Educational TA Workshops


Game Theory—The State of the Art

October 8, 2022 12 to 2 PM Eastern. (Attend live if you can. If not, we will send a link to the recording a day or so after the workshop).

with Bill Cornell, TSTA

What is the place of game theory in contemporary TA? A primary goal of this workshop will be the revitalization of game theory.

Berne’s original formulation of games was within a “one-person” psychology model, with a primary emphasis on social level, cognitive-behavioral interventions.

This workshop will take up game theory first from a phenomenological perspective, discussing the vulnerability that an individual is likely to be experiencing in the moments just before shifting to a game.

We will look at the forward intentionality of games, in contrast to the traditional emphasis on the historical, transferential replay.

We will then reconsider game theory from the perspective of contemporary, “two-person” perspectives, exploring games as a means of non-conscious communication and mutual enactment between the professional and the client.

Learning objectives – Participants will be able to do the following:

  1. Explain Eric Berne’s original formulation of Games in transactional analysis
  2. Discuss the practical use of Game Theory with clients
  3. State the frame of reference used in a “one-person” psychology model vs. a “two-person” perspective
  4. Describe two options for working with Games in a contemporary frame of reference

About William F. Cornell, M.A., TSTA (P)

After several years as director of a community mental health center, Bill has maintained an independent private practice of psychotherapy and consultation for more than 40 years in Pittsburgh.  He is a Training and Supervising Member of the International Transactional Analysis Association.   For the past 25 years, Bill has consulted, lectured, and trained in countries throughout the world, contributing annually to training programs in England, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Romania.

“Being a psychotherapist is work of remarkable privilege.  Psychotherapy is a process that requires the willingness for risk and uncertainty—for the client and therapist alike. It is within these areas of difficulty that some of our most important learnings about ourselves take place. The conversations that can take place in psychotherapy are unique and authorize a person to speak to areas of life that have often been held in silence. These silences have often been necessary to protect ourselves as we face the difficulties and disappointments that life too often brings. However, this protection comes at a cost to our individuality and vitality. The vitality of the self is often muted and suffocated over the course of life; it requires self-scrutiny, the interest of others, and acts of courage. “ (from Self-examination in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy)

Having studied behavioral psychology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and phenomenological psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bill followed his graduate program with training and certifications in transactional analysis and body-centered psychotherapy.  He has continued to study with several mentors and consultants within diverse psychoanalytic perspectives. Bill has published more than 50 papers, essays, and book chapters.  He is the author of Explorations in Transactional Analysis: The Meech Lake Papers, Somatic Experience in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: In the expressive language of the living (Routledge), Self-Examination in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy: Countertransference and subjectivity in clinical practice (Routledge), At the Interface of Transactional Analysis, Psychoanalysis, and Body Psychotherapy: Theoretical and clinical perspectives (Routledge)), Une Vie Pour Etre Soi (Payot), and a co-author and editor Into TA: A comprehensive textbook (Karnac).  He has edited several books in psychoanalysis as well as transactional analysis.   A coeditor of the Transactional Analysis Journal for fifteen years, Bill is now the Editor of the Routledge book series, “Innovations in Transactional Analysis.”

Bill is a recipient of the 2005 Muriel James “Living Principles Award” of the International Transactional Analysis Association, the 2010 Eric Berne Memorial Award for the Relational and Somatic Organization of the Child Ego State: Expanding Our Understanding of Script and Script Protocol and the 2015 European Association for Transactional Analysis Gold Medal, “ in recognition of his outstanding service to transactional analysis worldwide by supporting the dissemination of TA in the scientific literature, expanding its recognition within academia, and promoting it in the wider professional community ” , and the 2019 ITAA Service Award for extraordinary service to the ITAA over decades, and the vastness of his contribution.  His book, Self-Examination in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, has been nominated for the 2020 Gradiva Award for the best book in psychoanalysis.


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