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Title: Towards a grounded theory of the role of forgiveness in counselling psychology and psychotherapy
Author: Yamashina, Asuka
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2012
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Forgiveness of the other and of the self is regarded in some therapeutic orientations as a solution, or a contributing factor to recovery from what an individual perceives as psychological injuries such as hurts, offences and victimisation. However, its definition, usefulness and process in therapeutic practices is not extensively theorised in the field of Counselling Psychology. Hence this thesis aims to contribute to the theory and practice of Counselling Psychology by exploring the meaning and context of the phenomena of forgiveness and how it is relevant to therapeutic practice. For this purpose, qualitative research was conducted by analysing interview transcripts using a social constructivist version of Grounded Theory. Nine counselling psychologists and psychotherapists were interviewed and provided narratives, firstly around their personal experience of forgiving and not forgiving another and/or oneself, and secondly about whether such an experience or experiences influenced their clinical practice. The research delineates variations of the experience of forgiving and suggests the role of forgiveness not as a goal, but as part of the maturation of the self. The understanding of who one is, and acceptance of oneself as a whole are essential to the capacity to forgive, and it is in such an understanding that a new meaning of an injurious relationship and incident with the other is achieved. The research also shows the importance of the individual's ability to appropriately set a boundary of self and non-self, which contributes to self-empowerment that is a pre-requisite to a genuine experience of forgiveness. This study recommends that therapeutic practitioners consider clients' personal values and relational contexts in approaching forgiveness, and to assist the clients in understanding and balancing between their individuality and separateness, which is affirmed in their experience of unforgiveness, and their unity and connection with others, which is affirmed in their experience of forgiveness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available