I was born in 1935 in Paris, France, the first born of Austrian parents. Fleeing from Hitler’s impending invasion of France, my Jewish mother and Christian father escaped to Spain in 1939 with my sister Katherine and me in tow. Eventually, after having one more child–my brother Miguel–my parents emigrated to Mexico just following the end of WWII. I spent my childhood and adolescent posing as a Christian in catholic schools. My sister is a retired language teacher now living in  Rohnert Park, Northern California and my brother currently lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

In 1952 I came to the US to study engineering and then physics at Santa Monica City College in California and for a while earned part of my living as an automobile mechanic. I went on to study physics at the University of California in Berkeley but decided that I didn’t want to spend my life making bombs and transferred to the study of psychology and child development. I also began to work as a summer camp counselor and eventually director at the Berkeley Jewish Community Center Summer Camp. In 1957 I met and became a disciple of Eric Berne, the psychiatrist author of Games People Play. Eventually, in 1965, at Berne’s urging, I obtained a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His wish was that I should be his first “research director.”   Over time I became Eric Berne’s colleague, collaborator and friend and with him, and a founding member of the International Transactional Analysis Association. (ITAA) and eventually ITAA’s Research and Innovation Vice President and later Internet Vice President. Click here for an interview of Claude Steiner about TA and Eric Berne, by Anne Kohlhaas

In the late 1960’s and after Berne’s death in 1971, I got more and more involved as an activist in various liberation movements and against the war in Vietnam and went on to develop the theory and practice of Radical Psychiatry about which I wrote extensively in books and journals especially in The Radical Therapist a quarterly journal published by the Radical Psychiatry collective. In addition, I conducted a full time, group and individual therapy practice in Berkeley. I have written nine books, two of them minor best sellers. I also wrote the now ubiquitous children’s fable, The Warm Fuzzy Tale.

In 1975 I started to develop and teach my emotional literacy concepts and eventually I refined the program of emotional literacy training presented in my latest book Achieving Emotional Literacy. I coined the phrases “warm fuzzies” and “emotional literacy,” and developed the theory of the “Stroke Economy.”

See a partial list of my publications, below. For a complete list click here

My books have been translated into eleven languages. My second book Scripts People Live (1974) is still in print and selling briskly. I have a world-wide lecturing and teaching audience. My burning interest in power plays, especially the most subtle psychological power play — propaganda — caused me to give up my clinical practice and travel as a journalist to Mexico and Central America to study the effects of US propaganda in that region. Later I  returned to the practice of clinical psychology and also became a founding member and Senior editor, for three years, of the quarterly journal Propaganda Review.

I have three grown children Mimi (45) Eric (43) and Denali (30) and six grand children (Mathew and Bella, Mimi’s children; Alex and Mariel, Eric’s children Dillan and Adric, Denali’s boys) and with my wife Jude Steiner-Hall, I live in Berkeley and on my 160 acre ranch with its two acre, commercial, organic garden in Ukiah, Mendocino County, California.


Claude M. Steiner. Born: Paris, France, Jan. 6, 1935.

Lived in Madrid, Spain 1939-1946, Mexico D.F. and Gualalajara, Mexico, 1946-1952, and in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. USA, 1952 to present except for five years in Ann Arbor Michigan while getting my doctorate.


1952-54 Santa Monica City College, Santa Monica CA, AA Physics.

1955-57 U. of California, Berkeley, BA Psychology.

1957-59 U. of California, Berkeley, MA Child Development.

1960-65 U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ph.D. Clinical Psychology.

1967 California Psychologist License.

1965-1970 Staff Psychologist. Center for Special Problems, San Francisco, CA.

1970-to date Private Practice. Group and Individual Psychotherapy in Berkeley, CA and Ukiah, CA.

Teaching Member of the International Transactional Analysis Association since 1969.

Twice recipient of the Eric Berne Scientific Award; 1971 (For the Script Matrix) and 1980 (For the Stroke Economy.)

1989-1994 Senior editor. Propaganda Review Quarterly.


1974  Traveled to Scotland with Spence Meigham M.D. to interview Ronald D. Laing Interview published in The Radical Therapist.  Autumn 1975

1985  Traveled to Bordeaux, France with Miguel Steiner, to interview Jacques Ellul. Interview published in Propaganda Review  1988:2

1986  Traveled as a translator and photographer with partner Charles Rappleye, by automobile, throughout Mexico and Central America to report on the effect of United States policies in that region. Resulting in the publication of a pamphlet: Following the US Footprint in Central America. (Click her to read)


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1069 Ta Made Simple. RaPress. Berkeley

1970 Games Alcoholics Play. Grove Press, New York, NY.

1974 Scripts People Live. Grove Press, NY.

1975 Readings in Radical Psychiatry. Claude Steiner, Editor. Grove Press, NY

1976 Beyond Games and Scripts. Claude Steiner, Editor. Grove Press, NY

1979 Healing Alcoholism. Grove Press, NY.

1981 The Other Side of Power. Grove Press, NY.

1986 When a Man Loves a Woman. Grove Press, NY.

1997 Achieving Emotional Literacy. Avon Books, New York.

2003 Emotional Literacy; Intelligence With a Heart. Personhood Press. Fawnskin, California.

2006 Confessions of a Psycho-Mechanic. My life of Sex, Politics and Psychotherapy over Five Continents. To be published

2007 Excellence in Aging; Twelve Strategies. Self Published

2009 The Heart of the Matter; Love Information and Transactional Analysis. TA Press. Pleasanton CA

Journal articles too numerous to list here. For a complete list of my publications click here

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