The Drama Triangle and the Winner’s Triangle

Depression Support Network

The Drama Triangle was originally developed in 1968 by Stephen Karpman, a Transactional Analysis trainer, as a way of graphically displaying the dance that occurs whenever we make someone else responsible for how we feel. According to Karpman, any time we don’t take responsibility for our feelings we are acting in a part of the Drama Triangle. The Drama Triangle can be a a simple yet powerful mechanism for understanding the relationships around a depressed person.
The roles of the drama triangle are: Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer. Karpman shows the relationship between these three roles by putting them on an upside down triangle. This shows the Persecutor and Rescuer in the one-up position that they take to the Victim.

  • A Persecutor is someone who puts other people down and therefore goes one-up. They can act actively or be passive in response to the Victim.
  • A Rescuer also…

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