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The different stage of a forgiveness therapy

From Robert Enright

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Video Interview Transcript

When we look at forgiveness therapy we think there are the following elements.
First there is an injustice that sometimes comes on us and we had nothing to do with it. Someone is fired or abandoned in a relationship.
Next comes pain, emotional pain, and that's natural. But if we don't know how to get rid of that pain we eventually become angry at having the pain. And that anger if we don't know how to get rid of that can turn to unhealthy anger as we get angry at the anger and we get angry at the pain and we get angry at the injustice. If we don't know how to get rid of that, we now can have a downward spiral where not only are we very very angry, what we call unhealthy anger, you can develop a sense of hopelessness, depression, anxiety and your relationships can then suffer from that. But when you forgive, forgiveness targets the unhealthy anger because as you reach out to the other who hurt you, your anger actually begins to go down within you. As your anger goes down the pain that was initially developed as a result of the injustice also goes down. So at the end of this process all that has accumulated in terms of pain, anger, unhealthy anger and then all the psychological complications can literally be reversed.

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