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Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope [Hardcover]

by Robert D. Enright, Richard P. Fitzgibbons
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 2000 1557986894 978-1557986894 1
Forgiveness has been found to be a pivotal process in helping clients resolve anger over past betrayals, relieve depression and anxiety, and restore piece of mind. Synthesizing over 20 years of research in forgiveness, pioneers Robert Enright and Richard Fitzgibbons explain the process of forgiveness in psychotherapy in a way that can be applied by clinicians regardless of their theoretical orientation. How to recognize when forgiveness is an appropriate client goal, how to introduce and explain to clients what forgiveness is and is not, and concrete, step-wise ways of working forgiveness into therapy with individuals, couples and families are among the many topics covered in this comprehensive volume. The roles that anger and forgiveness play in specific emotional disorders and clinical examples of work with individuals suffering from these disorders make this a highly practical resource as well as a well-documented sourcebook for all mental health practitioners.

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Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope + Forgiveness is a Choice: A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope + The Forgiving Life: A Pathway to Overcoming Resentment and Creating a Legacy of Love (APA Lifetools)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA); 1 edition (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557986894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557986894
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert D. Enright is professor in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is president of the International Forgiveness Institute at UWMadison, has lectured across the country, and has appeared on ABC News 20/20.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgiveness for the Mainstream Clinician May 28, 2003
Thanks to "Helping Clients Forgive", the concept and process of "forgiveness" are not just for the confessional or the minister's office any more. I find much to recommend to clinicians- as well as pastoral caregivers and educators- about Enright and Fitzgibbons' book.
First, it is the fruit of many years of multidisciplinary reflection on an extensive review of both practical (clinical and pastoral) and theoretical sources. The conceptual understanding of forgiveness is based on an extensive review of both the social (e.g., psychology and sociology) and speculative (philosophy and theology) sciences.
Second, Helping Clients Forgive fits into and expands the broader and better known clinical approaches to the management and resolution of anger and to overcoming emotional trauma. The book describes how "forgiveness" may be an effective, and sometimes indispensable, means for dealing with anger when awareness, understanding, assertive expression, or sublimation of the anger have proven inadequate for resolving it.
Third, I found the book insightfully reviews research about anger as a cause or co-morbid difficulty of a wide range of DSM-IV disorders. Whether a clinician ever encourages a client- or a client attempts- to use forgiveness to try to resolve the anger associated with these conditions, I think that this knowledge about the prevalence of anger associated with so many problems presented by clients is invaluable.
Fourth, many clients have a religious world-view and tend to view forgiveness as a moral duty- and sometimes an anxious compulsion. I think that reading Helping Clients Forgive will enable clinicians (pastors, et al.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology & Christian Ethics Agree July 19, 2002
I am deeply impressed by this work, which is well written and (so far as I can judge) methodologically sound. The authors avoid jargon and provide a straightforward statement of their theory as well as clear factual descriptions and treatment guidelines. They manifest command of an extensive psychological literature, are cautious in making claims for forgiveness therapy, and encourage further research in the hope that it will correct their findings if necessary and refine patient care.
I noticed nothing in the work touching on my own field (Christian ethics) that even seems questionable. And, of course, psychological evidence that forgiveness is conducive to mental health is perfectly harmonious with Christian moral teaching that calls for love of enemies and forgiveness.
The fact that this fine work was published, not by some commercial press, but by the American Pscyhological Association commends it to serious readers.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book that does not confuse forgiveness and pardon November 16, 2002
By A Customer
This book is valuable for many reasons. One in particular is that it does not confuse forgiveness and pardon. For some people (fewer now than 20 years ago, based on what people are saying in print) forgiveness was equated with: 1) judging the wrongdoer guilty; 2) reducing or eliminating their sentence (or foregoing collecting what is owed); and 3) restoring them to full legal standing in the community. This is *pardon,* not forgiveness. Philosophers and psychologists have now come to realize that pardon is not the same thing as forgiveness. One can pardon someone and be a judge----not even the one who was hurt. One can pardon someone and be quite neutral about that person, even harboring resentment as you reduce their deserved punishment or forego what is owed. (For example, one might forego what is owed because of harsh judgement that the wrongdoer is morally incapable of repayment.) Forgiveness, instead, is the costly process of struggling to love someone who has hurt you. It is neither cheap nor superficial. Once a person has achieved even a little of this love, then he or she is free to express that love as he or she wishes to the offender. Enright and Fitzgibbons are aware of this. That is why they do not prescribe precisely what a forgiver is to say or do toward a forgiven person. What the forgiver says or does will differ substantially in each encounter. Certainly, the authors expect the forgiver to reach out to the offender when this is appropriate. Forgiveness is not only an internal process. The authors are very clear that forgiveness includes thinking, feeling and *behaving.* They are also clear that forgiveness does have certain meaning and not others. Read more ›
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic insight into forgiveness August 1, 2001
By A Customer
This scholarly, yet inviting, book is a must for those suffering from anger (resulting from abusive relationships, excessive personal pride, and depression). The book includes insights from philosophy, medicine, psychology, and "practical" every-day experiences. Even though it seems the authors wrote the book for counselors and psychologists, I found the book helpful (as a layman) to recover from feelings of depression and fear.
Those suffering from excessive, overbearing and abusive relationships (either parents, spouses or friends) would find the book especially warm and engaging. The chapter on describing the ideas and benefits of "forgiveness therapy" are well-written. The chapters on detailing case studys on the application of "forgiveness therapy" are the most interesting. The authors detail forgiveness in eating disorders, forgiveness in depression, forgivenss in anxiety disorders, forgiveness in family relationships, etc.
Essentially this book provides a framework for recovery where others, such as Alice Miller, don't do. Ms. Miller would learn a lot from reading this book.
Overall, congratulations on a fine book. I commend the two authors wholeheartedly!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable resource for the clinician
As a clinical psychologist, I found this book to be eminently practical and well-organized, but also compassionate in its approach to a difficult topic. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sean E. Stevens, Ph.D.
2.0 out of 5 stars dry and technical
The approach here is clearly geared to the therapist, not the lay person though there is some good information. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jerome F. Reiter
5.0 out of 5 stars Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and...
Excellent!!! It's complete and integrates theory and practice. Aún no he terminado de leerlo pero es muy completo y sobre todo práctico.
Published on April 19, 2010 by I. Morales
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Family Law Attorneys
I am a divorce attorney wishing that lawyers would take a greater role in guiding clients through relationship breakup with sensitivity, humility, and compassion. Read more
Published on September 16, 2009 by T. W. Arnold
2.0 out of 5 stars Too technical.
The book was for my husband and he says it was too technical for him. It wasn't written for the common person. May be a really good book for professional people but not for him. Read more
Published on February 10, 2008 by Catherine D. Rowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated and Subtle
This is a sophisticated and subtle treatment of forgiveness, so subtle that some important points might be missed. Read more
Published on May 18, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Comprehensive Book on Forgiveness Ever Published
Few authors have captured their subject matter as Drs. Enright and Fitzgibbons have. This is a masterful account of what forgiveness is and how people actually go about forgiving. Read more
Published on August 1, 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars New Hope for the Angry
This excellent book will be welcomed by all who deal with anger, either personally or in loved ones. Read more
Published on December 21, 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Aaron Beck's review on the book cover
Aaron T. Beck, M.D., University Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, has stated in his review that, "anger and the wish to punish a family member or friend for... Read more
Published on October 15, 2000
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