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Thomas Anthony Harris MD (born 1910, died Sacramento, California, May 6, 1995) was an American psychiatrist and author who became famous for his self-help manual I'm OK, You're OK (1969).[1] The book was a runaway bestseller and its title became a catch phrase of the 1970s.


Harris received his bachelor of science degree in 1938 from the University of Arkansas Medical School.[1] He was trained in psychiatry at Washington DC's St. Elizabeths Hospital. A US Navy psychiatrist for many years, Harris became chief of the Psychiatry Branch and left the service as a commander in 1954.[1] After that, he taught at the University of Arkansas, then worked as a senior mental health bureaucrat. He practiced psychiatry in Sacramento, CA.

Dr. Harris was a long-time friend and associate of Dr. Eric Berne, the founder of Transactional Analysis, beginning when both men were among the few psychiatrists in the US military. Dr. Harris was also a founding member of Berne's San Francisco Transactional Analysis Seminar, which met weekly for over a decade, and which developed the core concepts of TA. A Teaching Member of the International Transactional Analysis Association, Dr. Harris was an early advocate for group therapy and TA over traditional psychoanalytic practice, which he trained for under Harry Stack Sullivan.


In 1985, Harris published Staying OK, a sequel to I'm OK, You're OK, written with his wife, the journalist and lecturer Amy Bjork Harris (born 1929).[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 THOMAS A. HARRIS Psychiatrist and Author, obituary in The Washington Post, May 7, 1995
  2. Keeping the Adult in Control by John Leo in Time, May 27, 1985

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