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Forgiveness has been held up as the gold standard of recovery from interpersonal injuries. We have been taught that forgiveness is good for us and that good people forgive. In real life, however, hurt parties often find that they can't or won't forgive, particularly when the offender is unrepentant or dead. This course will reframe Genuine Forgiveness as an intimate dance, a hard-won transaction, which asks as much of the offender as it does of the hurt party. You will learn to help offenders perform bold, humble, heartfelt acts of repair to earn forgiveness. You will also learn to help hurt parties release their obsessive preoccupation with the injury and create opportunities for the offender to make good. As an alternative to forgiveness, a self-healing process called Acceptance will be described, along with 10 concrete steps to rise above the violation and make peace with the past.
Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., ABPP, is author of How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To and After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful. She is a recipient of the Connecticut Psychological Association's Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology and has been in private practice for close to three decades, currently in Westport, CT.
Session 1: Define 4 approaches to healing: 2 dysfunctional and 2 healthy • Define Cheap Forgiveness • Advantages and disadvantages of Cheap Forgiveness • Describe the profile of the cheap forgiver
Session 2: Define the Non-forgiver • Advantages and disadvantages of the non-forgiver • Describe the profile of the non-forgiver
Session 3: Define Acceptance • Specify 10 steps of Acceptance with clinical case examples
Session 4: Define Genuine Forgiveness • Specify exactly what offenders must do to earn forgiveness • Specify exactly what hurt parties must do to grant forgiveness
1. Debunk popular assumptions about forgiveness.
2. Explain Acceptance as an alternative to forgiveness
3. Compare four approaches to forgiveness
4. Identify concrete guidelines for helping offenders earn forgiveness and for helping hurt parties foster forgiveness