Tagged: “Forgiveness books”
I actually have 15 questions based on recent reading I have done regarding forgiveness. It seems that there is an emerging spirit of the times which is quite critical of what forgiveness is and what it does. So, I will address each of the criticisms, one at a time, which I have found for your reaction. First of 15 criticisms: Forgiveness is a fad creating pressure on people to forgive.
I have a book entitled, Forgiveness Is a Choice. It is deliberate that I chose the word “Choice ” to emphasize that forgiveness as a moral virtue is under the control of free will, not of external social pressure. You are free to begin forgiving when you are ready. Pressure from others, if it is too insistent, can lead to a quick and superficial “forgiveness.”
I have your book, Forgiveness Is a Choice. My question is this: Do I have to follow the 20 unit sequence in the exact order as you describe in the book?
This process model as describe in Forgiveness Is a Choice was not constructed to be a rigid model in which you have to follow the sequence in the exact order. Some of the units will be irrelevant for you and so you can skip them. Sometimes, as you are near the end of the forgiveness process, your anger re-emerges. At that point it may be best to cycle back to the earlier units to once again examine and confront your anger.
As it nears its 20th anniversary of publication, Dr. Robert Enright’s only children’s book, Rising Above the Storm Clouds: What It’s Like to Forgive, has been selected for inclusion in an exclusive list of “the best children’s books about forgiveness.”
The honor was bestowed on Dr. Enright’s book by Bookroo—the world’s largest website platform dedicated entirely to children’s books. The website, with more than 30,000 children’s books in its curated digital collection, says its goal is “to make it convenient for parents and magical for kids to fall in love with reading!”
Rising Above the Storm Clouds was written by Dr. Enright in 2003 and was published the following year by Magination Press, the publishing arm of the American Psychological Association. It is a 32-page book crammed with colorful full-page illustrations by Kathryn Kunz Finney, a popular artist and portraitist specializing in children and pets.
In the book, a brother and sister who are angry with each other learn from their father the benefits of forgiveness through a series of symbolic images. Together they see what it’s like to forgive and discover that forgiveness can feel good to the forgiver, perhaps even more so than to the one forgiven.
The book also includes a note to parents from Dr. Enright, co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI), in which he defines forgiveness, differentiates it from reconciliation, and guides parents in helping their children learn how to forgive. He also highlights in that note why children should learn to forgive:
“Forgiveness has a way of cutting through our angers and resentments to give all involved a fresh start. As you forgive, you are set free from the prison of resentment. As you offer forgiveness to another person, he or she has the chance to begin anew with you, trying to be more civil, more respectful, more kind. Those around you benefit because you are less likely to carry your anger into other situations. You are less likely to displace your anger onto those who don’t deserve it.”
According to Bookroo, children’s literature offers an ideal medium for helping children develop the ability to forgive their friends, family members, and others. That sentiment is echoed by another children’s book website called the Third Hour which is funded by the More Good Foundation. Third Hour has Rising Above the Storm Clouds listed 3rd on its top ten checklist of “books that teach children—from toddlers to tweens—the importance of forgiveness.”
Both the Bookroo and Third Hour websites include these other popular children’s books on their “Best Forgiveness Books” list:
- The Year the Swallows Came Early, Kathryn Fitzmaurice
- I am Extremely Absolutely Boiling, Lauren Child
- Will You Forgive Me?, Sally Grindley and Penny Dann
- Enemy Pie, Derek Munson
- The Forgiveness Garden, Lauren Thompson
All those children’s forgiveness books are not only on the best books lists but have also been recognized for their positive moral values by Dr. Enright. Because of that, they are all included as supplemental reference materials in one or more of his Forgiveness Education Curriculum Guides that are available for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students.
Rising Above the Storm Clouds is incorporated into both the 3rd and 4th grade curriculum guides as part of that IFI Forgiveness Education Program. The book is available in both hard cover and paperback versions for as little as $3.01 (used condition) on various websites including amazon.com, amazon.com.uk, ThriftBooks.com, and ebay.com. It is also available in a 10-minute online video version produced and narrated by Mary Lou Coons, founder of the Puppets for Peace Foundation.
Only two individuals in history have ever compiled perfect scores on Forgiveness Therapy, the clinical training course offered by the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI) for the past 13 years. The latest is a self-described “married mum of 2 teenagers, a dog lover/rescuer, and a martial artist (Tae Kwon Do)” from Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, who also happens to be a Relationship and Life Coach.
Clare McCaffrey is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Accredited Life Coach (ACC) who has training as a Transformative Life Coach and a Positive Psychology and Alcohol-Free Coach. She is also a Relationship Counsellor and Personal Trainer with her own private practice that she calls Love for Life Coaching.
“I truly believe that mind and body are both important in overall mental health,” says McCaffrey, who graduated with highest honors from the Forgiveness Therapy course last August. “Forgiveness interventions compliment the other strategies we use to help clients have healthy and happy relationships.”
McCaffrey’s 35-years of experience includes stints as a Personal Trainer (she has her own private gym), a Pilates Teacher, and a counsellor for Relate—a charitable organization with centers across England and Wales that specializes in counselling for individuals and couples, families, and young people.
“I prefer to work with people who really want to change and move forward with their lives,” according to McCaffrey, who works with clients via Zoom or face-to-face in Buckinghamshire which is 50 miles north of London. “I use only clinically proven techniques to help my clients achieve their goals.”
McCaffrey achieved perfection on the Forgiveness Therapy course by correctly answering all 120 of the multiple-choice exam questions (8 questions for each of the 15 lessons). She completed the course in a 6-month period while working full time.
Forgiveness Therapy, an online CE Course, is based on the book by the same title written by psychologist Dr. Robert Enright, co-founder of the IFI, and psychiatrist Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, director of the Institute for Marital Healing outside Philadelphia, PA. The course was developed by Dr. Enright and Dr. Elizabeth Gassin, Professor of Educational Psychology at Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, IL.
Although primarily designed for licensed psychologists, the course has also proven beneficial for ministers, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and other professional counsellors who have completed it.
- Read about the Forgiveness Therapy online CE course.
Surging world-wide interest in the virtue of forgiveness was vividly demonstrated this week when the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI) released updated distribution totals for its prized Forgiveness Research Tools.
In just the past 17 months, the IFI has fulfilled requests for 717 copies of its Forgiveness Research Tools–requests received from individuals and research organizations in 41 countries and 43 US states plus the District of Columbia. The IFI began offering the tools for free on April 1, 2021.
The forgiveness tools were developed by IFI co-founder Dr. Robert Enright and his associates through the Enright Forgiveness Lab that he established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Enright has validated those scientific measuring tools and used them in more than 50 forgiveness research projects he has conducted at locations around the world since 1993.
By far the most popular and most requested forgiveness tool (223 requests) is the Enright
Self-Forgiveness Inventory (ESFI) that “captures the Aristotelian view of forgiveness as a moral virtue practiced toward the self.” According to Dr. Enright, the tool is based on the premise that “self-forgiveness is a moral virtue, not a psychological technique.”
Close behind in requests (201) is the Enright Forgiveness Inventory-30 (EFI-30)—a shortened version of the Enright Forgiveness Inventory for Adults that has become the interpersonal forgiveness measure tool of choice for research professionals since its development in 1995.
Two other forgiveness tools developed by Dr. Enright are also extremely popular:
- The Enright Forgiveness Inventory for Children—an objective measure of the degree to which one person forgives another who has hurt him or her deeply and unfairly (125 requests); and,
- The Enright Group Forgiveness Inventory—a newly-developed research tool that takes forgiveness from its traditional focus on individuals to a higher magnitude by concentrating on group forgiveness—an area of intervention that has dramatic implications for its ability to enhance peace efforts in the world (109 requests).
Dr. Enright is a licensed psychologist and an educational psychology professor at UW-Madison who pioneered the scientific study of forgiveness. He wrote the first scientific journal article on person-to-person forgiveness, is often introduced as “the father of forgiveness research,” and has been labeled “the forgiveness trailblazer” by Time magazine.
In 2019, Dr. Enright received the international Expanded Reason Award from the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria and the Vatican Foundation Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and he holds the Aristotelian Professorship in Forgiveness Science (2020) from UW-Madison. Earlier this year he was awarded the 2022 American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award for Impact in Psychology. His work integrates psychology, philosophy, and psychotherapeutic disciplines.
Dr. Enright’s 37-year quest to harness what he calls “the power of forgiveness” has resulted in the development of curriculum guides for students at each level from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade that are now being used in more than 30 countries around the world.
His groundbreaking clinical manual Forgiveness Therapy, developed with psychiatrist Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons through the American Psychological Association, is the basis for the world’s first online forgiveness education course for psychologists, social workers, nurses, and other professional counselors. It is offered exclusively through the IFI.
“When I first began exploring the virtue of forgiveness, I was unable to find a single scientific journal article on forgiveness that had been published anywhere in the world,” Dr. Enright recalls. “Today there are literally hundreds of such articles and based on the demand for our research tools, that number will soon be growing exponentially.”
Dr. Enright’s forgiveness research tools are available free upon request at the International Forgiveness Institute website: internationalforgiveness.com or via email: email@example.com.