Scripts Feed

I Just Got Played by a Narcissist

She started talking to me about how stellar her performance was at a recent social event, obviously fishing for compliments, and I refused to bask in admiration and feed her ego.  The results were dramatic.  She went for the jugular.  Narcissistic rage in action.

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Home for the Holidays: Dealing with Toxic Families

Blood may be thicker than water, but you can't drink it.  We are told throughout our lives that family is the most important thing.  I constantly find myself working with clients who are deeply entrenched in the dynamics of toxic family systems.  Helping them navigate these turbulent waters can be difficult, but well worth the effort.

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The Voices in Your Head: Tuning in to Your Self Talk

Self talk is the little dialogue you have going on in your head throughout the day.  It is extremely subtle and most people don't realize it's even going on.  It's usually a "tape" of what your parents, or whoever raised you, said to you while you were growing up.  If they were nurturing and supportive, your self talk probably is nurturing and forgiving.  But if they were punitive, verbally abusive, demeaning, belittling, negative, fearful or insulting your self talk probably is too.

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The Drama Triangle: Victims, Rescuers and Persecutors

Sometimes called the Karpman Drama Triangle, this is a powerful script which some clients find themselves locked into.   The triangle has three roles: Victim, Rescuer and Persecutor.  These three roles work to form a cycle of blame and guilt which allows all three "players" to avoid taking responsibility for their own emotions, beliefs or behavior.

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Discounts as a Form of Abuse

When transactional analysts talk about a "discount", they are not talking about getting something cheaper.  They are referring to something much more insidious.  A discount in TA is a way of denying some part of another person and, unfortunately, discounts are quite common in most of our lives. 

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The Scapegoat as Truth Teller for the Family

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. - George Bernard Shaw

The Scapegoat in a family system is often the one who tells (or acts out) the truth in the family, the elephant in the living room that no one is talking about.  It is this act of truth telling that makes them the target for family rebuke and this is why they are often the first person the therapist wants to talk to.

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"Let's You and Him Fight" - In the Workplace

In his book, "Games People Play", Dr. Eric Berne describes the game of "Let's You and Him Fight".  I see this game played out all the time in office politics.  Let's say "Joe" is upset about something that has happened in the office, usually something done by the boss or someone in a position above him.  He goes to his colleagues, Sam and Maria, to vent his frustration and to ask for advice.  What does he get?   Sympathy, for sure.  What advice may Sam and Maria provide?  "You should file a grievance."  "You should go have it out with the person."  "You should confront them about that."  "You need to stand up for yourself."  But is this really the best advice?

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