Tagged: “peace”

Forgiveness Education Identified by the CDC as a way to “Promote Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Learning”

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a new “Action Guide for School and District Leaders on Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools” and Dr. Suzanne Freedman’s 2018 Journal of Moral Education article, “Forgiveness as an educational goal with at-risk adolescents,” was included as an example program for what schools can do to “Promote Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Learning.”  Forgiveness education helps students recognize and express all emotions, with a specific emphasis on the message that anger is a normal and natural emotion and it is what we do with our anger that can be considered good or bad. It helps students recognize, express, and decrease anger as well as develop perspective-taking skills, empathy, and compassion for one’s offender and others.  To have the CDC recognize it and use it as an example of a targeted approach to teach emotional development illustrates how important forgiveness education is in teaching students to express and regulate all emotions, specifically the release of anger after conflict and situations of interpersonal or intrapersonal hurt.

As described in the abstract in Freedman’s (2018) study,  forgiveness education  was implemented with 10 at-risk adolescents

Dr. Suzanne Freedman

attending an alternative high school in a Midwestern city. Twenty-one participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (forgiveness education class) or the control group (personal communications class). Classes met daily for 31 sessions for approximately 23 hours of education. Enright’s process model of forgiveness was used as the focus of the intervention. After the education, the experimental group gained more than the control group in forgiveness and hope, and decreased significantly more than the control group in anxiety and depression. Verbal reports from the experimental participants following the education also illustrate the positive impact forgiveness had on the students.

Go to the following link, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/mental-health-action-guide/index.html, to see the CDC’s recommendations for “Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools.”  To specifically view Freedman’s (2018) article, click on the tab, “Promote Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Learning,” then scroll down again and click on “Example Programs” under “Offer Targeted Education Focused on Teaching Social Skills and Emotional Development,” then click on “Forgiveness within the family.”  If you are not an APA member, to access the article go to,  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322326007_Forgiveness_as_an_educational_goal_with_at-risk_adolescents
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UPDATE – 2nd International Conference on Forgiveness in Israel Postponed

We had posted in September 2023 about the 2nd International Conference on Forgiveness occurring this coming July 2024 at Zefat Academic College in Israel. With the ongoing conflict in Israel the forgiveness conference has had to be postponed indefinitely, although the conference team hopes to reschedule for some time in 2025. Please click this link for the full announcement from The Forgiveness Conference Team at Zefat Academic College and read below for the original announcement about the conference.  


Zefat Academic College in Israel will be hosting the 2nd International Conference on Forgiveness next summer, July 9-11, 2024. The conference website describes the conference as an event where ‘scholars, experts, and practitioners in relevant fields’ will present and discuss the following themes:

  • Forgiveness as a human experience
  • Forgiving within an intra/intercultural context
  • The forgiver and the forgiven relationship
  • Being forgiven
  • Forgiveness, justice, and the law
  • Forgiveness – values, virtues, and ethics
  • Forgiveness in religious, social, and political conflicts
  • Religious and spiritual perspectives on forgiveness

One of the keynote speakers is Dr. Suzanne Freedman, longtime member of the International Forgiveness Institute team! She will be giving a presentation entitled ‘Guidelines for Forgiveness Therapy: What Therapists Need to Know to Help Their Clients Forgive.’

If you are interested in contributing to the 2nd International Conference on Forgiveness yourself, you are invited to submit your application to present a lecture at the upcoming conference. You may choose to submit one or more types of presentation:

  1. Individual presentations
  2. Workshops
  3. Pre-arranged panels

The Conference Organizing Committee is unable to process email submissions so please ensure that all applications are submitted between September 1, 2023 and January 1, 2024 via this Google Form link.

All submissions will undergo peer review. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent by February 1, 2024.

For more information about the conference and the types of submissions, please visit the conference website.

For further information, you may also contact the conference organizers at: forgivenessconferences@gmail.com

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Dr. Enright Interviews with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on His CNN Podcast, Chasing Life

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On December 5, 2023 Dr. Enright engaged in a 35 minute interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for his CNN podcast, Chasing Life. It was a wide-ranging interview including what forgiveness is and is not, the scientific evidence for the efficacy of forgiving those who have been deeply unjust, and the psychological and physical outcomes for those who forgive. They even discussed the effects of forgiving on the brain. Click on this link to listen to the episode or read the transcript of the episode!

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