Therapy Ideas - Karpman Drama Triangle "Do you want to be honest, or do you want to win? You could have it all if you could gracefully give in Like when a martyr knows he's a martyr And looking in the mirror makes you cry harder 'bout your glittering ball and chain In love, In love with your Beautiful pain Excuses and old theories repeat themselves and die But when they don't hold water You try to keep them safe and dry" - lyrics from the song Beautiful Pain by Rosanne Cash Mental health is about growth, taking responsibility for how you affect others, recognizing choices, and being willing to risk mistakes. The Karpman Drama Triangle is a game played all too often in relationships. If this game defines a pattern of your relationships with others, then you have serious work to do. Original Source © 1968 by the Transactional Analysis Bulletin. The Purpose of The Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor Game 1. Keeps responsibility out there. 2. There is a lack of internal conflict within the individual. It's all created in others. 3. Players lack empathy, are very self absorbed in their own role of the moment. 4. Patterns of the game prevent problem solving — the drama rules. 5. Maintains bad boundaries. 6. The game provides identity and fills emptiness, because two people can jump around in all three roles to fuel the drama. Good guy/Bad guy split thinking leads to drama. Drama obscures the real issues. People are seduced by the false excitement the drama offers — all style, no substance. Manipulation is the core of the game. It creates confusion and upset, not solutions. Playing Victim, Rescuer has become a powerful cultural pastime. It is at the core of all the repetitious plots of soap operas. This game could be used to describe Bill, Hillary, Monica, and Ken. Here's how it works: Let’s suppose Bill was emotionally dependent on Hillary to feel good about himself. Perhaps Hillary was persecuting him through emotional distance because she lost the national health care bill and was licking her wounds after the Arkansas State Troopers reported Bill’s philandering. Monica enters the White House, ripe for the role of Rescuer to Victim Bill. The beauty of the game is that roles can be switched to enhance the drama. For example, Bill could rescue Monica by finding her attractive, while Monica feels like a victim because she’s a chubby girl no one would ever love. Enter Ken Starr to play Persecutor in his own over-the-top style. Another example could be O.J. He was accused of being the Persecutor and Nicole was the Victim. One way to look at what O.J.’s attorneys did is that they flipped him from the Persecutor role to the Victim role. Then the Jury stepped in to play the rescuer. This game is what operates in many relationships. It is all style and no substance. It has become a lifestyle for too many people. The game provides people with their identity as Victim, Rescuer, or Persecutor....

David Huerta

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