Counselling & transference of energy

I was on a course about counselling Children & Adolescents last week. We were looking at the 'Drama Triangle', which was taken from Stephen Karpman’s work in 1968. This is a model used in Transactional Analysis to understand interaction between people. The three roles are those of the Persecutor, Rescuer and Victim. Becoming entrenched in these roles means that the scenario is played out time and again, and as Lister (2002) states leads to “...the same inevitable outcomes” p.68.

It struck me that the 2 states of Rescuer and Persecutor have an energy to them. The victim role is, however, entrenched. Stuck. Immovable. I felt that the victim (please note that I am not using this term in the classic sense, but more an outlook), actually is very powerful.

In my own experience of counselling, of those who come for help, the people who blame others and express no control, can be the most challenging to work alongside. Often this mindset is entrenched and inviolable. The individual wishes that things be different, but is wary of actually affecting any change themselves. They wait.

Counselling, I feel, involves energy. It needs the client to want a different future, even if they are unclear about what it should look like. They want to leave the place of sadness but wish to keep the shield present. This shield has kept them safe to date, to lower it is a frightening thought. It bares with it a sense of exposure and vulnerability.

Counselling must give time to cry, mourn and hopefully accept. The desire to change that which can be changed, unearthed. There is a transference of the counsellors energy to the client,and vice versa, if advances are to be made. It creates energy to change.
This alchemy is what motivates and excites me.

S. Karpman (1968): Fairy Tales and Script Analysis: The Transactional Analysis Bulletin, Volume 7 (26), pp. 39-43.
C. Lister-Ford (2002 ): Skills in Transactional Analysis Counselling & Psychotherapy.

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