Forgiveness Methods
Five steps for granting the gift of forgiveness (R. Klimes)
A. Acknowledge the anger and hurt caused by the clearly identied specic oenses.
B. Bar revenge and any thought of inicting harm as repayment or punishment to
the oender.
C. Consider the oender’s perspective. Try to understand his/her attitude and behaviour.
D. Decide to accept the hurt without unloading it on the oender. Passing it back and
forth magnies it.
E. Extend compassion and good will to the oender. That releases the oended from
the oense.
Four stages of forgiveness (Enright & Fitzgibbons)
1. Uncovering
Gaining insight into whether, and how, the injustice and subsequent injury have
compromised his or her life. Confronting anger and shame. Becoming aware of
potential emotional exhaustion. Becoming aware of cognitive preoccupation.
Confronting the possibility that the transgression could lead to permanent change
for them. Discovering how the transgression changed their view of the world.
2. Decision
Gaining an accurate understanding of what forgiveness is, and making a decision
to commit to forgiving on the basis of this understanding
3. Work
Gaining a deeper understanding of the oender and beginning to view the oender
in a new light (reframing), resulting in positive change in aect about the oender,
about the self, and about the relationship. Showing empathy and compassion.
Bearing the pain. Giving the moral gift of forgiveness.
4. Deepening
Finding meaning in the suering (post-suering growth). Consideration of times
when we have needed other’s forgiveness. Knowing that we’re not alone. Becoming
aware that forgiveness allows us to feel more connected with others and to experience
decreased negative emotion.