Lin Cheung talks about contracts and contracting and their importance within the transactional analysis model.
What is contracting?
Contracting is one of the key principles of how we work as transactional analysts. As they say “If you are not contracting, you aren’t doing TA” This is a really interesting idea but what does it mean?
I think its about being clear about what we are doing and why we are doing it. And that its not just me that is clear about that but also the person I am working with. It applies across the board, whether we are in an organisation working as a coach, if we are doing organisational consultancy, if we are a psychotherapist, if we are a counsellor. Its about being clear and not having any confusion about what we are here to do and what the end outcome is.
Charlotte Sills uses the word ‘confusion’ and I really like that idea. What we are seeking is clarity. This doesn’t necessarily happen straight away and can often be emergent. Moment by moment we are seeking clarity – ‘What does this mean to me right now?’
Our clients often come to us, as psychotherapists, without a sense of what they are seeking and a big part of what we are there to do is to help them work it out for themselves and then to have a shared idea of the goals of psychotherapy and how we are going to get there.
That is contracting for me.
We explore contracts and contracting in our Foundation Certificate course which runs each academic year, September – July.