In a story as old as time there are three characters necessary to make any drama work; the Persecutor, the Rescuer, and the Victim.  Dr. Stephen Karpman first coined the term the drama triangle which illustrates a conflict dynamic that at some point, is present in most all human interactions.

The great storytellers from the bible, mythology, fairy tales and fables, to modern day screenwriter and marketers understand the power of this dynamic.  It goes something like this; I’ve got a problem, which creates an uncomfortable emotional state which I want gone, so I seek out a solution.

When we hear a story it impresses upon our psyche an image and feeling which we internalize, and then project outward onto our world. Depending upon our unique personal history and life experiences how we make meaning of these stories varies considerably.

The more we are aware of this dynamic and how it plays out, the more choices we have. When we are unconscious and unaware that this dynamic is at play we automatically react to emotions which create feeling states and influence our behavior. For example, we get angry, offended, or feel rejected. Our response is usually some form of fight, flight or freeze. 

By increasing our awareness through mindfulness practices, and by becoming watchful of this dynamic, we are better able to access our more evolved, rational, analytical mind.  In this way we are empowered with space and time to choose our responses rather than simply react.

The flip-side of the drama triangle is what David Emerald calls The Empowerment Dynamic, in his book The Power of TED.  Emerald, likely drawing upon the work of Joseph Campbell and The Hero’s Journey, TED gives a new framing to our old stories. With this model the Victim is transformed into the Creator, the Persecutor becomes the Challenger, and the Rescuer becomes the Coach.
  Campbell’s work tells us that throughout time and across cultures all enduring myths share a common “monomyth” structure.  These stories offer comfort to humanity, illustrating for us that through the journey of life, we can become the hero in our own story and accomplish extraordinary things.