The Rescuer -> Fixing the Victim, Being the Saviour

The Rescuer -> Fixing the Victim, Being the Saviour

b3227381-2f44-4e92-bf87-ff610953af50“I just want to help you!”


The final role of the Drama Triangle dynamic is the Rescuer. As the name implies, Rescuers are all about saving, protecting and helping solve the Victim’s problems.

Even though the Rescuers’ surface role is to be the fixer and problem solver for the Victim, they also have a subconscious drive to boost their own self-esteem by being appreciated and validated for their service. Rescuers’ care-taking efforts in support of the Victim provide meaning, purpose and a sense of fulfillment in the Rescuers’ lives.


How Rescuers Get Their Start

Unconscious core beliefs are adopted in childhood and represent our interpretation of early family experiences. These are the influencers of life choices and personality leanings. Becoming enmeshed in the Drama Triangle energetic occurs as a result of those predispositions. Each participant in the Drama Triangle enters at a “starting gate” that reflects their self-identity and represents how they see and react in the world.

Rescuers are often an only child or can be the first-born or may have grown up in a family where there was a lot of chaos or conflict. As a child, the Rescuer was hyper-focused on how to keep from getting into trouble and how to keep the peace. They learned to achieve that goal by always trying to be good, being obedient to others’ authority and by fixing others. They grow up ignoring their own anxiety and issues because of their outward focus and end up helping others as an avoidance tactic.


Characteristics of Rescuer

Rescuers are caretakers and saviours who need dependent Victims to justify their actions. They:

  • take control of the majority of the problem-solving in any situation
  • overwork and accept too much responsibility for others
  • have no idea what they feel, how to take care of themselves or what they want
  • are always busy doing (often things they don’t want to do but ‘should’ do)
  • don’t know how to say “no” and feel guilty if they do
  • have an unhealthy pattern of dealing with anger -> suppress it; blow up when it overflows; feel guilty about the outburst; begin to suppress it again.
  • worry about making the right decision and fear offending others;
  • have a huge inner critical voice that they try to appease
  • always needs a project, someone to fix so they can feel better about themselves.


What Drives the Rescuer and Victim Relationship?

The Rescuer creates a codependent relationship with the Victim by encouraging and enabling their victimhood (‘poor thing, you are so powerless. Here, let me help you’). The Victim is happy because their needs (problem solving, direction, decisions) are getting met and the Rescuer is solving problems and receiving validation and appreciation for their efforts.


How the Relationship Changes

The connection between the Rescuer and Victim can become a push-pull between acceptance of the interactions and resentment of them from both sides, which can cause role reversal or change:

  • the Rescuer becomes overwhelmed with taking care of the Victim and can turn into a Persecutor (“You are on your own”);
  • the Victim may rebel against the Rescuer’s constant oversight and become a sabotaging Persecutor;
  • the Rescuer can become a version of Victim that is a ‘martyr’ (“look at all I do for you!”).


Tips to Heal the Rescuer
  • seek help through Breathwork, and/or therapy to gain awareness and deal with vulnerability, guilt, anger, self-esteem issues or saviour compulsions to always step in and support others;
  • respect the individual strengths, weaknesses, skills and capabilities of others without judgment;
  • let go of being over-responsible for others – learn how to say ‘no’ and allow others to become responsible for their own choices and direction;
  • Consider channeling a healed ‘Rescuer’ into an empowering profession such as a life coach or therapist.




The Drama Triangle has a potent healing message for all the players. Each role represents a quality or characteristic that the other two positions need to integrate in order to achieve inner balance. When the Rescuer connects with their needs, accepts their anger, and understands how letting go of fixing others can heal their own inner struggles, the potential for genuine caring, respectful support and honouring anothers’ capability and intelligence is possible.



A Rescuer’s Pledge

“My life is an upward search – moving stubbornly toward the light – and you can come along with me, or I’ll see you later.”

“I will always take care of myself – because I recognise that if I don’t take care of myself, then I can never offer my useful service or my authentic love to anybody.

“I will always work to fill my soul with grace and enthusiasm. Whatever energy overflows from me, I will happily and generously share it. But I will only share the overflow, because the rest of it, I need. I will not drain my wellspring to the dregs for anyone ever again, and mistakenly call that love.” ~ Sarah Barry (http://bit.ly/2f72Get)








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