THIS IS A CONCEPT DEVELOPED IN THE 1960S BY STEPHEN KARPMAN AND IT HELPS COUPLES UNDERSTAND THEIR PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOUR AND HOW THEY CAN SHIFT THESE PATTERNS TO IMPROVE THEIR RELATIONSHIP
The drama triangle is based on the idea that people tend to adopt one of three roles in their interactions with others: the victim, the rescuer, or the persecutor. These roles can become entrenched in a relationship, leading to a cycle of drama, conflict, and negative feelings.
The victim role is characterised by a sense of helplessness, powerlessness, and vulnerability. Victims often feel like they are being taken advantage of or mistreated by their partners, and they may become passive-aggressive or resentful as a result.
The rescuer role is characterised by a desire to help others, often at the expense of their own needs and well-being. Rescuers may feel a sense of obligation or responsibility to fix problems and might then become enmeshed in their partner’s drama and conflicts.
The persecutor role is characterised by a desire to control or dominate others. Persecutors may use criticism, blame, or anger to exert power over their partner and may feel a sense of superiority or entitlement.
To shift patterns of behaviour in a relationship, couples, with the help of a relationship coach can identify which roles they tend to adopt and how these roles contribute to their relationship difficulties.
The coach can then help the couple develop strategies for shifting out of these roles and adopting more constructive ways of interacting with each other.
For example, the victim may learn to assert their needs and boundaries more effectively, the rescuer may learn to prioritise their own well-being, and the persecutor may learn to communicate more respectfully and empathetically.
By breaking out of the Drama Triangle and adopting healthier patterns of behaviour, couples can build a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.
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