A Theological and Psychological Defense of Self-Forgiveness: Implications for Counseling

Volume
Volume 42
Issue
Fall 2014
Title
A Theological and Psychological Defense of Self-Forgiveness: Implications for Counseling
Abstract

In the burgeoning literature of forgiveness, self-forgiveness is an aspect that has not received as much attention as other areas of research on forgiveness. Self-forgiveness is important in dealing with negative feelings toward the self when one violates the conscience. However, because criticisms have emerged against this construct, we attempt a theological and psychological defense of self-forgiveness by addressing following four questions: (a) Is self-forgiveness the same as or different from divine forgiveness? (b) What is the nature of self-forgiveness? (c) Can we rationally address the criticisms of self-forgiveness? (d) How does self-forgiveness interact with divine and person-toperson forgiveness? After addressing these questions, we delineate four implications for counselors working with clients struggling to forgive themselves. Self-forgiveness, as one form of the virtue of forgiveness, now needs to be opened up more widely and deeply for more clients, and their emotional health may be further enhanced by this experience that frees them from self-condemnation when guided by a counselor who knows the essence of what self-forgiveness is and is not.

Authors
J. J. Kim and Dr. R.D. Enright
Pages
260 - 268
Price
Add to Cart $5.00