Before Forgiving: Cautionary Views of Forgiveness in Psychotherapy

Sharon Lamb, Jeffrie G. Murphy

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    37 Scopus citations


    This book argues that forgiveness has been accepted as a therapeutic strategy without serious, critical examination. It hopes to provide a closer, critical look at some of these questions: why is forgiveness so popular now? What exactly does it entail? When might it be appropriate for a therapist not to advise forgiveness? When is forgiveness in fact harmful? It includes many previously unpublished chapters by both philosophers and psychologists that examine what is at stake for those who are injured, those who injure them, and society in general when such a practice becomes commonplace. These chapters offer cautionary tales about forgiveness therapy, while others paint complex portraits of the social, cultural, and philosophical factors that come into play with forgiveness. The value of this volume lies not only in its presentation of a nuanced view of this therapeutic trend, but also as a general critique of psychotherapy, and as a valuable testimony of the theoretical and practical possibilities of an interdisciplinary collaboration between philosophy and clinical psychology.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages288
    ISBN (Electronic)9780199848607
    ISBN (Print)9780195145205
    StatePublished - Mar 22 2012


    • Clinical psychology
    • Emotional wounds
    • Forgiveness
    • Forgiveness therapy
    • Injury
    • Moving on
    • Psychotherapy
    • Therapeutic strategy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychology(all)


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