Without Resolution the angry individual is bound to return in a vicious cycle to the Event again and again in the effort to make sense of the injustice and subsequent action that may not be as satisfactory as one would like. Many books, movies, and history lessons have been made from stories of vengeance and "pay-back" that worked in the short term yet left an open wound or scar on the person getting that revenge.
Resolution involves peace and satisfaction that can involve the healing of pain and harm that the initial injustice had caused. Depending on the person's religious or spiritual belief system and personal values related to justice, Resolution can look very different. Philosophers, theologians, and religious devotees spend their lives considering the possible roads that lead to Resolution which can involve forgiveness, reconciliation, and/or "letting go." Please notice how there is no requirement or push here for any of the concepts just mentioned. Christian readers may find the SALT section of this website helpful.
Because the harm that has been caused by the injustice is likely to be very personal and subjective so too is Resolution. Trauma victims are certainly not required to forgive their perpetrators for abuse that had occurred and we have strong evidence to suggest that this position could be, in fact, harmful to their recovery. Reconciliation is also difficult to prescribe because a return to relationship may not be available to both parties. "Letting go" is an Eastern perspective that may not serve the harmed individual in creating needed boundaries or an assertive position of self-love.
Overall, the key here is to determine what kind of resolution you want to produce the outcome that will bring you the most peace. Of course, you may decide to return to the FOA model at a later time in your life to reconsider what this might be. People change, circumstances change, and life has a way of moving us into directions that we may not predict. The starting point is now to consider your Resolution Wish List as you create it using the following worksheet.
Resolution for me would need to include
I would know that I have resolution by
For me I wish that
If I obtain resolution I will know
There are many interventions and techniques that your counselor may use to help you to envision Resolution using metaphor, guided imagery, or creative arts. One exercise that you can work on independently is to draw your Resolution as a door that will close on this anger and provide a new opening for you to walk through figuratively. When we can envision our future, we can begin the process of decision-making and practice that will lead us to that outcome.
Now that you have completed your first FOA anger processing model - you have some familiarity for how it can work for other anger in your life. We can return again and again with new skills and awareness that can help us to evaluate, validate, and affirm our own perspective, values, and beliefs as they may be connected to the anger that we are experiencing. Please make use of the online materials and content that will be updated with new worksheet and tools as they are developed.
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