The Drama Triangle, Empowerment Triangle, and Compassionate Embrace

Drama TriangleFigure 1: The Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, Rescuer
The focus of Figure 1 is the Drama Triangle, consisting of three habitual roles of the separate self: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer. The Victim sees themselves as helpless and oppressed; the Persecutor uses control, criticism and blame; and the Rescuer comes to the rescue of the victim, thereby keeping them dependent. People typically unconsciously shift between all three of these roles, and find others to play the corresponding roles when we are adopting any one them. The Drama Triangle roles both result from and perpetuate separation, anxiety, energy loss, right/wrong thinking, blame, criticism, complaint, guilt, and shame. Looking only at the Drama Triangle offers a “problem orientation”, diagnosing “what is wrong” with the roles people unconsciously adopt.

Drama & Co-Empowerment TrianglesFigure 2: Contrasting the Drama Triangle and the Empowerment Triangle
Figure 2 contrasts the Empowerment Triangle with the Drama Triangle, consisting of the shift from the Victim to the Creator, the Persecutor to the Challenger, and the Rescuer to the Supporter. The Creator is self-responsible and takes creative action to care for their own needs; the Challenger uses discernment in supporting other people’s growth and highest good in ways that the person is able to receive at that time; the Supporter offers their compassionate presence to other people to support their self-discovery and self-empowerment. The Empowerment Triangle result from and contribute to a consciousness of presence, oneness, aliveness, authenticity, and empathy. Figure 2 distinguishes between “problem” and “solution”, or “unconscious” and “conscious” roles, offering a more expansive perspective on humanity than the Drama Triangle alone, though still rooted in a form of separation.

Circle of Compassion
Figure 3: Compassionate Embrace
Figure 3 places the roles of the Drama Triangle within a heart of Compassionate Embrace, surrounding them with compassion, empathy, and authenticity, and thereby supporting them to be healed and integrated. Here there is a realization of the oneness of “all that is” and the transformational power of compassionately embracing the separate self. We give compassion to and embrace our unconscious shadow/wounded parts as an essential step toward healing, integrating their gifts, and growing beyond their regressive limitations. At the same time, there is also ongoing discernment and occasional protective action in relation to destructive unconscious behaviors. Through Compassionate Embrace, we welcome all parts of ourselves and discover ways to make life more wonderful for each other. In our interactions, we ask ourselves: is my energy feeling vital = is this energizing = do I feel a natural impulse to contribute?