How do you know if the Rescuer is the role you slip into when one of your fears is triggered? Is this a role someone you love takes on? Is there any way to change that pattern?

In this episode, Nathan and Aaron answer all these questions and discuss the thoughts and fears a “Rescuer” needs to recognize and overcome to get out of the Fear Triangle. Most importantly, they offer so much hope and practical advice from their own experiences!

In This Podcast


  • What is a “Rescuer”?
  • The importance of vulnerability
  • Setting boundaries with others
  • How others can better their relationships with Rescuers

What Is a Rescuer?

  • A Rescuer’s primary desire is to be accepted
  • They strive to feel loved and accepted, to the point of their self-destruction
  • Rescuers are addicted to solving others’ problems and helping them, in order to earn and maintain their own love and acceptance
  • Rescuers can manipulate others into feeling a need for them
  • A lack of acceptance and nurturing in childhood tends to create the Rescuer type
  • Rescuers show others what they want and need by acting it out towards them, hoping that others will interpret this from them

The Importance of Vulnerability

  • Rescuers need to be honest about their fears and needs
  • Rescuers need to vocalize these things to those around them rather than implying them, even though the fear of rejection of who they are can be overwhelming
  • Once vulnerability is achieved, a Rescuer can release the burden of the need to constantly help others

Setting Boundaries With Others

  • It’s necessary to figure out what you (as a Rescuer) want and communicate that with others
  • Letting others make every decision at cost to yourself is a major source of harm for Rescuers, and is only dealt with by drawing a line in the sand

How to Improve Relationships With a Rescuer

  • Ask a Rescuer what they want and let them speak
  • Get the Rescuer to be open and honest kindheartedly
  • Knowing and meeting the Rescuer’s needs is their greatest desire – encourage them to be vulnerable and accept them

Useful Links

  • PDF Overview of the Fear Triangle we created
  • Sign up for our free email course that will guide you through our process of facing fears and insecurities so that you can feel more comfortable in your own skin

Thanks for Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the icons below. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes and subscribe to our podcast!

aaron potratz and nathan hawkins therapists standing smiling

Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

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