog now because the same myths are still circulating, and I am now aware of them operating internationally too. What I wrote then was that:
I regularly talk to clinical trainees who have realised that they do not want to become therapists. Often, they had not realised that there are other options available to them - namely the organisational, educational and counselling fields of application of TA. Several of them have switched over to a non-clinical field that better matches their interests and experience.
At the ITA [ITA has since become UKATA – UK Association for TA] Annual Conference this year I was disturbed to hear several myths about such training in the non-clinical fields of TA. I am concerned that these distortions may be preventing people from identifying their options. The most worrying of these were comments, from several sources, to the effect that:
NEITHER OF THESE COMMENTS ARE TRUE
The accurate facts are that:
Organisational, educational, counselling and clinical [psychotherapy] TA training are all based on the same requirements - as detailed in the EATA Training Manual - currently [i.e. in 1996 – and I show changes in 2018]:
There are additional requirements that apply within the UK [and in some other countries] for clinical [psychotherapy] training only - so that candidates who wish to be psychotherapists will also meet UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) requirements [or the equivalent in other countries].
There are currently no equivalent extra requirements for the non-clinical applications of TA [although there are nowadays for other fields in some countries]. It is up to you to decide what additional specialist qualifications you will need in order to be accepted as a competent professional in your chosen field. There are plenty of people who can give you suggestions and advice about this if you need it.
ALL fields require trainees to have as much therapy as they need to deal with any issues that might prevent them from performing competently as transactional analysts.
Becoming a CTA in a non-clinical field takes about the same length of time as it does to become a therapist - about 4-5 years depending on your own levels of experience and ability.
The procedures for written and oral examinations are identical for all fields of application [procedures are the same; questions are different; assessment criteria are different].
When I wrote the above in 1996, I added that I owned my obvious vested interest in presenting the information because I was currently the only specifically Organisational TSTA in the UK. I was expecting to be joined soon by Trudi Newton and Susannah Temple as Educational PTSTAs and some time later by another Organisational PTSTA, Anita Mountain.
My own training programme had been running since 1986. It consisted of a series of self-contained modules that cover a range of TA concepts each year. I wrote then that you could join at any time; and that training and supervision of your non-clinical work that you have already received from clinical trainers can be counted towards your total hours requirement. You can devise your own programme, combining a mix of some of my modules, some from clinical trainers who are nearer your home, and some at conferences.
This all still applies and now I offer international webinars that provide the equivalent hours and learning for those who cannot get to workshops.
I am also now TSTA Psychotherapy as well as Educational and Organisational – and expect soon to take my CTA Counselling exam (which I could not reach recently due to the terrible floods in India). So, if you need any advice about any of the fields of application of TA, feel free to arrange to chat online with me by going to http://bit.ly/JHBOOKME and booking a convenient slot.
Hay, Julie (1996) Dispelling the Myths – The facts about Training in the Non-Clinical Applications of TA ITA News 45 26-27
EATA Training and Examination Handbook can be accessed at https://www.eatanews.org/training-manuals-and-supplements/
ITAA Training and Examination Handbook can be accessed at https://itaaworld.org/itaa-training-examinations-handbook
© 2018 Julie Hay
Julie is a fan of open access publishing so feel free to reproduce any of these blogs as long as you still attribute it to her.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.