“Destructive Therapy” makes angry people destroy things safely

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By SAMANTHA WINN, Aiken Standard

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (AP) – Loud music, spray painted walls and bottle smashing is what you will find in a rage room.

Jekyll and Hyde Destructive Therapy, a new Rage Room experience in North Augusta, is open to the public

David Jones and Darel Phillips, US military veterans and co-owners of the company, noted that this type of business could be a place to start conversations about post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health.

“We feel like we can help stop someone from thinking, or at least stopping them from thinking there’s no other way, and they have other people going through the same things,” Jones said. “We just want to start this conversation; and hopefully it will lead someone to genuinely seek help that they wouldn’t normally get. That’s one of the main reasons why we wanted to do this.”

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The rage dreams business model is fairly new and started gaining popularity in Japan in the late 2000s. In the United States, pop culture has made it more common on shows like ABC’s The Bachelorette.

During participation, each person goes through a safety briefing, signs a waiver, and wears protective gear, including a helmet, gloves, and plastic face masks.

In 15-minute segments, participants can smash cars, bottles, and old electronics using medieval and traditional tools.

“We believe it’s becoming increasingly popular in many areas; So it’s about securing our place in that marketplace in a good neighborhood and becoming the Dave & Buster’s of the Rage Rooms and Smash Houses,” Jones said.

Named after the famous English characters Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the duo wanted to show the juxtaposition and taboo of tossing delicate household items.

“If I had something like that where I could go in just for fun, to do a little taboo, ie throw some glassware at some targets, go out and smash a car, go out and smash some electronics, I know #1, which will release the dopamine in my head,” Phillips said. “… The way I see it, everyone has a cup; and it depends on how we handle those pieces, how fast that cup fills, and we all have to empty that cup.”

“Every red-blooded American was in their kitchen and upset and might want to throw a plate, throw some glasses, anything. Well, you don’t even have to clean it up here; It’s okay now and it’s in a safe environment,” Phillips said.

Phillips hopes that 15 minutes of destructive therapy and a safe environment will give people a safe place to express pent-up feelings and lead to a path to healing.

The duo hope to host peer group meetings for veterans and retirees at their company.

“There is so much anger, COVID has proved that … A lot of people are upset with the VA system when it comes to mental health and everything else. We scream but no one listens; and I think this is great for bringing the community together to release some of that anger and stress relief,” Phillips explained. “No. 2, also have a safe environment that’s friendly for fun. I see adults as if we’re just kids with money, and we’ve learned as adults to suppress our emotions; and we’ve also learned how to faking it until we finally make it. I want a deal that’s fun, yet professional.”

To learn more about making an appointment with Jekyll and Hyde Destructive Therapy, visit the website at jekyllhydetherapy.com.

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