The Nature of Forgiveness

Mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us, instead of allowing anger toward them to eat away at us, is the course of action recommended by most psychologists. An exception to the belief that burying the hatchet brings peace to the soul may be sexual abuse: Some victims of these crimes are empowered when given permission to not forgive.

Recent Posts on Forgiveness

The Secret to Keeping Your Cool When You’re Really Mad

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on September 30, 2015 Feeling It
Anger costs us a lot, but it's also helpful. Here's a science-based secret to reaping the good while avoiding the bad.

How to Practice Mindfulness – 5 Tips No One Has Told You

Mindfulness is a paradox. It’s the easiest thing in the world and the hardest thing in the world. But, you can cultivate your mindfulness. Here are 5 tips to find success with your mindfulness practice, whether you are new to mindfulness or someone who has been experiencing some hiccups in your practice.

Secrets of a Long and Happy Marriage

By Aldo Civico Ph.D. on September 28, 2015 Turning Point
How do you keep the love tank full? Discover the secrets of long and happy marriages.

Negative Spiritual Beliefs Can Sabotage Your Well-Being

By Christopher Bergland on September 24, 2015 The Athlete's Way
New research shows that people who believe that a higher power or "God" is punishing them with an illness tend to have significantly poorer health outcomes.

What I Learned from Baseball and Yogi Berra

By Rita Watson MPH on September 23, 2015 With Love and Gratitude
Despite his 14 year feud with George Steinbrenner, Yogi Berra is remembered as a man who embraced friendship and compassion for his teammates.

Opening the Medicine Box in Your Mind

By Beth Darnall PhD on September 22, 2015 Less Pain, Fewer Pills
In this 25 minute YouTube video Dr. Darnall discusses the science of how to "Open the Medicine Box in Your Mind" to control pain and improve wellness! Learn about the latest in pain psychology research, techniques and tips you can use today!

Effective Apologies in 3 Easy Steps

Are you tired of hearing "I'm sorry" without any meaning or feeling to it? Do your apologies seem to lack weight? Try this three-part approach to mending things.

Gratitude as Emotion: 4 Challenges to Forgiveness

By Rita Watson MPH on September 21, 2015 With Love and Gratitude
Does gratitude dissipate when we are angry or sad? And if so, perhaps forgiveness is the bridge between the gratitude of science and the gratitude of emotion.

Accusing an Innocent Child of a Major Crime

By Carrie Barron M.D. on September 21, 2015 The Creativity Cure
Punishing a person with a strong conscience or a child with unusual gifts of creativity, self expression or empathy because of mindless misunderstanding can cause serious damage. Understanding who someone is as well as what they do or have done is important for effective intervention. Rigid rule following can backfire..

5 Reasons We Play the Blame Game

When something goes wrong in your life, is your first reaction to blame someone else? If so, you’re engaging in the very common behavior of the blame game. Unfortunately, there are no winners in this game, so knowing the 5 reasons for why you do this will benefit your relationships.

Should You Forgive?

Forgiveness can be impossible. It can also be freeing. Here's how to make it work for you.

The Art of the Non-Apology

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on September 16, 2015 Good Thinking
When the hosts of the talk news show The View mocked Miss Colorado's monolog about her work with Alzheimer's patients, they faced a backlash of angry viewers. So they responded with a non-apology. Here's what they should have done instead.

Blame It on the Boogie?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 09, 2015 In Excess
Psychological research has shown that dancing can have substantial benefits for physical and mental health such as decreased depression and anxiety, and increased physical and psychological wellbeing. However, there are also a number of studies that have claimed that dancing can possibly be addictive.

On Wound Collectors

By Joe Navarro M.A. on September 06, 2015 Spycatcher
What do many mass murderers have in common? Something many see but fail to recognize in advance.

Why Blame the Brain When the Problem Is in the Neck?

When a patient complains about depression, a doctor typically focuses on a brain chemistry defect. But other organs can actually be the source of the problem.

Political Discourse in the Age of Narcissism

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on August 31, 2015 Shame
In this Age of Narcissism, political discourse increasingly rejects rational thought and respectful argument, relying instead on typical defenses against narcissistic injury -- indignation, blame, and contempt -- to turn the opponent into a "loser."

5 Ways to Move on From an Ex You Still Love

Nothing can keep you from moving on to a better future than a lingering relationship wound. While time is ultimately the best of all healers there are some concrete steps you can take that will facilitate the healing process.

Forgiveness, Acceptance, Compassion -- and Suicide

I don’t write these words -- acceptance, forgiveness, compassion -- as if they are tiny words, like ‘it’ or ‘to.’ They are enormous words, like ‘and’ or ‘but.’ In them lies tremendous potential, so much unknown.

On Grudges and the Importance of Letting Go

Forgiveness is the most frequently cited remedy for ridding oneself of a grudge and moving forward with life. If you find yourself willing to let go of your grudge but held back by your negative feelings and inability to forgive the wrong-doer, explore these five steps to identify what’s in your way of letting go, and how-to finally release the negativity from your life.

The Neuroscience of Trust

Neuroscientists have identified specific brain regions associated with trust.

The 3 Essential Pieces of an Effective Apology

People make mistakes all the time. Not just bad people, or weak people. All people. Our mistakes are what make us human. And even when we don’t think that we’ve made a mistake, other people will often find errors in our ways. We human beings are walking offenders.

Agri-therapy Helps Vets With PTSD

By Eric Newhouse on August 12, 2015 Invisible Wounds
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Eric Grandon still suffers from PTSD, but he's finding that farming keeps him focused. His goal is to use his farm to help other vets find peace after coming home from war.

What It Really Means When Someone's "Dead to You"

From time to time, people “cut others off.” This happens in all kinds of social spheres. Evolutionary psychology can help us understand why. It can also help us understand how to do better than that …

Going the Distance through Fertility Treatment

Learn some suggestions on how to become your own best coach through the marathon of fertility treatment.

A Riddle For All Ages

By Kaja Perina on August 03, 2015 Brainstorm
When my son was old enough to understand the basic concept of infinity (but hardly its nuance), he presented me with a “trick riddle.”

How Are You Portraying Yourself When Using Social Media?

When did vitriol become a national pastime and filling our social media feeds with hatred become de rigeur? Has initially greeting someone we don't understand (or even that we don't agree with) with kindness become a thing of the past?

There Must Be a Good Reason

A game to play with yourself before you start hating people.

Game of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is good. Yet, it is not always forthcoming. This should tell us something about human psychology.

The Benefits of a Trauma-Sensitive Approach to Healing Shame

I have created a compassion cure program for former victims of trauma that includes: self-understanding, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-kindness, and self-encouragement. This article focuses on the first of these five components of self-compassion.

Ben Affleck: Can You Forgive a Betrayer?

By Jane Greer Ph.D. on July 16, 2015 Shrink Wrap
Can your partner change?