Jo Stuthridge


Interviewer: Marina Vasile. Co-interviewer: Alexandra Gheorghe

November, 2015


An example of grace mixed with fortitude, Jo Stuthridge has been shaping and influencing the worldwide transactional analysis community for over 20 years. Her curiosity and willingess to challenge the theory have led to important contributions in our current understanding of trauma and script.

Jo started her journey as a community counsellor and political activist. Her meeting with TA took place at a time when Jo was looking for a way of working with groups, as well as a more in depth understanding of intrapsychic processes. Since 1997 she has been working in private practice with adults, groups and couples.

Jo is a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst since 2006. She is the director of the Physis Institute Ltd which offers training in transactional analysis psychotherapy. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on transactional analysis and psychotherapy. Jo is a Teaching and Research Associate with the department of Psychotherapy and Counselling at Auckland University of Technology. She is also a current co-editor for the Transactional Analysis Journal.

Video 1 – Crossing the divide between theory and reality

  • The search for a connection between intrapsychic reality and the social and political context of the “real world”.
  • Writing as a compulsive and compelling force that looks for a coherent narrative to make sense of both internal and external realities.
  • The ongoing process of internalizing the external and then using the experience to shape the environment.
  • The struggle of finding an identity in groups.
  • On subversive activities and finding a balance between confrontation and empathy.

Video 2 – Looking for a constructive understanding and reshaping of theoretical concepts

  • Inviting change through creating, negating and recreating the stories that we tell ourselves
  • Viewing script as a way of gluing ourselves together to create a sense of identity. The constructive function of script.
  • Relational as a concept linked to development; looking at the ways in which interpersonal experiences are internalized and configure the mind.


/// Stuthridge, Jo, “Inside Out: A Transactional Analysis Model of Trauma”, Transactional Analysis Journal, October 2006

/// Stuthridge, Jo, “Script or Scripture?”, In R.G. Erskine, “Life Scripts: A transactional analysis of unconscious relational patterns”, London England: Karnac, 2010

/// Cornell, W.F., “Life Script Theory: A Critical Review from a Developmental Perspective”, Transactional Analysis Journal, October 1988

/// Davies, J.M., Frawley, M.G., “Treating Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Psychoanalytic Perspective”, Basic Books, 1994

/// Berne, E., “Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy”, Grove Press Inc. New York, 1961

Other authors mentioned by Jo during the interview: Nancy Chodorow, Adrienne Harris, Suzy Orbach, Daniel Siegel, Peter Fonagy