Article Review

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The Effects of Forgiveness Therapy: An Article Review Michele Faircloth Liberty University COUN 506 January 19, 2012 Summary Researchers, Gayle Reed and Robert Enright, attempt to support their hypothesis that Forgiveness Therapy would help individuals recovering from spousal emotional abuse dramatically improve upon symptoms of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress and poor self-esteem. Reed and Enright posit that this type of therapy advances recovery over alternative treatments by ameliorating anxiety and depression and allowing the victim to release anger, resentment and learned helplessness. Reed and Enright (2006) describe spousal emotional abuse as having seven categories: criticizing, ridicule, jealous control, purposeful ignoring, threats of abandonment, and threats of harm and damage to personal property. (p. 920) The researchers provided an understanding of each of the abuse types while also providing a direct correlation of how forgiveness therapy can help in those areas. Forgiveness Therapy is described as therapy that the victim enters into willingly which allows for an openness to release anger and resentment while having a direct understanding that this does not release the abuser for his or her actions. In turn this therapy fosters a positive environment that may later lead a victim to gain the ability to trust and reclaim self-worth. “The participants were 20 psychologically abused women in a Midwest city who had been divorced or permanently separated for at least 2 years from their spouse or romantic partner”. (Reed & Enright, 2006, p. 922) They varied in ethnicity, employment status and education with most of them having children living with them in their homes. All participants were single and reported various types of abuse with the majority reporting jealous control and all reporting criticizing and purposeful

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