Honest Christianity – what is the difference between pastoral care and rescuing?

Drama triangle

Last week we ran the first day of our supporting families module at BCH. We were exploring Transactional Analysis, and Karpman’s drama triangle. If you are unfamiliar with this modelthen the link below has lots of information and the image above gives an overview.

We may interact with other people in these roles, none of them are healthy and can be played by any of us in a multitude of situations. A game is being played. One of the most animated and interesting discussions we had was what was the difference between pastoral care and rescuing?

We concluded that it had something to do wjth pastoral care being working with, being alongside, empowering rather than rescuing which is more about doing for. That’s not to say sometimes we shouldn’t come alongside folks sometimes and help pick them up, but even then it is with a motivation of short term with an objective to advocate towards equipping them.

It is not always easy to tell the difference, but it is important to ensure we neither unheathily over-rely or overcare. Thoughts?

Reference: http://www.karpmandramatriangle.com/


5 thoughts on “Honest Christianity – what is the difference between pastoral care and rescuing?

  1. Helpful distinctions, Paul. I wonder if you have also seen ‘The Winners Triangle’ development of Karpman by Acey Choy -who speaks of being assertive, vulnerable and caring as the 3 points of the Winners Triangle. I’ve also taught it as Potent (or Powerful in a healthy way) , Vulnerable and Responsive. A useful antidote I think.

  2. Thanks Ra|chel, yes we did look at this. I thought the idea was V. helpful and i want to spend some more time exploring more positive alternatives. I like your ideas, shall we do a future blog stream?

  3. I used to try rescuing but haven’t for a very long time now. In my experience, which is relatively recent, people often have their own answers and just giving them some space to chat things through allows them to unearth these answers, it happened on Friday with a 12 year I’m currently working with. I was thinking in my head one thing and she came back with something totally different, it was completely right for her and very humbling, made my day!

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