Forgiveness in Counseling: Caution, Definition, and Application

Mono Gustofson Affinito

in Before Forgiving

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780195145205
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848607 | DOI:
Forgiveness in Counseling: Caution, Definition, and Application

Show Summary Details


This chapter highlights that forgiveness is a decision that clients should be helped to make and that advocacy has little place in the counseling session. It specifically confirms the value of forgiveness in the counseling setting and offers some guidelines for its effective application. There are at least three approaches to justice, altering in the extent to which they are proactive or reactive, past or future oriented, limited or general: (1) retributive justice, (2) restorative justice, and (3) pervasive justice. The pragmatic model needs an in-depth investigation of alternatives; their practical and moral costs and their benefits. It is concluded that there can be no relief unless the offender confesses and asks forgiveness, and argues that repentance is poor therapy and of questionable morality, because it leaves clients in a state of helpless dependence on the person or persons who offended them in the first place.

Keywords: forgiveness; counseling; justice; caution; pragmatic model; retributive justice; restorative justice; pervasive justice

Chapter.  11616 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.