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

Why Resentment Lasts—and How to Defeat It

Resentment is a formidable foe. Are you willing to defeat it by trying these 5 approaches?

How Intention Shapes Blame

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on March 24, 2017 in ExperiMentations
We tend to blame easily, at our peril. Blaming can take the place of thinking, and lead to vicious cycles. Understanding how blame works can help us make better choices.

The War is ON, and Nature Will Not Lose—People Will

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in The Green Mind
Who will be the losers of Trump’s war on nature? Humans.

A Single Act of Amnesty: the Heart of Com-passion

By Gregg Levoy on March 20, 2017 in Passion!
Passion comes from a word meaning "to suffer," and compassion means shared suffering. As with last month’s post, this month's features a second story about the power of com-passion

Guilt Me Not

Stop the guilt talk in your head.

Blame It on the Autopilot

By David Ludden Ph.D. on March 12, 2017 in Talking Apes
We pass our days in routine and habit, only vaguely aware of our actions. So why do we assume others know exactly what they’re doing?

Five Forgiveness Exercises for Couples

Do you want a stronger relationship with your partner? If so, you might try these five forgiveness exercises.

When Silence Is Deafening

By Kaja Perina on March 07, 2017 in Brainstorm
A tiny act or calculation, including the decision to keep a secret, can eventually and invisibly sculpt a person’s relationships, even his or her identity.

Hate: Learning and Unlearning It

By Brenda Berger Ph.D. on March 06, 2017 in Hearts and Minds
At a time in America when anger is exploding into aggression and division, it's worth thinking about hatred in ourselves and ways to surmount it.
Support PDX/Flickr

More Fully Living in the Present and Loving in Relationships

In spite of the spotlights shining down at the podium, I could make out her face through the dimly lit houselights...

Non-Judgment Day

By Sophie Sabbage on March 03, 2017 in The Cancer Whisperer
What if beauty is a quality of being, a verb not a noun?

HOCD: a Clinical Disorder vs. Pseudoscience

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sounds scary, but isn't caused by porn, and has nothing to do with straight people who get turned on by homosexual stimuli.
Worawut17 / AdobeStock

When You Can't Forgive

Forgiveness is natural when certain conditions are met. But in the absence of one or more of these, it’s not your fault if you can’t get past it.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle

“I don’t know what the problem is”, Mark told me. “No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, it seems that my efforts are never good enough.

How Trump Takes Advantage of the Psychology of Blame

By Robert Klitzman M.D. on February 23, 2017 in Am I My Genes?
To make sense of complex problems, we often seek simple story lines. These often involve blaming someone, assigning physical and moral cause. Trump takes advantage of this trait.

Be Responsible For Your Relationships

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Emotional Fitness
We are 100 percent responsible for our relationships. We create them in our minds and hearts, and we have a hand in the twists and turns they take.

Forgiveness: 3 Misconceptions

By Robert Enright, Ph.D. on February 18, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Forgiving others can be misunderstood, preventing psychological healing.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Coping with Parental Guilt

By Dena Kouremetis on February 17, 2017 in The Unedited Offspring
What can we do to assuage the guilt we feel over not being the best parents we could have been?
Up-free/pixabay

When “I’m Sorry” Just Isn’t Enough

Since we are all (no exceptions) mistake-prone to varying degrees, it behooves us to become adept in the art of making effective repairs and corrections.
Erik Hans Krause in employ of WPA/PD-US-not renewed

"Refrigerator Mothering" Is Dead but the Blame Game Lives On

By Barb Cohen on February 16, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
The mother—and now the father too—are still suspect. Suspected of what? Nobody knows for sure, but whatever it is, we are expected to defend ourselves against it.

What To Get Your Ex For Valentine's Day

By Wendy Paris on February 14, 2017 in Splitopia
Valentine's Day is a chance to celebrate all the people in our lives—including our ex. 

Nine Types of Love

By Kimberly Key on February 14, 2017 in Counseling Keys
Cats may have nine lives. Humans have nine loves. In fact, we can benefit from all nine of these types of love.

Forgiveness

By Ana Nogales, Ph.D. on February 07, 2017 in Family Secrets
Forgiveness is difficult.

"A Vicious Cycle": The Paradox of Apologies and Lawsuits

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on January 30, 2017 in So Sue Me
Do apologies invite litigation? Or do apologies prevent litigation?

Forgiveness Therapy and Empathy in Cases of Sexual Abuse

By Robert Enright, Ph.D. on January 22, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Is encouraging empathy within psychotherapy always a good idea or can it be dangerous especially in cases of sexual abuse?

4 Key Mistakes When Making an Apology

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on January 21, 2017 in Adaptation
Have a hard time saying you're sorry? Here are the 4 most common apologizing errors.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

10 New Strategies for Stress Management

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on January 19, 2017 in What Matters Most?
Stress management is a popular topic, but can you list off 10 strategies that are research-based? Did you know that your inner capacities can be boosted to help with each one?
photo from pixabay

Empowering the Past

By Matt James Ph.D. on January 16, 2017 in Focus on Forgiveness
You want a great start to a new year, you have to begin with a good relationship with the past one.
Krystine I. Batcho

Beyond Hate: Healing in the Aftermath of Violence

Defeating hate is one of the most pressing issues of our time. How can we move beyond the impact of hate-filled violence?