Sex in Human Loving Postcard

Below shows a postcard promoting the 1966 Jake Gimbel Sex Psychology lectures at UCSF (University of California at San Francisco). Eric Berne was the lecturer for 1966.

Sex in Human Loving postcard for Eric Berne lectures

The Postcard. Despite the crease, it is in excellent condition

The background is orange. But you can see the Parent-Adult-Child diagram is displayed here.

The lectures would later form the basis for Berne’s 1966 book Sex in Human Loving. We are sure everyone reading this post would love to have been in attendance. If you were, contact us and let us know about your memories of the lectures or Eric himself. We would love to publish first hand accounts! Send emails to

Hand Written Cover Concept for Games People Play

Below is the original hand written sketch for a possible cover of Game People Play:

Games People Play cover concept art by Eric Berne
The handwriting is without a doubt from by Eric Berne himself. The date on this is unknown, but is presumed to be around 1963, shortly before the publication of Game People Play.

Grove Press First Edition of Games People PlayThe cover of the first edition did not look quite like this. The first edition from Grove Press, as seen on the left, clearly states that the cover was designed by Roy Kuhlman who designed many other famous book covers for Grove Press in the 1960s.

We can assume that this cover concept was provided to Roy who then came up with a design that would be more appealing for a larger audience. According to Roy’s obituary, he was paid $50 for every cover he developed.

The first edition pictured to the left is a scan of the exact book Eric gave to his daughter Ellen. For a glimpse of this book in the 1960s, or at least how it was portrayed in the 1960s, check out this post which shows Games People Play being shown on the hit show Mad Men.

More Unreleased Eric Berne Photos

The first part of the Eric Berne archives was released this summer at the ITAA Conference. Some of the people reading this likely attended the conference. We have been fortunate to be able to post some of the more interesting items found in Part I of the archives.

Eric Berne photo at Washington Street Seminar 1958

The photo above was taken at a Washington Street Seminar in San Francisco in 1958. Directly to Eric’s left is Viola Litt.

Eric Berne 1963 photo First TA Summer Conference

This photo is taken at the First Summer TA Conference in 1963. The woman is unidentified.

All images courtesy the Eric Berne Archives at UCSF. We hope you all enjoy these photos as much as we do.


2014 World TA Conference in San Francisco

Transactional Analysis World Conference in San Francisco Eric BerneAs many of you are already aware, the 2014 World Transactional Analysis Conference is being held in San Francisco, California this year. The conference marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Games People Play.

The conference runs from August 6th to the 9th and registration is now open. To learn more you can visit the official website here. We hope to see everyone there!


A Review of The Happy Valley

The Happy Valley by Eric BerneIf you ask anyone familiar with Transactional Analysis about works by Eric Berne, they will most likely say Games People Play. After all, this is arguably the most readable and certainly the most recognized work of his. And the catchy title helps as well.

What is less familiar is Berne’s “Children’s” book titled The Happy ValleyThe word “Children’s” is in quotations because this book, with its illustrations and animals with catchy names, appears geared for kids. However, the many layers and themes present make it so that adults can appreciate it too.

The Happy Valley received very little recognition in Berne’s lifetime and was not a big seller outside of the TA community. As of today, it is no longer being published. But that did not stop American author and essayist Jonathan Lethem from writing a brilliant review of the work in 2004. That review was titled The Loneliest Book I’ve Read.

Excerpt from Lethem’s Review

I’m writing today about the loneliest book I’ve read – lonely in the wonderful sense that I’ve still never met anyone else who’s ever read it. This has increasingly seemed a wonderful thing to me. I’ve learned to value, actually to crave, that old privacy which used to be my constant familiar when I read, whether I was still selecting children’s books or making my earliest explorations of the grownup’s shelves.

Like any book in the mind of a child, it had the authority of its existence, which was all it needed then. You had Alice In Wonderland , The Phantom TollboothThe Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and A Wrinkle In Time: I had all of these and The Happy Valley, too. For me it was just as deep as those books, equally as a singular and self-contained a fantasy. And unlike the others, it has never been decanted into adult context – no erotic photography or disguised Benjamin Disraeli, no Christian allegory, no disappointing movie adaptations.

To read the review in its entirety, you can see it on Jonathan Lethem’s website here.

The Happy Valley can be purchased from by going here.