QUESTION 4

Forgiveness is an important concept that was discussed in your reading and has recently become the subject of much research in the psychological literature. Consider the role that forgiveness plays in your life. Discuss your individual experiences with forgiveness. Is it easy for you? Difficult? Consider times when either was true. Also, reflect on individuals in your family and their understanding of forgiveness. Does your family hold grudges or are they open to forgiveness? Frame your response in the language of the course and consider recent and relevant research.


OUTLINE FOR EACH QUESTION 4


For all sections, please be sure to include relevant and correctly formatted citations.



I. MATERIAL FROM TEXTBOOK (Organized By Chapter)

  1. Chapter 1: Personal Learning and Growth
    Choice and Change (p. 4-6)
    -Philip Hwang (2000) says we need a balance of self-esteem and other-esteem (promotes personal and social responsibility)
    -other-esteem: respect, acceptance, caring, valuing and promoting others without reservation
    -understanding others and their differences
    -happiness is not determined by our positive and negative experiences but rather by how we feel about them
    Are You Ready to Change? (p. 6-7)
    -you have power over your attitude
    -change cannot happen by being critical
    -view yourself as you are, treat yourself kindly and with respect (forgiving yourself)
    -perfection is a direction not a goal
    -Self-exploration: being honest with yourself and others, thinking for yourself, and making a commitment to live by your choices
    Carl Roger’s Person-Centered Approach (p. 12)
    -nonjudgmental listening and acceptance as a condition for people to feel free enough to change
    -accept yourself and move towards being open to experience

Chapter 2 "In Making Peace With Your Parents, psychiatrist Harold Bloomfield (1983) points out that many of us suffer frin psychological wounds as a result from unfinished business with out parents." (Croey and Corey, 2010, pg 82) For an individual to move on with his or her life, they must take charge and reflect upon what type of an enviroonment they want, and then determine what aspects they would like to change. A phrase that comes to mind is similar to what is modeled is sometimes what people do.
  1. Chapter 3
    1. Forgiveness and letting go of resentment and regret are essential to working through unfinished business that prevents us from living in the present.
    2. How Childhood Influences us in Adulthood (p. 73-79)-Transactional Analysis (TA): framework for understanding how our learning during childhood extends into adulthood, originated by Eric Berne (1975)
      -individuals realize that they are able to now change what is not working for them
      -Life scripts: made up of both parental teachings and early decisions we have made as children, can be positive or negative
      -these follow us into adulthood and often influence our views on many things including forgiveness
      -what did your parents teach you about forgiveness or yourself and others? What followed you into adulthood?
      -our experiences then either reinforce or dispute these scripts
      -being aware is important, we can then work on changing the scripts we do not believe or find unhealthy
      -Injunctions: early messages we incorporate into our lives
      -make decisions in response to these whether they are true or not
      -become aware of these “shoulds” and “oughts” we use to operate our lives
      -REBT/Ellis: we have the power to control our emotional destiny and to reword our irrational beliefs into rational ones, work on the faulty beliefs that prevent us from effectively living (beliefs you have about forgiving others and yourself)
    3. "We need not be determined by our early decisions, but it is wise to be aware of manifestations of our old ways that interfere with our attempts to develop new ways of thinking and being" (p. 75).
    4. Acknowledge and challenge self-defeating assumptions; replace with constructive beliefs
  2. Chapter 5: Managing Stress
    1. Resiliency & Hardiness
    2. Capacity to bounce back with minimal negative effects
    3. Traits
      1. Appreciation for challenges
      2. Commitment
      3. Clear sense of identity and meaning for living, values, and goals
      4. Accept responsibility for actions
  3. Chapter 7: Forgiveness in Relationships
    1. It is essential to forgive yourself: “Sometimes others are willing to forgive us for causing them hurt, yet we may fail to forgive ourselves for our wrongs” (Corey & Corey, 2010, p.205)

    2. We need to forgive ourselves in order to let others forgive us; forgiveness can soften our hearts and help dissolve our guilt.

    3. Forgive those who have hurt you: “If you desire intimacy with an individual, holding onto grudges and pain will inhibit intimacy. Letting go of old grievances and forgiving other is essential in maintaining intimacy” (Corey & Corey, 2010, p. 205).

    4. Does not mean forgetting what happened to you, but you no longer harbor feelings of resentment.

    5. Forgiveness can reduce health risks and promote well-being.

    6. Forgiveness is a coping strategy

    7. Is a process that involves stages of healing

    8. Recognize the importance of forgiving those who have hurt you

      1. You no longer harbor feelings of resentment and do not seek to get even

      2. Forgiveness is a process

      3. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the person you are forgiving

      4. Forgiveness is like “spiritual pruning” of the soul

      5. Recognize that it is essential to forgive yourself

  4. Chapter 12: Death and Loss (forgiving your loved one for dying, forgiving yourself for not doing or saying something)
    Lessons About Living from those Who Are Dying (p. 346-347)
    -Say you are sorry when you have hurt or offended someone
    -Do not judge others without trying to understand them. Even if they have done you harm or wronged you, find a way to let it go and to forgive.
    Grieving over Death, Separation, and other Losses (p. 360-361)
    -Grief Work, Bereavement: exploration of feelings generated by a significant loss
    -loss of a loved one brings out the deepest of human wounds
    -some common feelings expressed or hidden are sadness, sorrow, fear, hurt, confusion, anger, resentment, relief, loneliness, despair, shame and guilt
    -grief work is not a simple process, people are likely to deny feelings or are unable to face them
    -unexpressed pain and feelings can prevent a person from moving on and living their own life and from accepting reality
    Allowing Yourself to Grieve (p. 361-364)
    -unresolved grief can cause many problems in life
    -mourning: formal practices of an individual or community in response to a death, therapeutic value as well working through grief emotionally and intellectually
    -make sure to not deny feelings and reality
    -Worden (2002) proposes four tasks of mourning
    1. accept the reality of the loss
    2. work through the pain of grief
    3. adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing
    4. emotionally relocate the deceased and move on with life
    -Kaslow (2004) when writing about the death of a spouse says
    1. -need to relinquish roles
    2. -form a new identity
    3. -assume control and responsibility for one’s life
    4. -forgive the loved one for dying
    5. -find new meaning in life
    6. -renew hope
      -stages and tasks of dying can be applied to all different situations (breakup, children leaving home, miscarriages, unfulfilled dreams and goals, and loss of a pet)
      -if grief work is allowed to happen, acceptance can occur
      -let go of resentments and experience forgiveness
Corey, G., & Corey, M. (2010). I never knew I had a choice: Explorations in personal growth. (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
The following two excerpts are from Corey & Corey (2010), page 205:

  1. Recognize the importance of forgiving those who have hurt you. If you desire intimacy with an individual, holding onto grudges and pain will inhibit intimacy. Letting go of old grievances and forgiving others is essential in maintaining intimacy. Forgiveness does not imply that you have forgotten what was done to you. However, you no longer harbor feelings of resentment, nor do you seek to get even. Forgiveness is an emotion-focused coping strategy that can reduce health risks and promote health resilience, and it is associated with enhanced personal adjustment and well-being. Forgiveness is not a one-time event; rather, it is a process that involves experiencing successive stages of healing.

  1. Recognize that it is essential to forgive yourself. Sometimes others are willing to forgive us for causing them hurt, yet we may fail to forgive ourselves for our wrongs. Morrie Schwartz (1996) offers this sage advice: "Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others. Ask for forgiveness from others. Forgiveness can soften the heart, drain the bitterness, and dissolve your guilt" (p.55). It is not just other people that we need to forgive--we need to forgive ourselves. As Gerald Jampolsky (1999) states, " I believe with all my heart that peace will come to the world when each of us takes the responsibility of forgiving everyone, including ourselves, completely" (p. 123).
Corey, G., & Corey, M. S. (2010). I never knew I had a choice: Explorations in personal growth (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Jampolsky, G. G. (1999). Forgiveness: The greatest healer of all. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words. Schwartz, M. (1996). Morrie: In his own words. New York: Dell (Delta Book).

Chapter 13 - p. 384
"The Dalai Lama (2001) teaches that religious beliefs are but on level of spirituality, and he talks about basic spiritual values which include qualities of goodness, kindness, love, compassion , tolerance, forgiveness, human warmth, and caring. All religions have the same basic message in that they all advocate these basic human values. Love, compassion and forgiveness are not luxuries; rather they are essential values for our survival."
Corey, G., & Corey, M. (2010). I never knew I had a choice: Explorations in personal growth. (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.

II. PEER-REVIEWED RESOURCES

  1. Provide link to PDF or full-text of article
    1. Provide annotations/summaries of article
  2. Differentiating Dispositional Self-Forgiveness from Other-Forgiveness: Associations with Mental Health and Life Satisfaction

Macaskill, A. (2012). Differentiating dispositional self-forgiveness from other-forgivness: Associations with mental health and life satisfaction. Journal of Social & Clinical

Psychology, 31(1), 28-50. doi:10.1521/jscp.2012.31.1.28

Abstract: Much of the literature on forgiveness assumes that the process of self-forgiveness and other-forgiveness involved the same processes although there is less research self-forgiveness. The literature also supports associations between unforgiveness and poorer mental health with anger as an implied causal link. Two cross-sectional studies are reported designed to differentiate between dispositional self- and other-forgiveness. In response to face validity issues in the Mauger and colleagues (1992) Forgiveness of Self and others Scale, the scale was factor analyzed and a revised scale with improved face validity and factor structure was produced. In study 1, 297 undergraduates completed measures of mental health, life satisfaction, trait anger, and the revised Mauger scale. Using path analysis with AMOS17, two models based on associations reported in the research and clinical literature were tested. Other-unforgiveness was unrelated to mental health and life satisfaction while self-unforgiveness was a predictor of both. While anger was a predictor self- and other-forgiveness, it did not explain the link between self-unforgiveness and mental health and life satisfaction. Study 2 confirmed these results with a sample of 233 undergraduates, who also completed additional measures of anxiety, shame, and guilt. Path analyses of hypothesized relationships between anxiety, shame, guilt, self- and other-forgiveness, metal health, and life satisfaction were undertaken. The results suggested a different pattern of associations for self- and other-forgiveness. Anger was the only significant predictor of other-unforgiveness while anxiety, shame, and anger were associated with self-forgiveness. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Summary: This article focused on the possible negative feelings that people can feel from not forgiving themselves and forgiving others. Feelings associated with “unforgivness” included anger, shame, anxiety, and guilt. We have all done wrong to people and have had people do wrong against us at some point in our lives. It is important to go through the process of forgiveness for our own personal well-being and our relationships with others.



2. The Varieties of Forgiveness Experience: Working Toward a Comprehensive Definition of Forgiveness

Lawler-Row, K., Scott, C. A., Raines, R., Edlis-Matityahou, M., & Moore, E. (2007). The varieties of forgiveness experience: Working toward a comprehensive definition of forgiveness. Journal Of Religion & Health, 46(2), 233-248. doi:10.1007/s10943-006-9077-y.

Abstract: The definition of forgiveness was explored in a group of 270 young adults, and the underlying dimensions of their definitions compared with those of philosophers, theologians and psychological researchers. Three dimensions were identified: orientation (self, other), direction (passive letting go of negative experiences, active enhancement of positive experiences) and form (emotion, cognition and behavior). Definitions employing a passive letting go of negative experiences were associated with more state forgiveness. Gender differences were found in state forgiveness and in the employment of passive vs. active dimensions of forgiveness.

Summary: This article compared different definitions of forgiveness. Forgiveness was defined by a group of young adults and those definitions were then compared to definitions of forgives from theologians, psychological researchers, and philosophers. Through the definitions there were three themes identified: (1) Orientation: meaning forgiveness of self and others. When you let go of things in your past, you are better able to forgive yourself and others. (2) Direction: letting go of negative experiences and embracing positive experiences through forgiveness. (3) Form: this refers to the form that the forgiveness takes; emotion, behavior, and cognition. The more people are able to let go of the negative experiences, the more they are willing to forgive themselves and others.


Forgiveness and Letting go of Grudges:
Summary: Forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well being. You can find compassion and understanding in forgiveness. This article from the mayo clinic also talks about scenarios where those who hurt you do not change , not wanting to talk to the other person and maybe needing to forgive yourself first.
Mayo clinic., Letting go of Grudges and Bitterness. Retrieved, April 28th 2012 from,
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forgiveness/MH00131

3. TO PASTURE: "Amish Forgiveness," Silence, and the West Nickel Mines School Shooting'
Kasdorf, J. (2007). To Pasture: "Amish Forgiveness," Silence, and the West Nickel Mines School Shooting. Cross Currents, 57(3), 328-347.

Abstract: This article presents an exploration into the events and cultural outcomes of the West Nickel Mines School shooting of 2006 and its reflections of the Amish religious practices of silence and forgiveness. The details of the events are given along with discussion of the rise in interest in Amish life within the mainstream media. A sociological analysis of the Amish reaction to the events is also given.

Summary: This article gives an example of the forgiveness that I want to demonstrate in my own life. This article details not only that this group of people forgave the family of an individual who hurt their community, but also sought to find ways to benefit and love this family as an expression of their forgiveness.



4. The benefits of forgiveness and gratitude.
Shallcross, L. (2012). The benefits of forgiveness and gratitude. Counseling Today, 54(7), 42-45.

Abstract: The article focuses on the physical and mental benefits of forgiveness and gratitude. It states that a study through Stanford Forgiveness Project has found that forgiveness lessens hurt, anger, and depression. It discusses the forgiveness process designed by Sandy Walker of the American Counseling Association, to help clients to forgive and find happiness in their lives. It also mentions that gratitude improves physical and mental health, life longevity, and interpersonal relationships.

Summary: For the purposes of this test, the most important point is a quote mid-way through the article. Shallcross (2012) writes, "Both Grieco and Walker emphasize that the process must start with the client's will to forgive and let go. After completing the process of forgiveness, Grieco says clients often feel more content, more tolerant, more at ease, less in need of control and more like their old selves. Walker concurs, saying her clients regularly report a sense of relief, peace, calm and lightness" (p. 43).



5. Hodgson, L. K. & Wertheim, E. H. (2007). Does good emotion management aid forgiving? Multiple dimensions of empathy, emotion management and forgiveness of self and others.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(6), 931-949.
Article:

Abstract:
The ability to forgive is considered important in the successful maintenance of relationships. In this study, a multifactorial model predicting two forms of forgiveness was examined in a combined community and university sample (N = 110) who reported on their ability to manage emotions, their tendency to empathize (through perspective taking, empathic concern, and personal distress), and their disposition to forgive others and self. Findings suggested that the ability to manage and repair emotions predicted a greater disposition to forgive, and that perspective taking mediated the relationship between emotion management and forgiveness of others. A multifactorial model for other-forgiveness was completely replicated in significant others’ (N = 104) reports about participants, although significant others’ results only partially replicated participant findings for self-forgiveness.
Summary: Ability to forgive is important in the maintenance of successful relationships. Most relationships encounter conflict at some point; transgression can lead to grievance; forgiveness can lay the groundwork for reconciliation.
Individuals who scored more highly on measures of attending to emotions, being clear about their emotions, and being better able to repair or regulate their emotions, also scored more highly on the disposition to forgive others.

Better emotion management abilities predict greater ability to take other people’s perspectives, which in turn leads to a disposition to forgive others for hurtful actions or transgressions

6. Hill, W. E., Hasty, C., & Moore, C. J. (2011). Differentiation of self and the process of forgiveness: A clinical perspective for couple and family therapy. The Austrailan and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 32(1), 43-57.
Article:

Abstract:
In this article we explore the role of differentiation of self in facilitating forgiveness in the context of couple and family relationships. Differentiation is defined from the Bowen perspective as the ability to connect with others without being excessively emotionally reactive to the ebb and flow inherent in all significant relationships (being able to connect to others yet also being able to self-regulate). Forgiveness is described as the releasing of an emotional injury via a complex psychological and relational process that is less an act of will than a discovery or possibility through understanding and empathy. Differentiation of self is related to emotional intelligence and empathy. The developmental and relational benefits of such are illustrated and discussed. A rationale for viewing differentiation and forgiveness in a contextual, historical, and relational attachment paradigm is suggested. Relevant clinical cases illustrate the dynamics of differentiation and forgiveness as discovery in the context of an understanding and empathie relational environment.
Summary:
Differentiation involves managing anxiety and retaining one's individuality while remaining in a significant and effectual relationship with others. The essence of differentiation is the ability to connect with others without being excessively emotionally reactive to the ebb and flow inherent in all significant relationships. Highly differentiated person stays connected without overly accommodating significant others or abandoning them when relational tensions arise; they possess emotional intelligence. Forgiveness is the act of releasing a perceived wrongdoing, mistake or oversight. For persons who have become estranged, forgiveness is one of the most critical processes for facilitating restored relational and emotional well-being.


7.
Reference: Jacinto, G. A., & Edwards, B. L. (2011). Therapeutic Stages of Forgiveness and Self-Forgiveness. Journal Of Human Behavior In The Social Environment, 21(4), 423-437. doi:10.1080/15433714.2011.531215
Abstract: This theoretical reflection of the authors’ postulates four therapeutic stages of the forgiveness and self-forgiveness process. These discreet stages of therapy are titled: recognition, responsibility,expression, and recreating. The authors’ purpose in presenting this reflection is to provide therapists descriptive stages that they can utilize to develop effective interventions for each of the stages of forgiveness or self-forgiveness a caregiver is experiencing. The authors’ practice experience and a review of the literature about forgiveness and self-forgiveness led to the development of the four therapeutic stages of forgiveness and self-forgiveness presented. A
case example is provided that chronicles the caregiver’s experience while working through each of the four therapeutic stages. A discussion of implications for practice and further research questions is presented.

8.
Reference: Macaskill, A. (2012). Differentiating Dispositional Self-Forgiveness from Other-Forgiveness: Associations with Mental Health and Life Satisfaction. Journal Of Social & Clinical Psychology, 31(1), 28-50. doi:10.1521/jscp.2012.31.1.28

Abstract: Much of the literature on forgiveness assumes that the process of self-forgiveness and other-forgiveness involved the same processes although there is less research self-forgiveness. The literature also supports associations between un-forgiveness and poorer mental health with anger as an implied causal link. Two cross-sectional studies are reported designed to differentiate between dispositional self- and other-forgiveness. In response to face validity issues in the Mauger and colleagues (1992) Forgiveness of Self and others Scale, the scale was factor analyzed and a revised scale with improved face validity and factor structure was produced. In study 1, 297 undergraduates completed measures of mental health, life satisfaction, trait anger, and the revised Mauger scale. Using path analysis with AMOS17, two models based on associations reported in the research and clinical literature were tested. Other-un-forgiveness was unrelated to mental health and life satisfaction while self-un-forgiveness was a predictor of both. While anger was a predictor self- and other-forgiveness, it did not explain the link between self-un-forgiveness and mental health and life satisfaction. Study 2 confirmed these results with a sample of 233 undergraduates, who also completed additional measures of anxiety, shame, and guilt. Path analyses of hypothesized relationships between anxiety, shame, guilt, self- and other-forgiveness, metal health, and life satisfaction were undertaken. The results suggested a different pattern of associations for self- and other-forgiveness. Anger was the only significant predictor of other-un-forgiveness while anxiety, shame, and anger were associated with self-forgiveness.

9.
Reference: Gassin, E. A., & Lengel, G. J. (2011). FORGIVENESS AND ATTACHMENT: A LINK THAT SURVIVES THE GRAVE?. Journal Of Psychology & Theology, 39(4), 316-329.
Abstract: The current project consists of two studies assessing the relationship between two attachment dimensions (anxiety and avoidance) and forgiveness in the context of bereavement. Using these two dimensions, the authors explore whether or not general attachment style and attachment to a deceased person in particular predict the degree to which one will forgive that individual. While most previous studies of extending forgiveness to living individuals suggest attachment anxiety is a more robust predictor of forgiveness, the current studies point to attachment avoidance as a more reliable predictor. The authors consider developmental and cultural factors in explaining the results and note implications for pastors and therapists.


10. Toussaint, L. & Friedman, P. (2009). Forgiveness, gratitude, and well-being: The mediating role of affect and beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 635-654.

Abstract: Forgiveness and gratitude are positive psychological characteristics that are
connected to well-being. This study examined these connections in an understudied population of psychotherapy outpatients and examined the extent to which affect and beliefs mediated these relationships. Participants were 72 outpatients who completed a battery of assessments as part of a standard intake protocol. Results showed that forgiveness and gratitude were both positively and strongly associated with well-being and largely, though not completely, mediated by affect and belief. Forgiveness and gratitude may have an important place in the positive psychologist’s repertoire of well-being enhancing techniques and exercises in general, and may be particularly powerful with a clinical psychotherapy population.

Summary: The goal of this article was to show that forgiveness, gratitude and well being all strongly correlate. The more someone has the ability to forgive and is grateful for forgiveness the better well being they will have going forward. There were three experiments used in this journal to prove that there is a stronger correlation between these words and feelings than previously discovered. First, they considered both dispositional forgiveness, unforgiving motives (revenge and avoidance), and gratitude in the same sample and include an examination of forgiveness of oneself, a dimension of forgiveness all but ignored in current work. Second, they considered assessments of well-being representing each part of the tripartite model including: positive affective, negative affect, and cognitive evaluations. Third, they investigated the association between forgiveness, gratitude, and well-being in a sample of clinical outpatients. The Friedman Belief Scale and the Heartland Forgiveness Scale were also used.

Why group apologies succeed and fail: Intergroup forgiveness and the role of primary and secondary emotions : when forgiveness fails
Wohl, Michael J. A.; Hornsey, Matthew J.; Bennett, Shannon H.; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 102(2), Feb, 2012. pp. 306-322. [Journal Article]

Summary: the most important contribution of the current research from a social (as well as political) perspective is our ability to provide a blueprint for how transgressor groups can overcome the thorny infrahumanization dilemma.

Abstract: It is widely assumed that official apologies for historical transgressions can lay the groundwork for intergroup forgiveness, but evidence for a causal relationship between intergroup apologies and forgiveness is limited. Drawing on the infrahumanization literature, we argue that a possible reason for the muted effectiveness of apologies is that people diminish the extent to which they see outgroup members as able to experience complex, uniquely human emotions (e.g., remorse). In Study 1, Canadians forgave Afghanis for a friendly-fire incident to the extent that they perceived Afghanis as capable of experiencing uniquely human emotions (i.e., secondary emotions such as anguish) but not nonuniquely human emotions (i.e., primary emotions such as fear). Intergroup forgiveness was reduced when transgressor groups expressed secondary emotions rather than primary emotions in their apology (Studies 2a and 2b), an effect that was mediated by trust in the genuineness of the apology (Study 2b). Indeed, an apology expressing secondary emotions aroused no more forgiveness than a no-apology control (Study 3) and less forgiveness than an apology with no emotion (Study 4). Consistent with an infrahumanization perspective, effects of primary versus secondary emotional expression did not emerge when the apology was offered for an ingroup transgression (Study 3) or when an outgroup apology was delivered through an ingroup proxy (Study 4). Also consistent with predictions, these effects were demonstrated only by those who tended to deny uniquely human qualities to the outgroup (Study 5). Implications for intergroup apologies and movement toward reconciliation are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)


What it means to forgive and why the way we define forgiveness matters.

Freedman, S. (2011). What it means to forgive and why the way we define forgiveness matters. Peace And Conflict: Journal Of Peace Psychology, 17(3), 334-338. doi:10.1080/10781919.2011.587365

Summary:
Borris-Dunchunstang is clear when she states that forgiveness can only occur between two people, that it does not make sense to talk about forgiving
a natural disaster, and that forgiveness is liberating and empowering (Enright, Freedman, & Rique, 1998). Borris-Dunschunstang also clarifies that one does not need to receive an apology before forgiving; and that forgiveness is not the same as pardoning, condoning, excusing, or reconciliation (e.g., see Freedman, 1998). She realizes that people who forgive need a lot of strength to do so, and that forgiveness often takes time and is not a ‘‘quick fix’’ to feeling hurt. In addition, Borris-Dunchunstang recognizes the role anger plays in the forgiveness process and the necessity of acknowledging and expressing one’s anger prior to forgiving. Likewise, Borris-Dunchunstang explains how, as a result of forgiving, we are ‘‘given a gift’’ (p. 37) involving greater psychological well-being, as well as improved relationships with others. She also describes how revenge does not bring the satisfaction and healing that one thinks it will.
Abstract: Reviews the book, "Finding Forgiveness: A 7-Step Program for Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness" by Eileen R. Borris-Dunchunstang (2007). Research on forgiveness has illustrated that it can be effective with various populations who have experienced deep, personal, and unfair hurts. In addition to empirical articles and dissertations, numerous books have been written on interpersonal forgiveness defining what forgiveness is, why it is important, and how to go about forgiving. In this book; the author discusses why people should forgive, her definition of forgiveness, her model of how to go about forgiving, and the skills necessary to forgive. She also uses several detailed case studies to illustrate how one is changed after forgiving and the benefits associated with forgiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved) Forgiveness



Coop Gordon, K., Hughes, F. M., Tomcik, N. D., Dixon, L. J., & Litzinger, S. C. (2009). Widening spheres of impact: The role of forgiveness in marital and family functioning. Journal of Family Psychology,2 (1), 1-13.

There are three main elements of forgiveness that are common in psychological literature which are: a) regaining a more balanced view of the offender and event, b) decrease of negative affect towards offender, and c) giving up right to seek revenge or lashing out toward offender (Coop Gordon, Hughes, Tomcik, Dixon, & Litzinger, 2009). However, more recent views have suggested two dimensions of forgiveness, a negative dimension and a positive one. The negative dimension (negative forgiveness) involves the holding of a grudge, withdrawal from the relationship, and desire for revenge, while the positive dimension (positive forgiveness) includes the degree to which an individual feels ready to forgive, an increase in empathy, and a release from anger (Coop Gordon, et al., 2009).

Gordon and Baucom (1998) believe that major betrayal involving forgiveness can turn into an interpersonal trauma involving anger, anxiety, and depression (as cited in Coop Gordon, et al., 2009). In marriage, this might lead to a spouse’s lack of trust and an increase in conflicts among marital partners. Greater general forgiveness on the other hand, is associated with higher levels of dyadic adjustment, greater empathy, and better communication. Positive forgiveness can also carry over into the parenting alliance, as less discord among the parents would lead to a better relationship overall (Coop Gordon, et al., 2009).

For the wives in this study, negative forgiveness accounts for the majority of the associations between levels of trust in the relationship, conflict behaviors, and marital satisfaction. For the men, positive forgiveness significantly predicted dyadic trust in addition to negative forgiveness. This indicates that a release from anger and blame might help men develop more trust for their spouses and even gain greater satisfaction following a betrayal. In regard to parenting, the results suggest that grudge-holding and vengefulness are likely to weaken the bond between parents, as it becomes difficult to work as a team if one or more partners cannot put past betrayals behind them (Coop Gordon, Hughes, Tomcik, Dixon, & Litzinger, 2009).



Braithwaite, S., R., Selby, E. A., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). Forgiveness and relationship satisfaction: Mediating mechanisms. Journal of Family Psychology, 25 (4), 551-559.

Forgiveness includes a motivational change in which negative response tendencies decrease and goodwill toward a person increases, according to McCullough, Fincham, & Tsang, 2003. The ability to forgive one’s partner may be one of the most important factors for a healthy relationship. Forgiveness has also been associated with improvements in conflict tactics (Braithwaite, Selby, & Fincham, 2011).

This study found that the tendency to forgive one’s partner leads to a motivational shift which involves an increase in self-regulation. This regulation of self then leads to long-term relationship improvement and a reduction in negative interpersonal tactics (Braithwaite, et al., 2011).


13. Forgiveness, Health, and Well-Being: A Review of Evidence for Emotional Versus Decisional Forgiveness, Dispositional Forgivingness, and Reduced Unforgiveness
  1. Worthington, E. L., Van Oyen Witvliet, C., Pietrini, P., Miller, A. J. (2007). Forgiveness, health, and well-being: A review of evidence for emotional versus decisional forgiveness, dispositional forgivingness, and reduced unforgiveness. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 30, 291-302.
  2. ABSTRACT: The extant data linking forgiveness to health and well-being point to the role of emotional forgiveness, particularly when it becomes a pattern in dispositional forgivingness. Both are important antagonists to the negative affect of unforgiveness and agonists for positive affect. One key distinction emerging in the literature is between decisional and emotional forgiveness. Decisional forgiveness is a behavioral intention to resist an unforgiving stance and to respond differently toward a transgressor. Emotional forgiveness is the replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions. Emotional forgiveness involves psychophysiological changes, and it has more direct health and well-being consequences. While some benefits of forgiveness and forgivingness emerge merely because they reduce unforgiveness, some benefits appear to be more forgiveness specific. We review research on peripheral and central nervous system correlates of forgiveness, as well as existing interventions to promote forgiveness within divergent health settings. Finally, we propose a research agenda.
  3. SUMMARY: This review article begins with an overview of the concept of forgiveness in the literature, noting that there is general consensus that forgiveness is not simply excusing, exonerating, condoning, pardoning or reconciling; rather, "Forgiveness is broadly understood as a process of decreasing inter-related negative resentment-based emotions, motivations, and cognition" [p. 292]. Forgiveness in non-continuing relationships is seen as reducing un-forgiveness; in longer relationships, it includes moving from negative feelings to positive ones that eventually flavor the entire relationship itself. Decisional forgiveness is a behavioral intention to resist an unforgiving stance and to respond differently toward a transgressor. Emotional forgiveness is the replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions. Emotional forgiveness involves psycho-physiological changes, and it has more direct health and well-being consequences. [p. 291]
    1. Worthington and his colleagues find the following eight common denominators in discussions of forgiveness in the literature:
      1. First, un-forgiveness involves ruminations that may be begrudging, vengeful, hostile, bitter, resentful, angry, fearful of future harm, and depressed. Second, un-forgiveness is hypothesized to be directly related to the amount of remaining justice being experienced.... Third, forgiveness involves reducing un-forgiveness. Fourth, forgiveness is a process rather than an event.... Fifth, the internal experience of forgiveness can be distinguished from its interpersonal context.... Sixth, forgiveness of strangers...is fundamentally different from forgiving a loved one. Seventh, making a decision to change one’s behavior could be a sincere and permanent form of forgiving, and yet that decision must be differentiated from emotionally forgiving.... Eighth, most would agree that (a) decisional forgiveness has the potential to lead to changes in emotion and eventually behavior whereas (b) emotional forgiveness, by definition, involves changes in emotion, motivation, cognition, and eventually behavior. [p. 292]
  4. File:



14.The Construction of a Model of the Process of Couples’ Forgiveness in Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples
“Forgiveness is clearly important for therapeutic work, particularly with couples. As such, understanding the unfolding of forgiveness in therapy could provide useful insights for clinical work. Forgiveness can be understood as a process involving the transformation of a negative emotional state (e.g., anger; the desire for revenge) to an affiliative stance characterized by compassion and empathy toward the perpetrator (Malcolm, Warwar, & Greenberg, 2005; Worthington, 2005). Although forgiveness is not the optimal path for the resolution of all conflict, and pressure to forgive in individual or couple therapy can be counter therapeutic and lead to a type of ‘‘blaming of the victim,’’ forgiveness in couple therapy has garnered much attention (Akhtar, 2000; Gordon & Baucom, 1998; Gordon, Baucom, & Snyder, 2000; Worthington, 1998). There is empirical data highlighting the value of forgiveness in couples and linking it to an increase in marital satisfaction and psychological closeness, as it serves to rebuild trust and rebalance the couple’s power distribution (Fincham, Beach, & Davila, 2004; Friesen, Fletcher, & Overall, 2005; Gordon & Baucom, 2003; Greenberg, Warwar, & Malcolm, 2010; Makinen, 2004).” (Woldarsky & Greenberg, pg. 491)


“While shame involves questioning one’s sense of self and trying to understand how one

could behave in a certain manner, empathic distress involves experiencing the pain that comes with recognizing one has deeply wounded another person.”(Woldarsky & Greenberg, pg. 498-499)

“The expression of shame and ⁄ or empathic distress serves as a stepping-stone for the

rebuilding of trust, as it demonstrates the injurer’s deep remorse for the injury and signals that

the impact of taking responsibility is so deep that it evoked a change in the injurer’s identity.” (Woldarsky & Greenberg, pg. 499)
Woldarsky Meneses, C., & Greenberg, L. S. (2011, October). The construction of a model of the process of couples’ forgiveness in emotion‐focused therapy for couples. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 37(4), 491-502. doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00234.x
http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=dc76b8e4-bf28-4928-a6f7-c81e52282eb4%40sessionmgr104&vid=9&hid=124

15. A Dynamic Process Model of Forgiveness: A Cross-Cultural Perspective


Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss cultural similarities and differences in the processes of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a complex construct without a consensual definition. Generally speaking, forgiveness is the process that involves a change in cognitions, emotions, motivations, and behaviors regarding the transgressor (R. D. Enright & R. P. Fitzgibbons, 2000). Scientific interest in forgiveness has rapidly increased in the recent years, but whether the conceptualizations and underling mechanisms of forgiveness are similar across cultures still remain unclear. A dynamic process model of forgiveness is proposed in this paper, which includes the sociocultural, cognitive, emotional, motivational, and behavioral aspects of forgiveness processes. Particular processes that are likely to differ across Eastern–Western cultures are identified

Key concepts:
  • “Forgiveness is viewed as an interpersonal construct (e.g., focus on the expression of forgiveness to the transgressor) in collectivistic cultures, whereas it is conceived as an intrapersonal construct (e.g., focus on the internal emotional process) in individualistic cultures” (p. 77).
  • Definition of forgiveness: A process of transformation of negative cognitions, emotions, and behaviors regarding the transgressor into positive ones.
  • In individualistic cultures, interpersonal transgression often generates perceptions of injustice; therefore, the motivations to forgive are restoring justice or personal healing. Conversely, collectivistic cultures may perceive interpersonal transgression as a threat to interpersonal harmony; therefore, their motivations to forgive are restoring and maintaining social harmony.
  • Analytical thinking prevails in Western cultures. Western perception and cognition focus exclusively on the focal object. In contrast, holistic thinking prevails in Eastern cultures. Eastern perception focuses on the broader context or field. Behavior is understood in terms of relationships, and it takes into account the interaction between the object and the surrounding field (Nisbett, 2007, as quoted by Fung and Ho, 2011, p. 80).
  • Attribution theory: “positive and benevolent attributions on the part of the victims lead to benevolent affective reactions (e.g. reduction of negative affects: anger, resentment; and increment of positive affects: sympathy, compassion, love), which in turn increase the likelihood of positive behavior toward the transgressor” (p. 80).
  • “Individuals who attribute an event to personal factors (e.g. personality, attitudes, character, or disposition) are less likely to forgive than those who attribute an event to situation factors (e.g. surrounding environment or social situation), because personal attribution holds a personal accountable for a given event, whereas contextual attribution is an explanation that takes the context into account” (p. 80).
  • Individualistic cultures are more likely to adhere to personal attribution for events, and collectivistic cultures are more likely to explain the same event with reference to contextual and historical factors.
  • Approach-avoidance tendencies also differ between individualistic and collectivistic cultures.“Forgiveness can be viewed as overcoming the avoidance motivations toward the harm doer, as well as providing the motivational foundation for approach behaviors” (e.g., problem solving) (Fincham, Beach, & Davila, 2004, as quoted in Ho and Fung, 2011, p. 82).

Reference
Ho, M. Y. & Fung, H. H. (2011). A dynamic process model of forgiveness: A cross-cultural perspective. Review of General Psychology, 15 (1), 77-84.

16. Therapeutic Stages of Forgiveness and Self-Forgiveness - GEORGE A. JACINTO and BEVERLY L. EDWARDS - Department of Social Work, Arkansas State University, State University, Arkansas, USA

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 21:423–437, 2011
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1091-1359 print/1540-3556 online
DOI: 10.1080/15433714.2011.531215

OVERVIEW: Forgiveness of other and self-forgiveness are important aspects of the grief process for many people. In the past, forgiveness had been limited to religious teachings and traditions, however in the last quarter of the 20th century, research among mental health practitioners focused on the mental health aspects of forgiveness and self-forgiveness (for example: Worthington, 1998; Zillman & Cantor, 1976; Darby & Schlenker, 1982). When assessing the biopsychosocial, spiritual aspects of clients it is important to assess the person’s readiness to work on forgiveness of others and self-forgiveness. Prior to the current scientific exploration of forgiveness, there was an absence of discussion about the efficacy of forgiveness in the various psychological theories of the early and mid-20th century. Forgiveness and self-forgiveness are common concerns among caregivers with loved ones who have experienced chronic illnesses and died.

Question 4
Question 4

Self-Forgiveness:The Stepchild of Forgiveness Research
Hall, J. H., & Fincham, F. D. (2005). Self-forgiveness: The stepchild of forgiveness research. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24 (5), 621-637.

Important Information
-self-forgiveness: emphasizes self-love and respect when you have done something wrong; recognize your intrinsic worth separate from the wrongdoing; foster compassion, generosity and love towards oneself; we are merely human
-become at peace with themselves and their behaviors, not to say that the behavior should be overlooked or is acceptable
-this requires a conscious effort to forgive yourself
-have to be careful because self-forgiveness can be conditional rather than interpersonal forgiveness which is unconditional
-consequences of not forgiving self may be more severe than not forgiving others
-we must first forgive ourselves before we can learn to forgive others
-real self-forgiveness occurs when you recognize you have done something wrong and you accept responsibility for it (requires a lot of inner strength
-positively associated with self-esteem and life satisfaction

Maio, G. R., Thomas, G., Fincham, F. D., & Carnelley, K. B. (2008). Unraveling the role of forgiveness in family relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94 (2), 307-319.

Important Information
-the meaning of forgiveness should depend on the people within that relationship because relationships provide different psychological needs
-what purpose does forgiveness serve?
-based on evolutionary theory, humans are more likely to forgive their children because they want to be good parents and continue gene replication
-more problems with communication in father-child relationships than mother-child relationships…less attention paid to forgiveness, greater detachment from fathers
-those children with lower levels of depression, anxiety and aggression were more likely to forgive their parents
-children were less likely to forgive if they thought their parent would repeat the offense
-difficult time for the children to perceive forgiveness from the father and same from the father to the child
-those children who reported higher levels of forgiveness more often felt that they had been forgiven
-in family relationships, forgiveness is important to the dynamic of that family
-increase in traits such as agreeableness and emotional stability
-these family behaviors set up prototypes or norms for behaviors in outside relationships (Bowlby) and personality traits observed later in life
Unraveling the role of forgiveness in family relationships

Wade, N. G. (2010). Introduction to the Special Issue on Forgiveness in Therapy. Journal Of Mental Health Counseling, 32(1), 1-4.
-develop empathy for the person who offended you

III. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (Video clips, podcasts, lectures, etc.)

  1. Biblical references
    1. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
      1. (New International Version, Matthew 5:44)
    2. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
      1. Colossians 3:13
    3. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
      1. Matthew 6:12
    4. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
      1. Matthew 6:14-15
  2. Corrie ten Boom
    1. Corrie ten Boom's family hid Jews from the Nazi's during World War 2.
    2. Her family was eventually exposed, and they were sent to Ravensbruk concentration camp.
    3. Most of her family died, but Corrie survived.
    4. After the war, she dedicated her live to forgiveness and reconciliation.
    5. This article details an encounter that she had in Munich.
    6. She had been speaking on forgiveness around the world, and had just finished a similar presentation in Munich.
    7. At the end of her talk, a German man approached her, and she instantly recognized him as one of the most cruel prison guards from Ravensbruk.
    8. He explained that he had realized his sin, and had asked for forgiveness.
    9. He asked if she, too, would forgive him.
    10. With much difficulty, Corrie ten Boom forgave this man.
    (2012) On the Question of God. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/voices/boom.html

From “Decide to Forgive” by Robert Mueller, former assistant secretary-general of the United Nations:
Decide to forgive
Resentment is poisonous
Resentment diminishes and devours the self.
Be the first to forgive,
To smile and to take the first step
And you will see happiness bloom
On the face of your human brother or sister.
Be always the first
Do not wait for others to forgive
For by forgiving
You become the master of fate
The fashioner of life
A doer of miracles.
To forgive is the highest,
Most beautiful form of love.
In return you will receive
Untold peace and happiness.
And here is the program for achieving a truly forgiving heart:
Sunday: Forgive yourself.
Monday: Forgive your family.
Tuesday: Forgive your friends and associates.
Wednesday: Forgive across economic lines within your own nation.
Thursday: Forgive across cultural lines within your own nation.
Friday: Forgive across political lines within your own nation.
Saturday: Forgive other nations.
Only the brave know how to forgive.
A coward never forgives.
It is not in his nature.



Reference:
*This article appeared in the “Dear Abby” column of the Intelligencer Journal. I clipped the article out, so am unable to provide the date that it appeared. I really appreciate how the "program for forgiveness" starts with forgiving ourselves and continues to grow larger and more outward in nature. It reminds me that in order to be able to forgive others, I first need to be able to forgive myself.

Five Strategies On How To Forgive

Scott, Elizabeth. (2011) Five Strategies On How To Forgive. Retrieved from http://stress.about.com/od/relationships/a/how_to_forgive.htm

Summary: This is a good short article that focuses on teaching good positive strategies on how to forgive. The five strategies are as follows:
  • Express Yourself
  • Look For the Positive
  • Cultivate Empathy
  • Protect Yourself and Move On
  • Get Help If You Need It

Golden Rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.
- Healing from Within: Spirituality and Mental Health:
-Spiritual Values
- Honesty
- Courage
- Tolerance
- Patience
http://www.miepvideos.org/Healing%20From%20within.pdf

Heartland Forgiveness Scale. (2012). Retrieved at http://www.heartlandforgiveness.com/

This information can be used and tied into the journal that I posted earlier:
Forgiveness, gratitude, and well-being: The mediating role of affect and beliefs.

Hampton, J. & Mruphy, J. (1988). Forgiveness and Mercy. Cambridge University Press, p.10-87

The part of the book that is referenced above takes a look at forgiveness from a biblical perspective. Connections are made to present day issues and conflicts as well as our American and World History. It is an interesting piece that elicits a unique approach and more solution focused to issues that face people instead of retaliation without thinking about their actions and the bigger picture.

Forgiveness and the Freedom of Letting Go

Forgiveness and the freedom of letting go [Web]. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D4VMZb8wLY

Summary: Forgiveness is a mental, emotional, and spiritual process of no longer feeling resentment or anger towards another person. This is a short, inspirational video on the key aspects and elements of learning to forgive.
“Forgiveness is a healing journey for both body and soul.” (Butterflygris, 2007)
“Forgiveness is a creative act that changes us from prisoners of the past to liberated people at peace with our memories. There is no future in the past. Non forgiveness keeps you in the struggle.” (Butterflygris, 2007)
“It is not forgetfulness, but it involves accepting the promise that the future can be more than dwelling on memories of past injury. When we forgive, we are willing to give up resentment, revenge, and obsession.” (Butterflygris, 2007)
“Forgiveness helps you make peace with your past; It creates the freedom to create a new future beginning now! It is liberation to free ourselves of things that clutter our lives, like pruning dead branches or like a snake shedding an old skin, we need to let go of what no longer serves or what no longer fits, so there is room for something that is new and alive.” (Butterflygris, 2007)
Forgiveness and the Freedom of Letting Go


Forgiveness, Good for your Health

Williams, S. (2007, March 13). Forgiveness, good for your health. Retrieved from http://sandrawilliams.suite101.com/forgiveness_an_empowering_gift-a16102

Summary: This article discusses the positive health benefits related to forgiveness. It explains how everyone has been hurt or betrayed by someone in their lives; however it is important to forgive. If you do not forgive others it becomes harder to forgive ourselves for things we have done in our past. The article addresses all of the positive benefits to learning how to forgive someone.
Forgiveness, Good for your Health


In this video, recorded at the 2011 APA Convention in Washington, DC, author Robert D. Enright talks about his book, The Forgiving Life: A Pathway to Overcoming Resentment and Creating a Legacy of Love.
Nakama2012. (2012, January 10). Interview with Dr. Robert Enright on leading the forgiving life [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube database.
http://youtu.be/duCXYEXssxI
  1. Provide link to file or embed on wiki
    1. Provide annotations/summaries of findings/relevance

Nietzsche, F. (1888). Twilight of the Idols. Retrieved from: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/38037.html
  1. "What does not kill me, makes me stronger" - Friedrich Nietzsche
  2. "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."

Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness
  1. Mayo Clinic Staff (2011). Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forgiveness/MH00131
    1. Hold on to anger or forgive and move forward
    2. Benefits: healthier relationships, less anxiety, greater spiritual and psychological well-being
    3. Not allowing your life to be defined by the hurt
    4. Reconciliation is not always plausible

Nine Steps to Forgiveness

By Fred Lusk

1. Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then, tell a couple of trusted people about your experience.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and no one else.
3. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciling with the person who upset you or condoning the action. In forgiveness you seek the peace and understanding that come from blaming people less after they offend you and taking those offenses less personally.
4. Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings, thoughts, and physical upset you are suffering now, not from what offended you or hurt you two minutes—or 10 years— ago.
5. At the moment you feel upset, practice stress management to soothe your body’s fight or flight response.
6. Give up expecting things from your life or from other people that they do not choose to give you. Remind yourself that you can hope for health, love, friendship, and prosperity, and work hard to get them. However, these are “unenforceable rules:” You will suffer when you demand that these things occur, since you do not have the power to make them happen.
7. Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met than through the experience that has hurt you.
8. Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge. Instead of focusing on your wounded feelings, and thereby giving power over you to the person who caused you pain, learn to look for the love, beauty, and kindness around you. Put more energy into appreciating what you have rather than attending to what you do not have.
9. Amend the way you look at your past so you remind yourself of your heroic choice to forgive

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/nine_steps_to_forgiveness

For all sections, please be sure to include relevant and correctly formatted citations.

http://www.internationalforgiveness.com/

-forgiveness is a choice
-







SANDBOX (Please Review These Resources and Consider Inclusion Above)







Chapter 2 "In Making Peace With Your Parents, psychiatrist Harold Bloomfield (1983) points out that many of us suffer frin psychological wounds as a result from unfinished business with out parents." (Croey and Corey, 2010, pg 82) For an individual to move on with his or her life, they must take charge and reflect upon what type of an enviroonment they want, and then determine what aspects they would like to change. A phrase that comes to mind is similar to what is modeled is sometimes what people do.

Chapter 2: Another quote that comes to mind is, "To be at peace with yourself, it is important to let go of resentments, to work through unresolved anger, and to stop balming others." (Corey and Corey, 2010, pg.82) An individual cannot move forward in his or her life without taking responsibility of letting go of things in his or her past that cannot be changed. The past cannot always be forgotten, but it can be forgiven.


1. Forgiveness
The authors Corey and Corey say this in regards to forgiveness; “Forgiveness is not a one time event; rather it is a process that involves experiencing successive stages of healing” (as originally cited in Mc Collough & Witvliet, 2002).
“Forgiveness can soften the heart, drain the bitterness, and dissolve your guilt” (p.55).
“It is not just other people that we need to forgive—we nee to forgive ourselves” (Corey & Corey, 2008, p.205)
“Most people believe that when you forgive someone, you are doing something for them. The truth is, when you forgive, you are doing it for yourself. As it relates to forgiveness you must give up what you do not want in order to make room for what you do want” (p. 168).
“Forgiveness is somewhat like, “spiritual pruning” on the soul. It cuts away the rotten parts so that there is room for healthy growth” ( as originally cited by, The Art of Dying, Weenolsen, 1996).



Corey & Corey quote:
"An unforgiven injury is a ballast that holds you down from a destined flight. When you let go, you will soar." From The Art of Dying by Weenolson, 1996
(Corey & Corey, 2010, p. 206)

I foI found this article, and I thought it was a good piece to put into this questions. It is retrieved from www.**mayoclinic.com**/health/**forgiveness**/ MH00131(2011).


This is a short list of what forgiveness is and is not not based upon surveys of different religious persepctives, according to the article. It was retrieved from
http://www.forgiveness-institute.org/html/about_forgiveness.htm, on May 1, 2011.


T
Thi
Excerpts from this article: Hodgson, Lisa K & Eleanor H. Wertheim.(2007) Does good emotion management aid forgiving? Multiple dimensions of empathy, emotion management and forgiveness of self and others. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(6), 931-951.

"The ability to forgive is considered important in the successful maintenance of relationships."
"While forgiveness of others is distinct from reconciliation and may not necessarily lead to resuming a relationship, it can be argued that forgiveness can lay the groundwork for reconciliation."


"One influential theoretical
formulation has been Enright and Fitzgibbons’s (2000) process model of
forgiveness, which describes what needs to occur for forgiveness to take
place. This four-phase model includes an uncovering phase which involves
confronting the emotional pain resulting from an offence; a decision phase
in which the victim realizes that the decision to forgive may be personally
beneficial; a work phase where reframing facilitates perspective taking,
empathy and compassion; and an outcome phase in which the victim gains
some emotional relief, and which may promote increased compassion
towards others. Thus, a key part of the process of forgiveness is seen as
confronting the emotions associated with a hurtful experience, working
with them, and eventually letting go of the negative emotions toward the
transgressor and replacing them with more positive emotions (Enright &
Fitzgibbons, 2000; McCullough, 2000; Malcolm et al., 2005). Consistent with
this process, Emmons (2000) has proposed that forgiving individuals have
well-developed emotion-management skills that allow them to constructively
work through their negative emotional responses to transgressions."


"Given the pivotal role that emotions are seen as playing in forgiveness, it
appears that a general ability to manage emotions is likely to be important
in the process of forgiveness."


" The ability to manage one’s emotions
represents a higher-order component of what has sometimes been called
emotional intelligence (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2004), which involves the
ability to recognize, assimilate, understand, and regulate emotions. Those
who are skilled emotion managers first attend to their emotional experience,
which can lead to clarity about which emotions are being experienced.
Finally, skilled emotion managers are able to regulate and work through
their emotions instead of being overwhelmed by them."




Maslow’s Self Actualization
Base: Physical and Survival needs
Safety Needs
Love needs
Ego and Esteem Needs
Top: Need for Self actualization
Self actualizing people are willing to make choices for themselves and they are free to reach their potential. This freedom entails a sense of detachment and a need for privacy, creativity, and spontaneity, and an ability to accept responsibility for choices. (Corey & Corey, 2010 p. 20)

2. 2. Article: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 2007; 24; 931 DOI: 10.1177/0265407507084191Does good emotion management aid forgiving? Multiple dimensions of empathy, emotion management and forgiveness of self and others Lisa K. Hodgson and Eleanor H. Wertheim,

The online version of this article can be found at:

http://spr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/24/6/931

---Tangey et al.’s (2005) “suggestion that forgiveness of self may at times be a self-serving act while forgiving others is more altruistic” (Hodgson & Wertheim, 2007, p 944).
---Perspective Taking---tendency to adopt another’s psychological point of view, Empathic Concern---assesses compassion and concern for others, and Personal Distress---measures feelings in response to tense interpersonal situations (subscales of empathy)---The Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Hodgson & Wertheim, 2007, p.944). My occasional inability to forgive reflects my own insecurities.

The following is an article by the staff at the Mayo Clinic that I found helpful. It is called FORGIVENESS: LETTING GO OF GRUDGES AND BITTERNESS. "When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold onto anger, resentment, and thoughts of revenge - or embrace forgiveness and move forward."
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forgiveness/mh00131


This article was written by a Buddhist physician and is titled HOW TO FORGIVE OTHERS. It includes four sections: Why is forgiveness hard? What does it mean to forgive? How does forgiving others benefit us? and Finding the compassion to forgive.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201002/how-forgive-others


"The Foundation for Inner Peace use 7 criteria for defining forgiveness: (a) a shift in perception and vision, (b) a shift in beliefs and attitudes, (c) a shift in affects, (d) a shift in self-empowerment and self-responsibility, (e) a shift in choice, decision and intention, (f) a shift from duality consciousness to oneness consciousness, and (g) a shift in the recognition of the core qualities of a person. From this perspective forgiveness occurs when a person lets go of emotionally backed judgments, grievances, attack thoughts and beliefs toward themselves and others so that they can perceive the goodness, worth, magnificence, innocence, love, and peace in both themselves and another person simultaneously" (Toussaint & Friedman, 2009, p. 636).
Toussaint, L. & Friedman, P. (2009). Forgiveness, gratitude, and well-being: The mediating role of affect and beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 635-654.




Riek, B. M. (2010). TRANSGRESSIONS, GUILT, AND FORGIVENESS: A MODEL OF SEEKING FORGIVENESS. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 38(4), 246-254. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
This article discusses forgiveness from the perspective of the transgressor, which is usually not the person being forgiven in a traumatic event, but rather the person who needs to be punished. It would be interesting to discuss forgiveness from the perspective of one of us doing something to wrong another person (especially one that is close to us) and then working on being forgiven or especially forgiving ourselves. Here is a PDF of the article:


Forgiveness, Health, and Well-Being:


Worthington, E., Witvliet, C., Pietrini, P., & Miller, A. (2007). Forgiveness, health, and well-being: A review of evidence for emotional versus decisional forgiveness, dispositional forgivingness, and reduced unforgiveness. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 30//(4), 291-302.


Two key types of forgiveness were discussed in this compilation of existing data linking forgiveness to health and well-being: (1) decisional forgiveness, and (2) emotional forgiveness. Decisional forgiveness is described as a behavioral intention to resist an unforgiving stance and to respond differently toward a transgressor. Emotional forgiveness is the when an individual replaces negative, unforgiving emotions with positive, other-oriented emotions. It was found that although both types of forgiveness positively affect heath, emotional forgiveness brings about psychophysiological changes and more directly affects health.


This article gathers research on forgiving others, as well as forgiving oneself. The article also states that while research sometimes differs on what the definition of forgiveness is, it is clear what forgiveness is not. “Forgiveness is not excusing, exonerating, justifying, condoning, pardoning, or reconciling” (p. 292).


Does our moral intelligence play a part in our ability to forgive others? Moral intelligence refers to the ability to apply ethical principles to goals, values and actions. It is the ability to know right from wrong and behave ethically. Moral intelligence is newer and less studied than the more established cognitive, emotional and social intelligences, but has great potential to improve our understanding of learning and behavior (Coles, 1997; Hass, 1998). Lennick and Kiel define moral intelligence as "the mental capacity to determine how universal human principles - like those embodied by the "Golden Rule" - should be applied to our personal values, goals, and actions" (2005, p. 7). Their construct of moral intelligence consists of four competencies related to integrity, three to responsibility, two to forgiveness and one to compassion (Lennick and Kiel, 2005). The four competencies of integrity are 1) acting consistently with principles, values, and beliefs, 2) telling the truth, 3) standing up for what is right, and 4) keeping promises. Responsibility's three competencies are 1) taking personal responsibility, 2) admitting mistakes and failures, and 3) embracing responsibility for serving others. Forgiveness involves 1) letting go one's own mistakes and 2) letting go of others' mistakes, and compassion is actively caring about others.
Clarken, R.H., (March 20, 2009). Moral Intelligence in the Schools. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED508485.pdf


Meditative Prayer and Forgiveness:
· “A 2011 study tested the theoretical model of the relationship between meditative prayer and interpersonal forgiveness. Significant direct effects were observed between meditative prayer and hope, hope and adult attachment, and adult attachment and forgiveness (Jankowski & Sandage, 2011, p. 1).
· Prayer and interpersonal forgiveness are both central practices in many spiritual and religious traditions and interrelated means of enacting one’s relationship to the sacred (Jankowski & Sandage, 2011, p. 1).
· The findings of this study advance existing understandings of the relationship between prayer and forgiveness by offering empirical support for the proposed mechanisms by which meditative prayer facilitates forgiveness. Meditation seems to increase hope thereby increasing felt attachment security, which then enhances forgiveness…Utilizing meditation as a means of actualizing the client-deity system, promoting hope, and increasing attachment security in the here-and-now relationship in the therapy room may be means of promoting interpersonal forgiveness.
Jankowski, P. J., & Sandage, S. J. (2011). Meditative prayer, hope, adult attachment, and forgiveness: A proposed model. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, doi:10.1037/a0021601


Forgiving and Forgetting:
· There is agreement that forgiving is not forgetting or pardoning (Cosgrove & Konstam, 2008, p. 1).
· Willingness to forgive and be forgiven was identified as one of the 10 most important characteristics of long-term relationships (Cosgrove & Konstam, 2008, p. 2).
· The association between forgiving and forgetting has a long history as is evident by the well-known idiom “forgive and forget”…the implicit assumption is that forgetting, if it precedes forgiving, is always evidence of underlying pathology or a dysfunctional coping style (Cosgrove & Konstam, 2008, p. 5-6).
· The use of forgetting in order to preserve the relationship may be helpful only insofar as the individual feels that he or she is making an active choice of his or her own volition. In such instances, forgiveness may be perceived as an act of personal power (Cosgrove & Konstam, 2008, p. 6).
Cosgrove, L., & Konstam, V. (2008). Forgiveness and Forgetting: Clinical Implications for Mental Health Counselors. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 30(1), 1-13. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.



Forgiveness in Family Relationships
· The effort that people put into forgiveness raises an important question about what forgiveness accomplishes. The authors believe that the answer to this question is inextricably linked to the relationship context in which forgiveness occurs. They conducted a study that consisted of 2 laboratory sessions 1 year apart, with 114 families (each including 2 parents and 1 child) that completed a new measure of family forgiveness (Maio, Thomas, Fincham, Carnelley, 2008, p. 307).
· Some findings from the study –
o Children’s forgiveness was particularly sensitive to whether the transgressor repeated an offense or apologized.
o Children were less likely to forgive when they perceived tendencies for either parent to repeat an offense ((Maio, Thomas, Fincham, Carnelley, 2008, p. 316).
· Longitudinal data pointed out that forgiveness predicted higher conscientiousness (fathers and children), emotional stability (fathers and children), agreeableness (mothers and children), and extraversion (fathers and mothers) 1 year after participants reported greater forgiveness of a parent or child…general pattern indicated that forgiveness of another family member increases levels of the traits (Maio, Thomas, Fincham, Carnelley, 2008, p. 317).
Maio, G.R., Thomas, G., Fincham, F.D., & Carnelley, K.B. (2008). Unraveling the role of forgiveness in family relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(2), 307-319. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.94.2.307





Forgiveness: Who Does It and How Do They Do It?

http://www.jstor.org/stable/info/20182741?&Search=yes&searchText=forgiveness&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dforgiveness%26acc%3Don%26wc%3Don&prevSearch=&item=2&ttl=22800&returnArticleService=showArticleInfo

Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 10, No. 6 (Dec., 2001), pp. 194-197


Forgiveness is a suite of prosocial motivational changes that occurs after a person has incurred a transgression. People who are inclined to forgive their transgressors tend to be more agreeable, more emotionally stable, and, some research suggests, more spiritually or religiously inclined than people who do not tend to forgive their transgressors. Several psychological processes appear to foster or inhibit forgiveness. These processes include empathy for the transgressor, generous attributions and appraisals regarding the transgression and transgressor, and rumination about the transgression. Interpreting these findings in light of modern trait theory would help to create a more unified understanding of how personality might influence forgiveness.

Some Quotes on Forgiveness from Joyce Meyer (2001)

· “Forgiveness is a gift given to those who do not deserve it” (p. 135).
· “It is not possible to have good emotional health while harboring bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness” (p. 138).

On forgiving yourself:

· “There is only one thing that can be done about the past, and that is forget it” (p. 146).

Meyer, M. (2001). Good morning, this is God!: Teachings, quotes, personal insights, and humor from one of today’s leading ministers. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, Inc.

Some Quotes on Forgiving One’s Spouse
From A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage by Scott Stanley, Daniel Trathen, Savanna McCain, and Milt Bryan (2002)

· “In forgiving you are attempting to commit the event to the past. You are agreeing that you will not bring it up in the middle of future arguments or conflicts. You both recognize that this commitment to forgive does not mean that the offended will feel no pain or effects from what happened. But you’re moving on” (p. 216).


On apologizing when you do not believe you have done anything wrong…

· “You can still ask your partner to forgive you. Remember, forgiveness is a separate issue from the reasons the infraction or mistake occurred. Even if you don’t agree that you did anything wrong, you can choose to ask your partner to forgive you (to release you for it)…” (p. 215).

Stanley, S., Trathen, D., McCain, S., & Bryan, M. (2002). A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Forgiveness with spousal abuse
Reed and Enright (2006) note that “the impact of spousal psychological abuse, including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, learned helplessness, and post-traumatic stress symptoms” are all symptoms of spousal abuse that can be exacerbated by “accusatory suffering, which includes a debilitating resentment and victim status” (p. 926).
“The robust findings of this study suggest that forgiveness can have a general effect on emotional regulation, reducing anxiety, and depression while also increasing self esteem and healthy decision making” (p. 927).
Reed G. L. & Enright R. D., (2006). The Effects of Forgiveness Therapy on Depression, Anxiety, and Posttraumatic Stress for Women After Spousal Emotional Abuse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 74(5), 920-929.



Forgiveness Therapy: The Context and Conflict. Lamb, Sharon; Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Vol 25(1), Spr, 2005. pp. 61-80. [Journal Article]
Abstract: This paper is a critique of forgiveness therapy that focuses on the cultural contexts in which forgiveness therapy arose, with a special focus on the movement to address the victimization of women. I describe forgiveness as described by forgiveness therapy advocates and the moral and non-moral benefits claimed on its behalf. I then describe the cultural context that may explain the popularity of this form of therapy at this historical moment; the first context is a broad cultural context, looking at ideologies and practices that support forgiveness as a therapeutic intervention; the second context is the more narrow context of a movement within the field of psychology called "positive psychology" that also supports forgiveness interventions; and the third context, is the ideologies and narratives around victimization and in particular victimization against women that have led to an application of forgiveness therapy for victims of abuse (Freedman & Enright, 1996). After describing these three contexts in which forgiveness therapy arose, I present a critique from a feminist as well as a broader humanistic/psychodynamic perspective. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Despite multiple attempts, I was unable to download the PDF file for the article. It can be accessed at http://ehis.ebscohost.com.navigator-millersville.passhe.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&hid=5&sid=4e8cfbdb-8465-4c44-82d6-5f88546d7653%40sessionmgr14

Quotes from the article:
“Forgiveness therapy involves the processing of an experience in which one has been wounded with the end of being able to forgive the wrongdoer. Process components involve expressing anger, examining the perpetrator from an empathic viewpoint, considering the choice of forgiveness, deepening the feeling of forgiveness and so on” (Lamb, 2005, p. 64).

Lamb (2005) discussed a few research studies on forgiveness:
-A study by Toussaint, et al (2001) “tentatively showed that being a forgiving person in general (not forgiving a specific wrongdoing) was related to individuals’ ratings of their physical health” (as cited in Lamb, 2005, p. 66).
-In a study by Witvliet, Ludwig, & Vander Laan, (2001), “71 college students showed that thinking about one’s hurts and grudges raises your blood pressure while imagining forgiving lowers it” (as cited in Lamb, 2005, p. 66).
-Lawler et all (2003) claim that “Those who tend to forgive transgressions report fewer physician visits” (as cited in Lamb, 2005, p. 66).

“Forgiveness therapy locates the problem in the issue that the client wants to forgive but can’t, and in this way, redirects the focus from the wrong that was committed” (Lamb, 2005, p. 67).
“Forgiveness therapies acknowledge the anger is often justified, but argue, for the benefit of the individual, it is better to let that anger go” (Lamb, 2005, p. 67).

Personal benefits to forgiveness therapy:
1. “Inner release refers to the release from negative feelings and compulsive thoughts about the act that wounded one” (Lamb, 2005, p. 72)
2. Release from vindictive feelings
Enright & Fitzgibbons (2000, p. 16) report “improved stability of mood” and “improved ability to control angry feelings with less overreaction or misdirection of anger” (as cited in Lamb, 2005, p. 73).
3. Can improve your health, not only due to relieving stress, but also because research shows that “expression of anger to an audience that acknowledges and accepts it is also good for one’s health” (Lamb, 2005, p. 74).
4. Waldrond-Skinner (1998) writes, “forgiveness acts as a temporary agent of empowerment because it dramatically changes the balance of power within the relationship in some mysterious way” (as cited in Lamb, 2005, p. 74).

I foI
I fouI found an article called, “Investigating the place of forgiveness within the Positive Youth Development paradigm. When reading this article I found interesting points regarding forgiveness and how research has demonstrated that forgiveness is associated with lower rates of delinquency and physical and psychological indicators of health. It also stated that forgiveness could promote development in adolescence as well as forgiveness being considered a human strength.

http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&hid=124&sid=926bb835-13b8-4ccd-ae27-667c3f07c741%40sessionmgr112__



Klatt, J., & Enright, R. (2009). Investigating the Place of Forgiveness within the Positive Youth Development Paradigm. Journal of Moral Education, 38(1), 35-52. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Forgiving an Ex-Spouse
Rye, M. S., Folck, C. D., Heim, T. A., Olszewski, B. T., & Traina, E. (2004). Forgiveness of an Ex-Spouse: How Does It Relate to Mental Health Following a Divorce?. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 41(3-4), 31-51. doi:10.1300/J087v41n03_02

Abstract: This study examined the relationship between forgiveness of an ex-spouse and post-divorce adjustment. Participants (N= 199) were recruited from community singles organizations and church-based divorce recovery groups in several Midwestern cities. Forgiveness was related to several measures of mental health after controlling for the effects of demographic/background variables. Specifically, both Forgiveness (Absence of Negative) and Forgiveness (Presence of Positive) were positively correlated with Existential Well-Being. Forgiveness (Absence of Negative) predicted Existential Well-Being beyond Forgiveness (Presence of Positive) but not vice versa. Forgiveness (Absence of Negative) was also positively correlated with Religious Well-Being and negatively correlated with Depression, State Anger, and Trait Anger. The majority of participants believed that forgiveness of one's ex-spouse is important for emotional healing following a divorce. No differences were found between Protestants and Catholics regarding perceived importance of forgiveness or self-reported forgiveness of their ex-spouse. Religious affiliation moderated the relationship between Forgiveness (Presence of Positive) and Existential Well-Being. Study implications are discussed.

Summary/Thoughts: Divorce has been a common thing in my life and that seems to be the growing trend among many people that I meet. In some cases, I have forgiven and in others I have not. However, I find myself wishing that I could forgive more because I (like many of my family members) do hold grudges toward certain people. If only I (and those like me) could have a release of emotions. We might be better off. Rye, Folck, Heim, Olszewski, & Traina (2004) stated “It is not surprising that forgiveness of others relates negatively to anger because part of the definition of forgiveness involves letting go of feelings of anger and hostility” (p. 46). To relieve ourselves of this seemingly eternal frustration through forgiveness could be a great burden lifted off of our shoulders.


Self-Forgiveness, Depression, and Self-Blame
Wohl, M. A., DeShea, L., & Wahkinney, R. L. (2008). Looking within: Measuring state self-forgiveness and its relationship to psychological well-being.
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 40(1), 1-10. doi:10.1037/0008-400x.40.1.1.1

Abstract: Although considerable empirical attention has recently focused on forgiveness, less work has been done on examining self-forgiveness. A major stumbling block for self-forgiveness research has been the lack of a measure to assess self-forgiveness for specific transgressions. This article reports the development of the State Self-Forgiveness Scales and the test of a model of self-forgiveness' relation to psychological well-being in the context of the unwanted end of a romantic relationship. In Study 1, factor analysis revealed a 2-factor structure to the self-forgiveness data. Study 2 found that self-blame predicted depressive affect to the extent that participants forgave the self. The implications of state self-forgiveness for both basic research and therapy are discussed.

Key points:
  • Defined as: “A positive attitudinal shift in the feelings, actions, and beliefs about the self following a self-perceived transgression or wrongdoing committed by the self” (p. 2).
  • “When people self-forgive, their feelings, actions, and beliefs about the self become more positive. For example, people begin to like themselves again, put themselves down less, and believe themselves to be worthy of affection from others” (p. 8).
  • Researchers found that the “[Self-Forgiving Feelings and Actions] subscale significantly mediated the relationship between self-blame and depressive affect” meaning that if a person can forgive him/herself, positive affect should increase as the person begins to blame themselves less (p. 8).



An inspirational example of choices and forgiveness from someone who never received an apology:
Dr. Edith Eva Eger was a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. At one point she weighed only 40 pounds, but chose not to turn toward cannibalism, as others had. She chose to eat grass.
She lost her family to the camps and even had her back broken by a guard, but chooses not to hate. (Corey & Corey, 2010, p. 377)
“If I hated, they would be in charge, not me.” ~Dr. Edith Eva EgerFILE: