SCCC’s Rage Resolution group: Counselor Rolf Danner shares his experience
Each Friday, the Southern California Counseling Center offers a Rage Resolution group to those seeking to respond without violence when faced with stressful, frustrating or unfair situations. The group focuses on empowering participants to act as their “preferred person”, or person they’d hope to be, when confronted by difficult scenarios.
Counselor Rolf Danner, a long-time facilitator of the group, provides us with insight into his experience with the program below.
“My father’s rare but explosive outbursts, simmering under the surface even in quiet times, taught me to be afraid of anger. Whether expressed by myself or others. So it took all my courage to sit in for my first Rage Resolution group, worrying what might happen. Though the calm conversations I encountered made me wonder whether I was in the right group.
Three years later, I know that I am in the right group and my initial anxiety has transformed into happy anticipation of Friday nights at the Center. It’s a time for me to shift out of my get-it-done work persona into open-hearted listening. It’s not an easy switch, but each time, the authenticity exhibited by group participants pulls me in. I witness how an ever-changing batch of individuals takes care of each other and experiences being cared for. I leave with a renewed sense of hope.
When new members join, they often look to us facilitators for tools and guidance and are frequently disoriented by the absence of a lesson plan. They ask for an explanation of ‘how does this work.’ I’m hesitant to tell them that I don’t know and I am beginning to think that I don’t need to know. I know how much the group has taught me and I am learning to trust that when I feel something, others are likely feeling it too. I just have to take the first step and try to name what’s going on. That first step can open the space for the hard conversations that support healing and resolution. The group guides itself, and conversations are had that allow for the reprocessing of anger as it arises.”