We don’t announce everyone’s birthdays in our USATAA community – but when it’s a 104 th birthday, of someone who is still leading an amazing life – we are delighted to be able to send our love and greetings to our dear Fanita English.
In July, the International Transactional Analysis Association held an awards ceremony, where they presented her with the Fanita English Lifetime Achievement Award, named in her honor. Fanita gave her acceptance speech over zoom, to the admiration and appreciation of the worldwide community, even as some were participating in the middle of the night in their far-flung time zones. The reason for all this attention is not “just” a long life.
Fanita’s achievements in the field of TA are as both a theoretician and a practitioner. She was Eric Berne’s first student at his institute in Carmel, California, founded her own Institute in Philadelphia, and conducted training and therapy in many countries as well as giving presentations at conferences and serving on the Board of the ITAA.
Among her contributions are the concepts of substitute feelings, childhood adaptations, episcripts, and motivators. Her articles have appeared in the Transactional Analysis Journal, including those for which she received the Eric Berne Memorial Award in 1978 and again in 1997. You can find many details of her life and work at this dedicated site created by her trainee and friend Joachim Karnath.
While we recognize her many awards and achievements, it’s Fanita as a person we are celebrating. From her creative and clever solutions to challenges she faced in her childhood and through World War II, her solving problems in mental health, especially with institutions serving children, to her commitment to theory and teaching in many discussions with colleagues, Fanita has always been energetic, interesting, interested, and willing to challenge the status quo. Her unique style creates an impression that people never forget. And if she wants you to get a point that she is making, she will do her best to ensure that you get it!
One of Fanita’s qualities is being a learner about life, taking in new ideas and practices, and passing them on. For example, in recent years, she has shared her practice of being able to meditate for short or long periods of time, letting go of the urgency of the immediate moment.
So let us celebrate Fanita and all the joys, sorrows, and wisdom of a life that is still being well-lived!
You can make a difference!
TA has had a transformational impact on our personal journey and professional growth. And we believe that the basic principles of worth, value, and dignity of every human being are more important than ever in today’s world! People want to learn TA, but for many of them, there are serious obstacles to participating in a TA 101: the expense, the need to travel to a course, or the unavailability of a course at a manageable time. Now we have a solution!
We plan to create an online, on-demand 101 course based on the social action TA 101 presented at the conference in Raleigh by Graham Barnes, Vann Joines, Valerie Batts, and Felipe Garcia. It will be a streamable and accessible video training. Subscribers will have 24-hour access to the teaching material and thus be able to receive this incredible education! And the social applications of TA will be important to students and advanced practitioners across all fields of specialization around the world. ITAA’s recent partnership with USATAA opens possibilities for expanding access to these educational opportunities.
We want to make TA education widely accessible to people working within and living in traditionally underserved communities. This project is not just for the good of TA in the United States but for the good of TA worldwide! We want to include in this project as many people from as many countries and TA organizations as possible. But to do this, we need your help— intellectually, emotionally, and financially.
This effort is well underway! To date, in addition to a $5000 grant from the ITAA’s Eric Berne Fund for the Future, we have generous donations and pledges from Carol Solomon, Gloria Noriega, Laurie and Jonathan Weiss, Marina Rajan Joseph, John Evans, Marion Weisberg, Chirstopher Zimmerman, Ildiko Galter, Abe Wagner, Brenda Barry, Janice Dowson, Bob Hempel, Inger Acking, Reiko True, and Jessica Leong.
For volunteer opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And to donate CLICK HERE.
We are excited about the possibilities of contributing to the world in a new way and entering the 21st century with an OK-OK vision. We hope you are too. Together we can make a difference!
Janice Dowson, Inger Acking, Reiko True, Cheryl Leong, and Bob Hempel, IESA Committee Members, and Felipe Garcia and Laurie Weiss, Ad Hoc Consultants
The colored pencil drawing of Eric Berne was done by Takeharu Matsunaga, from Shizuoka Prefecture near Mt. Fuji in Japan. Takeharu was inspired by the ego state changes and emotions he saw in online videos of Dr. Berne and was inspired by his determination to bring TA to the public. We thank Takeharu for sharing his image with the IESA committee.