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Title: A portfolio on the theory and applications of forgiveness in counselling psychology
Author: Johansson, Anna Therese
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 1427
Awarding Body: City University
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores the research question of how and why people forgive. The aim was to form a grounded theory based on participants’ interview accounts of the experience of having forgiven another person. Fifteen men and women who considered that they had forgiven another person who had transgressed against them were interviewed and the data was analysed using grounded theory as the framework. The data revealed a process of forgiveness that involved the following themes: a condition of process (emotional pain experienced in relation to another), a motive and process aid (realisation of effect of pain on oneself), forgiveness process consisting of three main categories (understanding and changing perspective; acceptance and letting go; emotional processing and building selfworth) and an outcome of process (emotional relief and strength in self). The findings of the study suggested that forgiveness was a process that was primarily driven by intrapersonal motives including a wish to let go of anger and move on. This motivation aided the process of forgiveness through allowing the participants to gain a broader understanding of themselves and others, accept and let go of unrealistic wishes and build on their sense of self-worth. The outcome suggested that participants experienced a sense of relief and strength within themselves following this process. These findings add to the understanding of how forgiveness is processed through approaching the topic from a theoretically neutral angle. The findings may be used to further research the categories proposed in this study as well as develop therapy interventions that can be of help in situations where a client wishes to work on issues surrounding forgiveness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology