Positive resolution is the desired result of the rpg model. Rpg attempts to look at core relational dynamics to see what is working and what is going wrong. To better understand what this means it may be helpful to use the rpg model diagram t0 illustrate positive resolution (diagram)
1st positive resolution. acknowledgement vs denial (Truth)
It is crucial for the truth-teller that his or her truth be told. Denial is a defense at work to prevent the telling of a painful story. Acknowledgement is an act of courage that steps away from the protection of denial. Healing from the rpg point of view involves knowing and telling your whole truth.
“I know it is hard to hear. It is hard to tell.” “I haven’t told this to anyone before. I was afraid to. I was afraid I couldn’t do it.” “I was too ashamed.” “I was too afraid.” “I can’t continue another day acting like it didn’t happen or that nothing is wrong.”
2nd positive resolution. dialogue vs isolation (Listening)
If the truth is told to someone willing to hear, a dialogue can begin. The dialogue further explores the truth until the whole truth is told. This is called active listening. As a result, the truth is fully understood by the teller and the hearer. Confusion and misunderstandings are replaced by clarity. Bridges are built.
“Now I understand.” “Now I see why there is pain.” “I couldn’t see it before because I wasn’t hearing.” “It is freeing to tell my story without having to protect you from my truth.”
3rd positive resolution. active grieving vs dysfunctional grief (Change)
The truth is hard to bear when damaging injustices have been done. To stand and listen without turning away brings the teller and the hearer together in a common bound of grief. If commitment to the process does not fail, deep changes can happen.
“I can’t believe it.” “Why? Why did it have to be like this?” “I am so anger!” “I am so afraid.” “I am so depressed I don’t know how to go on.” “I feel a guilt that is so big I don’t think I can take it.”
As these questions are experienced, and the emotions are honored and not denied, something begins to happen. Grieving takes us down into our core. It helps us find our most authentic self. It empowers us to be congruent with our true selves. When healthy grieving is allowed to run its course we are better able to take ownership of ourselves in ways not possible before.
4th positive resolution. restructuring vs dysfunctional coping (Integration)
When broken dreams have been recognized, the old hopes can be released and room is made for new hopes. We can begin to move from the past to the present with a vision of a different future.
“I didn’t realize how my past had shaped me.” “Grieving my losses has been painful, but I can see myself differently now.” “Living in my old behaviors isn’t the way I want to be now.” “As sad as my losses are, I’m at peace.”
5th tension. forgiveness vs unforgiveness: Dignity
Holding on to the hurts of a painful past becomes a ball and chain. Freedom is what matters. Our old resentments are part of the ball and chain. Old unremitting anger is seen as a sickness in our soul. Being trapped by unforgiveness can change.
“I can let this go now.” “I have experienced it all long enough and I need to be free of it.” “There is something else for me now and that is what I want.”
6th tension. peace and attachment vs conflict: Unity
The relational distance that seemed so necessary for emotional safety before doesn’t seem quite so necessary now. Making things right within yourself, and with others when possible, changes things. New possibilities open up. The new reliable boundaries will keep things safe. The idea that relationships can be different is a new reality worth fighting for. The energy that was once tied up in managing old wounds is available now for making lasting changes.
“This can’t done alone.” “Strong healthy relationships are a source of empowerment.” “Let’s do this together.”
Compare this to “negative resolution”