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The Drama Triangle

UnPickled

Recovery from addiction requires more than simply giving up “X”. The most significant changes come from learning why we ever needed “X” in the first place and then rethinking how we operate. This almost always involves addressing interpersonal relationships. For me, one tool that has been extremely useful in changing my approach is the Karpman Drama Triangle.

Dr. Stephen Karpman developed this simple concept in 1968 to illustrate that three types of roles emerge from every conflict: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Karpman Drama Triangle

When a situation upsets me, I look at the it with above image in mind and take responsibility for my role.

Do you have a favourite position on the triangle? Saying, “Hey, this isn’t my fault. Don’t blame me” means identifying as a victim. The persecutor role is not necessarily evil; it often the person who says, “I’m just doing what I think is right. Sorry but you will…

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