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Patricia Morgan

Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.830.6919 or email a request. If you enjoyed or benefited from this blog, please leave a Comment below and subscribe to my eNewsletterYour Uplift


  1. Philip Addison
    April 16, 2020 @ 5:05 pm

    Hi Patricia, I am interested in how you move from rescuer to coach with a victim who has genuine depression and anxiety?
    They may not be able to make their own choices such as seeking medical help. Any thoughts?


    • Patricia Morgan
      April 23, 2020 @ 11:02 pm

      Hi Philip,

      Thank you for your questions. The Drama Triangle is a theory or tool to help you deliver a clear message while avoiding contributing to a dysfunctional communication pattern. The Drama Triangle describes three key roles we humans tend to ‘play’ with the outcome being conflict, hurt or pain. Only you can decide if you are ‘playing’ the role of victim, blamer/persecutor or rescuer. Only you can decide to move out of the role.

      If you have a relationship with someone who is genuinely depressed or anxious and they are dependant on you to make decisions this is not ‘playing’ inviting you to ‘play’ a role. That person is an actual victim of a mental health issue and may need, as you alluded, medical attention. You may need to intervene . . . not as a blamer, not as a rescuer but as a life-saver.

      If you pick up on thoughts of harm to self or others you morally and ethically need to call the police or take some kind of protective action.

      Any psychological theory is as good as the context in which it is helpful. The Drama Triangle is an effective tool for the ‘average Joe and Jill’ who have repeated and conflicted interactions and don’t know how to get out it to start healthier and more productive dynamics.

      As my hubby says, “Don’t use a screwdriver when you need a hammer to hit the nail.”

      Hope my comments help.

      Best, Patricia


  2. Tara Hinman
    October 31, 2016 @ 10:20 am

    Great tips and communicated in a way that is understandable to all… I use this with my clients… often times its very much an AH HA moment!

    Thank you!


    • Patricia Morgan
      October 31, 2016 @ 9:45 pm

      Yes Tara,
      I have also experienced Ah Ha moments with clients . . . and groups. Your clients are fortunate to have you.


  3. Cynthia
    August 31, 2016 @ 8:16 pm

    These are really helpful suggestions and questions to ask oneself. I often see ways of identifying problems but not so much on how to fix them. Thank you for sharing.


    • Patricia Morgan
      August 31, 2016 @ 10:19 pm

      Thank you for the acknowledgement, Cynthia. I hope you downloaded the Stop the Drama chart. It provides a quick reference to support you getting out of conflicting conversations. Here’s to your success in reducing relationship drama.


  4. Nicole Fowler
    March 14, 2016 @ 11:02 am

    Thank you so very much for this wisdom. Understanding the different roles is certainly helpful as I go forward with my guidance from Patricia. I see how we all play these different roles at different times, with different people, and with different situations.


    • Patricia Morgan
      March 14, 2016 @ 3:08 pm

      Thank you, Nicole for letting us know that this blog was helpful. Many people, like you, have found that identifying where they are functioning on the Drama Triangle, in the victim, attacker or rescuer role, helpful to their personal well-being and their relationships. They, like you, can then choose to move into a healthier and better functioning role. I hope you printed off the complimentary poster to remind you of how to recover and communicate in an effective manner.


  5. Jacqueline Drew
    January 16, 2014 @ 8:47 am

    Really insightful models, Patricia! Thanks for sharing these. I always thought “rescuer” was a duty, but now I see it isn’t healthy either. And neither are the others! It’s wonderful to know you!


    • Patricia Morgan
      January 16, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

      Good insight Jacqueline. Certainly there are those who are genuine victims and need “a rescue”–those who are vulnerable; disabled, children, the very ill and those dealing with crisis. What the Drama Triangle describes are psychological dynamics where people put themselves in the roles of “victim,” “rescuer,” and “persecutor/blamer.” Thank you for the acknowledgment. It is wonderful to know you, too!


      • Veronica
        October 22, 2015 @ 9:07 am

        Thank you for that insight. Very interesting. I have a question regarding being a victim and needing to be rescued. I am romantically involved with a man who has a huge drink problem, but which I now understand comes from a place inside of him where there are huge issues based on his own vulnerability due to past hurts, relationships with his overbearing mother and two ex-wives, being sent to boarding school, failing in his career and being struck off and goodness knows what else. He desperately wants to stop drinking and begs me to help him. I have now been told by a counsellor that he will not stop drinking until he gets counselling for his “demons” as he calls them. I feel I need to “rescue” him because I am, at the moment, in a stronger position than him, and I love him and want him to get well. Is that wrong – is he truly a “victim” of the drink and in need of “rescuing” until he feels stronger in himself and more able to take that responsibility over himself? I do not want to be dominant to him, or vice versa – I would love us to eventually have an “equal” relationship.


        • Patricia Morgan
          October 23, 2015 @ 6:56 am

          Please note that I preface my comments with ‘from my personal insight, knowledge and experience’. You will need to make the best decisions you can, based on your personal insight, knowledge and experience. You know your situation and lover better than mine, regardless of me attempting to walk in your shoes.

          You share with us that you are in love with a man with ‘a huge drinking problem’. Already, if I were your mother, I would be feeling what I call Mother Flutter, a deep concern.

          One way to think of addictions is a way to avoid emotional pain. You write of a number of traumatic events in his life.

          You write that your lover desperately wants to stop drinking and begs you to help him. Why, then has he not booked himself into a treatment center? And why haven’t you driven him or help deliver him there?

          There are a number of ways to stop drinking. One of them is getting counseling. Other’s include a treatment center (sometimes following an organized intervention by loved ones), Alcoholics Anonymous, other out-patient group support, one-on-one counseling or clean and sober coaching, going wilderness camping without a bottle of alcohol, experiencing a spiritual awakening, or plain personal resolve that includes changing environments and daily habits.

          This may counter what the counselor told you. But one thing is clear, if nothing changes, neither will he. Which brings me to the point of encouraging you to change your relationship with him. If you continue to ‘rescue’, you continue to enable. Please consider counseling for yourself, or consider attending Alnon–support for those who live with or used to be involved with people with an addition.

          Please take a thorough look at the Drama Triangle to discern if you might have a habit of avoiding your own painful feelings while ‘rescuing’ him. He is not a ‘victim’ of drinking. He has choices; all be it, hard ones.

          I am not clear what he asks you to do; lock him in a room without alcohol, attend to him as he goes through shivers, sweats and all manner of withdrawal and then monitor him? He might have a seizure! All those steps to sobriety are better done by professionals who have the proper know-how, resources and back-up. Please do not attempt to do this on your own.

          Maybe it is time to look him in the eye as an equal and say, “I will take you where you can truly get the help you need. I will be there to cheer you on!”


  6. Manna Middleton
    August 8, 2013 @ 7:25 am

    Great insights. I will use them and share them. Sadly drama is in most relationships. These tips are empowering. 🙂


    • Patricia Morgan
      August 8, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

      Thank you Manna. I feel glad you find the tips on turning painful communication into a healthy dialogue empowering. The real personal power comes from putting these tips into action. Consider printing off the STOP the Drama poster and posting it. It will guide you out of playing victim, persecutor and rescuer and into a role of survivor (thriver), challenger or coach. Simply go to this link, scroll to the bottom and download STOP the Drama!


  7. Nancy
    January 6, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    Very helpful information. Very useful too. Thank you Patricia!


    • Patricia Morgan
      January 6, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

      So glad you found the concept of “playing” being a rescuer, a persecutor or a victim helpful. Think of it as dance. You can change your step—step out of your dysfunctional role.

      The dance stops! Your partner might push back wanting to dance the old and familiar steps; steps that tend to result in hurt. But your partner might be interested in learning how to move more gracefully with you across the floor. Hopefully the latter happens. I think it is worth taking the risk. All the best Nancy!


  8. David Emerald
    May 7, 2011 @ 2:45 am

    Patricia –

    I am glad to see that you are sharing TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic). I would appreciate your adding my book, “The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) to your resources and references.

    To the Creator in you!


    • Patricia Morgan
      May 9, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

      Hi David,
      As far as I know, I do not refer to The Empowerment Dynamic in my blog but I gladlly share with my readers your book ,The Power of TED* that includes your tool, TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic). Readers can learn more at


  9. Cheryl
    January 26, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    Patricia – thanks again. Excellent information that I will put to use in my relationships.


    • Patricia Morgan
      January 26, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

      Hi again Cheryl,
      Thank you for the acknowledgement. You are about one in 500 to do so. So, congratulations in the department of “expressing appreciation!”


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