Journal Articles of Eric Berne

The following is a comprehensive list of journal articles to which Eric Berne contributed or authored.  This was developed in part with the ITAA but also with input from family members and a review of the Eric Berne Archives at the University of California at San Francisco.


“Apprehension and Pain: The Practical Introspections of a Psychiatrist.” Journal of the American Dental Association,Vol. 28, Pages 1129-1132, July, 1941.  This article was authored by Eric Berne and his dentist Dr. Norman Feitelson, DDS.  Excerpts can be found here.


“Cultural Aspects of a Multiple Murder.” Psychiatric Quart. Supp. 24: 250-269, 1950. A Filipino “ran amuck” and killed five men. Why? The case is studied in terms of the murderer’s ancient tribal customs, childhood experiences, environment, and religious instruction.


Concerning the Nature of Diagnosis.” Int. Rec. Med. 165: 283-292, 1952. No. 2 in the Intuition series. Diagnosis is dependent, to some definite degree, on the use of intuition. Examples of the use of intuition in diagnostics are given and the intuitive process is further analyzed.


“Concerning the Nature of Communication.” Psychiatric Quart. 27: 185-198, 1953. No. 3 in the Intuition series. Any emission of energy which affects an organism may be called a communication, provided it is understood by the receiver. “Noise” often tells more to the receiver than does the “information.”

“Principles of Group Psychotherapy.” Indian J. Neurology. & Psychiatry. 4: 119-137, 1953. (Annotation at this time not possible due to unavailability of publication.)


“The Natural History of a Spontaneous Therapy Group.” Int. J. Group Psychotherapy. 4: 74-85, 1954. This reports on Berne’s second major experience in formal group therapy, following 18 months of group therapy in the Army. “Spontaneous” means members started the group without referral from a doctor. Berne reflects on this successful 5-year long group experience.


“Intuition IV: Primal Images and Primal Judgment.” Psychiatric Quart. 29: 634-658, 1955. The primal image and the primal judgment defined. Primal images are sometimes activated in interpersonal relationships and are related to the formation of basic judgments concerning people encountered. The clinical value of using primal judgments is discussed.

“Group Attendance: Clinical and Theoretical Considerations.” Int. J. Group Psychotherapy. 5:392-403, 1955. This unpremediated study contradicted almost all of Berne’s impressions concerning attendance at therapy groups. The tabulations reveal some remarkable consistencies among 5 groups studied.

“Comparative Psychiatry and Tropical Psychiatry.” Am. J. Psychiatry. 113:193-200, 1956. Comparative psychiatry defined as the study of psychiatric problems in one group as compared to those in another group. Results of such studies indicated that illnesses and treatments are similar in various parts of the world.

“The Psychological Structure of Space With Some Remarks on Robinson Crusoe.” Psychoanalytic Quart. 25:549-567, 1956. Interest in exploration, measurement, or utilization of space are sublimations, respectively, of oral, anal, and phallic attitudes.


“Ego States in Psychotherapy.” Am. J. Psychother. 11:293-309, 1957. Structural analysis is presented as a new psychotherapeutic approach.

“Intuition V: The Ego Image.” Psychiatric Quart. 31;611-627, 1957. The ego images refers to an ego state. Berne gives clinical examples of the value of ego states as guiding influences in therapy, recognizing the importance of separating “adult” from “child.”

“The Mythology of Dark and Fair: Psychiatric Use of Folklore.” J. Amer. Folklore, (1957?) Analysis of racism; “White is good — black is evil.” Black and white are contrasted in the many ways this myth has affected our lives since 3066 B.C. A case is presented of a Spanish-American woman who suffered severly from having dark skin.


“Transactional Analysis: A New and Effective Method of Group Therapy.” Am. J. Psychother. 12:735-743, 1958. First published appearance of the term “Transactional Analysis.” A seminal article.

“Group Terapy Abroad.” Int. J. Group Psycother. 8:466-470, 1958. Evidence tends to show the nature of psychiatric disorders and the response of patients to various forms of treatment is uniform through mankind. The therapeutic value of group therapy appears to be one of these universals.


“Principles of Transactional Analysis.” Indian J. Psychiatry. pp. 215-221, received for publication August 1, 1959. Berne wrote this as a corresponding member of the Indian Psychiatric Society.

“Psychiatric Epidemiology of the Fiji Islands.” In Progress in Psychotherapy,Vol. 4. Grune & Stratton, New York, 1959: pp. 310-313. Statistics tend to indicate “the stress of modern life” does not increase the tendency to seek psychiatric hospitalization.

“Difficulties of Comparative Psychiatry: The Fiji Islands.” Am. J. Psychiatry. 116:104-109, 1959. Certain interpretations of Fiji Island psychiatric data which tend to give false conclusions are discussed in detail.

Berne, E., Starrels, R.J., and Trinchero, A. “Leadership Hunger in a Therapy Group.” AMA Archives of General Psychiatry. 2:75-80, 1960. In an experimental situation the absence of the leader for three consecutive meetings caused deterioration of the group performance and indicated profound psychological dependence of the leader.

Berne, E. “‘Psychoanalytic’ Versus ‘Dynamic’ Group Therapy.” Int. J. Group Psychotherapy. 10:98-103, 1960. Psychoanalysis and group therapy are two different therapies and need t be understood as such, especially by group therapists. Call group therapy “psychodynamic” or “dynamic,” but not “psychoanalytic.”

“The Cultural Problem: Psychopathology in Tahiti,” Am. J. Psychiatry. 116:1076-1081, 1960.

Transactional analysis in psychotherapy: A systematic individual and social psychiatry. New York: Grove Press. (First Evergreen edition 1961; First Ballantine Books edition 1973).


Berne, E., and others. Symposium on Game Theory and Theater. Tulane Drama Review, Vol. II, No. 4 (Summer Issue), 1967. (Unavailable for annotation.)


“Staff-Patient Staff Conferences.” Am. J. Psychiatry. 125: 286-293, 1968. Describes a procedure whereby, following a ward meeting or group therapy session, the staff holds its professional conference — including treatment planning — in the presence of the patients. If certain listed rules are followed and each member of the staff speaks frankly and to the point, patients of all ages and diagnostic categories are almost unanimously appreciative. A few staff members find this procedure distasteful while others find it congenial, stimulating, and therapeutically valuable.

“History of the ITAA: 1958-1968.” Transactional Anal. Bull. 7: 19-20, 1968. These first 10 years saw the spread and growth of TA as an international therapeutic method.


Standard structural nomenclature. Transactional Analysis Bulletin, 8(32), 111-112.

“Editor’s Page.” Transactional Anal. Bull. 8:7-8, 1969. There are two crusades to undertake: 1) Lower the infant mortality rate and 2) Increase our esthetic standards.

“Introduction to Reparenting in Schizophrenia.” Transactional Anal. Bull. 8: 45-47, 1969. One element in curing a schizophrenic was missing from the TA approach of transactional analysis, game analysis, and script analysis — namely reparenting, using boldness, theoretical clarity, and devotion. “This the Schiffs have done.”

Poindexter, W. Ray and Berne, Eric, “Games Prevent Social Progress.” In Hemmende Structuren in der heutigen Industriegcellschaft. (“Inhibiting Structures in Today’s Industrial Society.”) Buchdruckerei, Schuck Sohne AB, Ruschlikon ZH; Switzerland, 1969, pp. 153-170. Mr. Poindexter presented this paper in English at an international symposium, Zurich, Switzerland, on March 7, 1969. The book has been published only in German.

Berne, Eric. “Reply to Dr. Shapiro’s Critique.” Psychological Reports, 25: 478, 1969. Accepted for publication Sept. 4, 1969. Berne replies to a paper by Shapiro critical of TA (1969). He clarifies the concepts of ego states, inner dialogue, and “growth” in a sharp, effective reply.


“Eric Berne as Group Therapist.” Transactional Anal. Bull. 9: 75-83, 1970. Transcription of taped therapy session conducted by Berne at a closed ward of McAuley Neuropsychiatric Institute at St. Mary’s Hospital, San Francisco, 1970. The observer method is used with two groups alternating as “patients” and “observers.”