Eric Berne Archive Project Hits First Milestone

We are pleased to communicate on behalf of the Eric Berne Archive Project Team that the first fundraising milestone has been achieved! A total of $38,000 has been raised which will enable half of the entire archives at the University of California at San Francisco to be digitized. The Archives will be officially launched at the TA World Conference in August 2014 in San Francisco.

Below is a photo of stunning quality never before seen outside the Archive:

Photo and Picture of Eric Berne in 1969 with his pipe

From the Eric Berne Archive at UCSF. Clicking on the photo will show a high quality larger version.

The digitization project was made possible by hundreds of donors comprised of Eric Berne Family members (myself included), Transactional Analysis Practitioners across the world, individuals who knew Eric, and many others.

The official website is located at The latest update on the Project can be found at the blog maintained by the UCSF Archives.

This will be the last post of 2013. Thank you to all the loyal readers and fans of this site. Happy Holidays!

Short Story Sent to the New Yorker

Many of you are aware that Eric Berne used several pen-names throughout his career. Lennard Gandalac was one that Berne used dating back to his days as an undergraduate at McGill University.

In late 1968, Eric Berne, using the name Lennard Gandalac, submitted a 12 page piece of fiction to The New Yorker magazine called The Revolt. The original manuscript was recently uncovered from the family archives. The first page is seen below:

First page of The Revolt by Lennard Gandalac, also known as Eric Berne

In an envelope postmarked January 13, 1969, the manuscript was sent back along with the following note:

Rejection letter from the New Yorker to Lennard Gandalac
At this point, Eric Berne was well known across the country and elsewhere as a brilliant psychiatrist and author. But he was new to fiction, having only published The Happy Valley just recently. Fiction was something he was not accustomed to. So this begs the question: was the story rejected because of poor writing or because Lennard Gandalac was an unknown?


New Photo from ITAA 1970 Summer Conference

This is a new photo just released from the Eric Berne Family Archive. It is from the ITAA’s 8th Annual Summer Conference held in Monterey, California in August, 1970. The conference took place approximately 1 month after Eric’s unexpected death.

ITAA August 1970 Conference commemorating the life of Eric Berne. Has Ellen Berne, David Kupfer, Claude Steiner

The individuals in the photo (from left to right) are: Ellen Berne (Eric’s only blood daughter – she was 25 at the time), David Kupfer, Franklin Ernst, Viola Callaghan, Ken Everts, and Claude Steiner.

The “theme” of the conference was changed radically due to Eric’s death. As a result, it became more of a tribute to the legacy of Eric Berne, and this photograph reflects it. The expressions on Ellen Berne’s face tells us all we need to know about the mood of the conference.

Unreleased Photo Proofs of Eric Berne

Another new release from the family archive includes two photo proofs of Eric.  The shoot and photographer are unknown. Based upon his appearance, we believe it is from the mid to late 1960s.

Eric Berne Two Proof Photographs Pictures assumed to be late 1960s

Clicking on the photo will reveal a high quality version.

These are proofs because on closer analysis you will see indentations within the photographic paper.  These photographic proofs were in the collection of Eric’s oldest daughter Ellen Berne. Clicking on it will reveal a high quality version.

You can appreciate Eric’s sense of humor and quirkiness by looking at these two photographs.  You can see there is a real person behind his genius.  To us, it looks like he is displaying his Child in one of them. What do you think?

Games People Play on Mad Men

If a book or film is seen on the popular series Mad Men, then it must have been influential at that time. Eric Berne’s Games People Play was featured prominently on an episode of Mad Men. Games was seen in Season 4, Episode 11, titled “Chinese Wall.”  The approximate time period for this episode is September 1965.  By late September 1965, Games People Play had been on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list for 9 weeks already.  No one, not even Berne himself, had expected his work to enter mainstream consciousness the way it did.

In this episode of Mad Men, Games is seen in the hands of psychologist Faye Miller who is romantically involved with Don Draper at that time.

Games People Play by Eric Berne on the Chinese Wall episode of Mad Men with Don Draper

Don Draper enters his apartment; psychologist Faye Miller is reading Games People Play and the hardcover version is resting on her lap. Screen shots courtesy of AMC – all rights reserved.

In the screenshot above, one can see the cover of Games People Play. The book is difficult to identify unless you know what you are looking for. However, nothing on Mad Men occurs by accident, so the placement of this book is intentional for both the time and the individual holding it.

Games People play by Eric Berne as seen on the Chinese Wall episode of Mad Men with Don Draper and Faye Miller

Psychologist Faye Miller is now sitting up to talk to Don Draper with Games People Play leaning against her. Eric Berne’s famous cover is clearly visible and is unmistakable. Screen shots courtesy of AMC – all rights reserved.

The scene then quickly moves to a dialogue between Don and Faye and Games is no longer visible.

Mad Men is critically acclaimed for its realistic depiction of life in the 1960s and closely follows current events. It is only fitting for Games to be featured in this episode, as its influence on mainstream America starting in 1965 was significant.

For a list of other famous books featured on this series, visit the Mad Men Book Club.  Note that none of these are related to Eric Berne or Transactional Analysis and this list in not affiliated with