ISBN-10: 0195145208

ISBN-13: 9780195145205

For psychologists and psychotherapists, the idea of forgiveness has been having fun with a considerable style. for his or her sufferers, it holds the promise of "moving on" and therapeutic emotional wounds. The forgiveness of others - and of one's self - would appear to provide the type of peace that psychotherapy by myself hasn't ever been in a position to supply. during this quantity, psychologist Sharon Lamb and thinker Jeffrie Murphy argue that forgiveness has been authorized as a healing approach with out critical, severe exam. They intend this quantity to be a better, serious examine a few of these questions: why is forgiveness so renowned now? What precisely does it entail? while may it's applicable for a therapist to not suggest forgiveness? while is forgiveness in reality harmful?

Lamb and Murphy have gathered many previously-unpublished chapters by means of either philosophers and psychologists that research what's at stake in the event you are injured, those that injure them, and society typically while this type of perform turns into usual. a few chapters supply cautionary stories approximately forgiveness treatment, whereas others paint complicated snap shots of the social, cultural, and philosophical components that come into play with forgiveness. the worth of this quantity lies not just in its presentation of a nuanced view of this healing development, but additionally as a common critique of psychotherapy, and as a important testimony of the theoretical and useful probabilities in an interdisciplinary collaboration among philosophy and medical psychology.

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Extra info for Before Forgiving: Cautionary Views of Forgiveness in Psychotherapy

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The latter may be (as therapists often urge) all the more necessary because one must always be with oneself. Insofar as forgiveness is a matter of attitude, an aggrieved and unforgiving attitude toward oneself may be all the more disruptive to one's life than a similar attitude toward an often absent (or avoidable) other. On TO UNDERSTAND ALL ISTO FORGIVE ALL—OR IS IT? 35 the other hand, there may be something unseemly in being too ready to forgive oneself—at least for wrongs done to others. This connects with the two faces of responsibility: taking responsibility can involve forward-looking commitments to deal appropriately with the consequences of wrongs and it can involve backward-looking acceptance of blame for shortcomings.

Therapy depends upon the hope that attitudes can be changed—if not by a direct act of will, by a variety of techniques that give varying place to reason, thought, and argument. Spinoza's therapy for anger, and for passive emotions generally, involves seeking wider understanding, ultimately sub specie aeternitatis (under the aspect of eternity). So the prescriptive advice mentioned at the start of this essay is not new, and modern therapeutic movements are picking up on a philosophical, as well as a Christian, theme.

Thus understood, as Murphy points out, forgiveness is only properly in place where resentment is initially properly in place (otherwise, there is nothing that really needs forgiving), and justified 20 WHEN FORGIVING DOESN'T MAKE SENSE resentment is restricted to responsible wrongdoing (1982, p. 506). (More on the nature of resentment in a bit. ) Excuses generally undermine charges of responsibility, and so may put both initial resentment and subsequent forgiveness out of place. But this need not always be so.

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