Eric Berne (May 10, 1910 – July 15, 1970) was a Canadian-born psychiatrist best known as the creator of transactional analysis and the author of Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships.
He grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and received his MD degree from McGill University in 1935. He completed his psychiatry training in the United States and then entered the US Army as a psychiatrist.
After the war, Berne moved to Carmel, California and resumed his studies under Erik Erikson at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and practiced at Mt. Zion Hospital.
He continued his work as a psychiatrist but felt increasingly frustrated with the psychoanalytic approaches at the time. As a result, he began developing a new and revolutionary theory, which he called Transactional Analysis. In 1958, he published the paper “Transactional Analysis: A New and Effective Method of Group Therapy” where he outlined this new approach.
After creating Transactional Analysis, Berne continued to develop and apply this new methodology. This led him to publish Games People Play and to found the International Transactional Analysis Association.
He led an active life and continued his psychotherapist and writing duties up until his death in 1970.
He left a remarkable legacy, including the creation of Transactional Analysis, Games People Play and 30+ other books and articles, and the founding of the International Transactional Analysis Association.