It's been a long hard and reflective journey for me, 3 years of studying, placement and finally qualifying as a integrative mental health counsellor. But worth it! 10 years now I have been delivering holistic and sports treatments at my clinic, experiencing the anxiety and frustrations of my client's navigating their way through life.
I have personal experience of the damage the world can cause in our balance of thinking, grounding and the physical impact of stress that is held in our bodies. I always noticed the calm and relaxed nature of my clients after Indian Head work, those that may talk through the shoulder massage section rarely speak a word once I work up into the head, powerful touching therapy that quietens the sympathetic nervous system (the main driver for the fight/flight/freeze response), wouldn't it be wonderful to have a pocket therapist to work your head when you get stress :0). Sounds crazy doesn't it, but we all have the ability to quieten the sympathetic nervous system, traditional methods like meditation, exercise, affirmations - but for me, it's being AWARE what's going on in my head and why I go there, context for many is key. As this is just a short intro into this new exciting area for Sanity I'm going to introduce you to the drama triangle. Pretty sure many of you may have heard of this but did you associate the theory with context??
The Drama Triangle is a great example of frustration, anger and ultimately leaving us in a fight/flight/freeze state, a simple thought in the day can grow into an enormous monster that leaves you upset, possibly a headache, your body is exhausted, your shoulders ache, and it takes a few hours to calm. We can enter a drama triangle for millions of different reasons and triggers, the commonality is to be self-aware enough it's happening, and reflect on how to avoid being sucked in. Take a look below at some examples (for context) of how a simple thought process and feeling can escalate.
So what is the Drama Triangle?? - 'The Karpman drama triangle is a social model of human interaction proposed by Stephen B. Karpman. The triangle maps a type of destructive interaction that can occur among people in conflict. The drama triangle model is a tool used in psychotherapy, specifically transactional analysis. The triangle of actors in the drama are persecutors, victims, and rescuers.
Karpman described how in some cases these roles were not undertaken in an honest manner to resolve the presenting problem, but rather were used fluidly and switched between by the actors in a way that achieved unconscious goals and agendas. The outcome in such cases was that the actors would be left feeling justified and entrenched, but there would often be little or no change to the presenting problem, and other more fundamental problems giving rise to the situation remained unaddressed.'
Drama triangle example
Thought Process Feelings
I’ve worked hard all week, exhausted Victim
Wanting Acknowledgement from spouse Need a Rescuer
Angry at being ignored Persecutor
Can then escalate to
Upset that spouse reacted to my anger Victim
Why do they not understand Need a Rescuer
I always notice when they are exhausted Persecutor
End up completely disconnected with
Upset and don’t’ want to talk to spouse Victim
Wish someone would understand me Need a Rescuer
Going to ignore my spouse all weekend Persecutor
Reflections to grow and understand what is happening when stuck in the Drama Triangle
What is gained and what value do the above examples provide to the individual?
How much time is wasted playing this through your mind?
Do these examples demonstrate good communication?
How could these examples be different??