Search

The Karpman Drama Triangle, Part 1



Sometimes, when we stop focusing on the pieces and instead focus on the whole, we see things in a new way.


I'm learning about something called The Karpman Triangle. In short, it involves the individual moving interchangeably between three roles within the conflicts present in their lives: Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.

Researchers in this area have found that 70% of people seem to be operating between the victim/persecutor role without being aware of it.


I find this especially interesting for some of my personal drama in connection to my upbringing, social conditioning and gender role.


Beyond this there is also something about the term "doula" that has always niggled at me and it directly relates to The Karpman Triangle, but I wasn't quite able to articulate it until I began learning more about this triangle. In western society pregnant women are often portrayed within the victim role, hired doulas and midwives are often portrayed within the rescuer role and quite often the medical industry lands somewhere within the rescuer or persecutor spectrum depending on the circumstance. I'll explain why I say this. Women often hire doulas as advocates to avoid unwanted medical interventions that begin a cascade leading to caesarean section. Conversely, you often hear women say, "Thankfully [INSERT RESCUER'S NAME/ROLE], did [INSERT HEROIC ACTION] and saved my/my baby's life." Go ahead and tell me I'm wrong. It's not to say that these life and death situations don't occur, but when the World Health Organization puts the ideal rate for C-sections at 10-15% and the average woman entering the hospital has a 33% chance of leaving with a C-section, those numbers don't add up. I also don't want to diminish the comfort measures and important witnessing of a rite of passage that a doula can provide, but there is a difference between seeking a savior versus hiring a helper.


Moreover, I feel like exploring this idea could lead to recognition of where we're giving our personal power away, where we're infringing upon another's sovereignty and where we can help someone stand in their power rather than running around putting out fires acting like their hero (which actually does nothing but further keep the victim in victimhood consciousness).


How can you recognize if you're participating as a victim within the triangle? (And I suspect it's more common than we think as it happens to be the main plot in movies, soap operas, sitcoms and talk shows).


Here are some examples of personal belief patterns of someone who is moving about within the triangl