Today I read about a delightful game called "I'm Only Trying to Help You" (ITHY). The therapist gives a patient advice. When the patient returns and reports that the advice didn't work, the therapist gives yet more advice - perhaps to continue for longer or follow the advice more stringently or try something else altogether. When this produces repeated failure, frustration and bewilderment grow, which oddly enough is the payoff. It is often accompanied by games on the patient side, such as "Now look what you made me do!" "Look how hard I'm trying," "Why does this always happen to me?" or "Indigent."
This motive is based on the position that people are ungrateful and disappointing. The prospect of success is alarming ... and is an invitation to sabotage, because success would threaten the position.He tells about entire organizations that can exist to play ITHY and how difficult it can be to cure. Actually helping patients is undesirable, often for both the organization and its clients.
While I recognize that this theme of aid workers needing to want to put themselves out of a job is nothing new, I had never realized there were actual therapeutic tools available for dysfunctional donor/recipient relationships. If you or someone you know is enjoying ITHY a little too much, help may be available.