Title

"Languaging" Factors Affecting Clients' Acceptance of Forgiveness Intervention in Marital Therapy

Keywords

forgiveness, forgiveness intervention, interpersonal injury, therapy

Abstract

Forgiveness is a significant intervention for healing interpersonal injury. Yet therapists do not often use forgiveness intervention. Employing a semantic perspective and a survey design (n=307), this study investigated whether the language used to rationalize forgiveness intervention (set at five levels: personal growth, relationship reconciliation, spiritual issue, other's growth, and pardoning/condoning) may affect its acceptability. Gender, problem type, and choice were also included in the analyses. Overall, forgiveness was found to be an acceptable intervention. A pardoning/condoning rationale led to significantly lower acceptability ratings. Other results are discussed. We conclude that therapists should be less apprehensive about using forgiveness, but need to inform themselves better concerning its purpose, process, and articulation.

Original Publication Citation

Butler, M. H., Dahlin, S. K., & Fife, S. T. (2002). “Languaging” factors affecting clients’ acceptance of forgiveness intervention in marital therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 28(3), 285-298.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2002-7

Publisher

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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