How to Forgive: Introducing Our Forgiveness Video Series
After painful experiences, we often wonder, “How do I move on? How do I heal from all that has happened?” In my experience as a couples therapist, people sometimes tell me, “I don’t know how to forgive.”
In this 5-part video series on how to forgive, I summarize some excellent counsel from Janis Abrahms-Spring’s book How Can I Forgive You? Also, I share some of my own observations from nearly 20 years as a Marriage & Family Therapist. In the coming four videos and blog post summaries, I’ll first share some ideas about what doesn’t work. I will then share some observations about how to navigate forgiveness and relational healing in a healthy way. We need ways to approach forgiveness that allow for safety, dignity, self-respect, and authentic growth. To learn more, watch our 2-minute video above or keep reading!
Forgiveness Strategies that Don’t Work
Some approaches to forgiveness just don’t work. These approaches keep us stuck in a victimized role. They also impede healing and growth—both our own and in our relationships.
Video 2: Why Cheap Forgiveness Doesn’t Work
When we don’t know how to approach forgiveness in healthy ways, we can end up granting pardons to those who have no intention of stopping their hurtful behavior, thus making victims of ourselves. Also, Video 2 in our forgiveness series explains why cheap forgiveness doesn’t help anyone.
Video 3: When We Refuse to Forgive
On the other end of the spectrum, when we don’t know how to forgive in healthy ways we can also get stuck in our anger and protest, feeling paralyzed by the bitter memories, the injustice, and the hurt. So, held hostage by the hurtful events, we stop growing and moving forward. Although it’s natural to feel stuck in our hurt for a time, Video 3 identifies the corrosive impact of staying stuck indefinitely in feelings of hatred or our need for vengeance.
How to Forgive—in a Healthy Way
If we want real healing, we need better options than cheap forgiveness or refusing to forgive. In videos 4 and 5 of this series, I focus on healthier approaches to forgiveness and healing in the wake of betrayal or damaged relationships.
Video 4: Acceptance – An Approach to Forgiveness When They’re Not Sorry
Video 4 in our forgiveness series shares insights into the acceptance process. Sometimes it’s not safe, healthy, or even possible to reconcile with the one who hurt us. For example, sometimes the offending party isn’t sorry, isn’t safe, or isn’t available. Moreover, in these situations, we still need to come to terms with the full impact of the violation. We need to honor our pain, while also opening the door to move forward and claim ownership over our future.
Video 5: How to Achieve Genuine Forgiveness
In Video 5, I offer some guidelines to some important aspects of genuine forgiveness. Genuine forgiveness and healthy reconciliation is only possible when both parties are dedicated to healing the pain. A good attitude to have in this situation is: Whatever it takes, for as long it takes. Our healing is worth taking the time to do this right.
How Can I Forgive? Next Steps
To learn more about how to forgive in a healthy way, check out the rest of the videos in our forgiveness series!
- Why Cheap Forgiveness Doesn’t Work (Video 2)
- When We Refuse to Forgive (Video 3)
- Acceptance: An Approach to Forgiveness When They’re Not Sorry (Video 4)
- How to Achieve Genuine Forgiveness (Video 5)
Individual Counseling & Marriage Therapy —When You Need Help with Forgiveness
If you need additional help healing and moving forward, our therapists are some of the best in Denver, Centennial, and Castle Rock. Give us a call today or schedule a counseling appointment online by clicking below!
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