the drama triangle

Imagine the shape of a triangle. At each end of the base lie persecutor and victim; at the top sits the rescuer.

The persecutor might say It’s all your fault and:

• Blames
• Criticise
• Feels oppressed
• Be angry
• Have an authoritative stance of I’m right
• Be a “Critical Parent”

The victim might say Poor Me and:

• Feels hurt
• victimized
• Feels oppressed
• helpless
• powerless
• Looks for a Rescuer
• be a “Wounded Child”

The rescuer might say I can help you and:

• Rescues when they really don’t need to
• Keeps the victim a victim
• Could be a “Vanilla Parent”

The problem is, when we get hurt we hurt back, so the victim ends up victimising the persecutor who themselves turns into a victim, who in turn feels hurt and hurts the persecutor and time and incalculable amounts of energy are spent hurting each other, swapping roles and seeking out a rescuer.

You are now living your own private reality TV show, and it’s been scripted to perfection; you both know what (interchangeable) roles to play and you can play this to perfection forever. Your job now is to get off the triangle and out of the drama: this is where relationship counselling can work well.

Couple counselling can help you get off the drama triangle and help you resolve your roles and lead better and more enriching lives.