phase 2 – implementation of rpg process group

GOALS: of rpg (reconciliation process group)

Healing deep trauma that has generational roots is the heart of Phase Two. In researching societal trauma, such as  genocide, experts writing to this subject reiterate a theme of steps along the journey of healing. The rpg (reconciliation process group) model combines these themes, sets them in a natural order of progression described by a set of three axes, and applies them to personal healing. After finishing Phase-1 we attend a Phase-2 rpg process group.

The six principles of positive resolution used in the rpg model are incorporated into Phase-2. They are:

1. Breaking the silence with Truth (through acknowledgement)
2. Building a safe “culture of healing” by Listening (with dialogue)

3. Group support to face the emotional pain of Change (through active grieving)
4. Allowing a grief process to build internal  Integration (internal restructuring)

5. Finding Dignity in personal and collective freedom (through forgiveness)
6. Unity in action (peace found in healthy attachment relationships)

These six principles mark crucial developmental achievements along a pathway to healing. The healing process is guided by the above six principles of healing: Truth and Listening, Change and Integration, Dignity and Unity.


Phase-2 is designed to build on phase-one’s educational groups. Group members will engage with the tasks of finding positive resolutions  to the six polar tensions found in the rpg model. The goal of positive resolution is to achieve a balanced and  meaningful reconciliation. Structured support, guidance derived from the healing principles, and appropriate facilitation  are central for each member in order to experience healing.



The six “poles” in the rpg model are listed below. At each pole of the 3 axes is a principle to be activated. Each principle has an internal tension that must be resolved. Phase-2 has the goal of resolving these tensions in a positive manner in order to activate the principle. The principles followed by their inherent tensions are listed below:

Axis-one Principles: Truth and Listening

Polar Tension for Truth: Acknowledgement verses Denial
Polar Tension for Listening: Dialogue verses Isolation

Axis-two Principles: Change and Integration

Polar Tension for Change: Grieving verses Dysfunctional Grief
Polar Tension for Integration: Restructuring verses Dysfunctional Coping

 Axis-three Principles: Dignity and Unity

Polar Tension for Dignity: Forgiveness verses Unforgiveness
Polar Tension for Unity: Peace and Attachment verses Conflict


Axis 1 North Pole–Truth: Acknowledgement verses Denial

Acknowledgement: Building trust. Breaking the silence. Facing an unresolved history that is still affecting our lives, families, society, culture, communities, churches, or other organizations today. Group activities:

a. Writing autobiographical notes
b. Sharing our stories
c. Using communication skills (assertive respectful behaviors)
d. Journal notes, for between-session processing
e. Receiving support from others

Axis 1 South Pole–Listening: Dialogue verses Isolation

Dialogue: Building a microcosm of a “healing culture” within the group. Becoming listeners and learners. Group activities:

a. Using “active listening” skills
b. Letting the speakers know they are heard
c. Respecting boundaries while giving support
d. Making use of the “speaker/listener” technique

Axis 2 North Pole–Change: Grieving verses Dysfunctional Grief

Grieving: Finding emotional support to face the pain that accompanies loss and change. Expressing grief in a supportive group. Group activities:

a. Connecting the impact of the story to behavior and choices
b. Exploring how the story shaped us
c. Letting grief guide us to new insights
d. Letting others in as part of the healing journey of active grief

Axis 2  South Pole–Integration: Restructuring verses Dysfunctional Coping

Internal integration: Putting the pieces together. Inner restructuring to empower new behavior. Authentic congruence replaces internal disorganization and builds empathy. Group activities:

a. Making room for “a complex self”
b. Identifying new behavior that better expresses who we are
c. Practicing new behavior (replacing old behavior with new)
d. Exploring possibilities for a different future

Axis 3 North Pole–Dignity: Forgiveness verses Unforgiveness

Forgiveness: Letting go of a hurtful past. Finding freedom in the present. Facing the future with a renewed personal inner freedom.  Acting on new insights for our lives. Group activities:

a. Listing the wounds that have harmed us
b. Listing the harms we have done
c. Learning to release these injuries done to self and others
d. Learning healthy relational boundaries and skills
e. Exploring the freedom that comes with forgiveness

Axis 3 South Pole–Unity: Peace and Attachment verses Conflict

Unity: Connection and relationship. Attachment. Working together to bring about lasting relational change. Designing concrete projects to build a healthier culture within our homes and community.  Enhancing our relational corner of the world. Group activities:

a. Preparing realistic reconciliatory and reparitve goals
b. Sharing goals with the group
c. Using the group to process the feelings
c. Developing a nurturing support system
d. Setting goals for continued growth and change

continue to Phase-3