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SAATA ITAA Conference-2016 team
TA in South Africa - Karen Pratt home
Karen-Pratt Karen Pratt TSTA (education) lives in South Africa and loves the opportunities now available of working internationally. She runs two TA training groups with people from both India and South Africa, in virtual learning environments. She visits India regularly to offer both TA training and ICF approved coach training programmes.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN Transactional Analysis Association (SATAA) is a small organisation officially founded around 2007 specifically to be able to partner the ITAA in organising a TA conference in Johannesburg in 2008. After a few years of relative dormancy after the conference, there has been renewed energy with some of our younger TA professionals volunteering to be on the Executive Committee. The current ITAA President, Diane Salters, was a founder member and the first Chairperson of the SATAA! We are registered as a Not for Profit Organisation (NPO) and our mission and purpose is as follows: 'The purpose of the SATAA is to contribute to public wellbeing through the use of TA. It is the broad task of the Association to promote and develop the knowledge and practice of TA as well as regulate and coordinate the activities of its members.' At the moment many of our members are working and training within the developmental fields of TA (educational and organisational) as well as a few who work in the counselling and psychotherapy fields. We have around 25 members – I did say we were small!

In terms of government regulations, people cannot practice psychotherapy or counselling without registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and this requires at least Masters level study as Clinical Psychologists. So the few people who do practice in this way have added on various levels of TA proficiency to their existing degrees. Currently, the growth of TA in South Africa, is in the developmental contexts of learning and development. Many people use TA creatively with grassroots communities as well as in organisations, schools and with individuals as consultants, facilitators and coaches. People understand TA readily as they resonate with its respectful I'm OK, You're OK philosophy and its focus on autonomy. (See an article in the TAJ that describes how I used TA in rural areas in South Africa – Pratt, K., and Mbaligontsi, M [2014] 'Transactional Analysis Transforms Community Care Workers in South Africa' Transactional Analysis Journal 44, 53-67.) There are only two TSTAs permanently in South Africa – Diane Salters TSTA(P) and myself TSTA(E). As was the case when I trained in the educational field (gaining my CTA in 2008) we have had to get creative to make connections across the world. One way has been for the SATAA to offer monthly two hour online webinars presented by TA trainers from all corners of the world. We are continuing this offering in 2018. It's a free perk for SATAA members and costs a nominal amount for nonmembers – so do keep an eye on our website – you are very welcome to join in the learning! From 2017, I have been running online, real time, interactive training groups with trainees from Africa, India and occasionally from other countries (Dubai, Singapore, and in 2018 a trainee from Kazakhstan). We have co-created a vibrant and connected TA group despite only working virtually, and the expansiveness that has come from being such a diverse group of cultures and experiences, has been very rich.

The history of TA in South Africa began in the 1970s with Maria Gilbert and Petrushka Clarkson who were in the process of getting certified by the ITAA and were in training with Richard Erskine in the USA, as there was no one to train them in South Africa. Maria and Petrushka started running TA 101s and a group of other people, including Diana Shmukler, Merle Friedman, Shirley Spitz, Hannetjie van Zyl, Bea Kidd, Sandy McDonough, Gail Gottlieb, Sandy Gluckman, Martin Yudaiken and Sharon Kalinko began to become involved in studying TA. During these years not all trainers were willing to come to South Africa to train, because of the apartheid politics. Maria brought out Richard Erskine and Rebecca Trautmann in 1978 for the first time and that was when the advanced integrative TA training began. After that Richard and Rebecca came to SA virtually every two years until the 1990s to do training workshops which often lasted between five and ten days each. During that time Carlo Moiso also came out twice to conduct two five-day workshops and Mary Cox came with her husband to run a training workshop. They enabled those who wanted to get certification with the ITAA to get not only their training hours but their knowledge and skill. From the early 2000s onwards, trainers such as Colin Brett, and Trudi Newton regularly visited SA and ran training groups for people pursuing organisational and educational paths. We are proudly South African – here at the southern most tip of Africa, and as the Nguni phrase says: 'Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu' which is loosely translated as 'a person is a person through other people' – the attitude and philosophy known to the world as Ubuntu. We can certainly say this as we honour the early pioneers of transactional analysis in this country, and those who gave of their time to travel here to support the growth of TA in this vibrant country!

This article was first published in the Transactional Analyst (Vol.8; Issue 1: Winter 2017/18) as part of its Focus on World TA, and has been re-published here with permission.

 
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