chapter  12
ByButch Losey
Pages 12

Forgiveness can be viewed as being one of two types, either emotional forgiveness, which indicates some difference in feelings toward the transgressor or the situation, or decisional forgiveness, which has to do more with behavioral changes. Forgiveness contributes to the wellness of the individual and the wellness of relationships. The clinician can only create the context for interpersonal forgiveness for the couple who has a desire and willingness to experience the process. In addition, when the clinician is sensitive to the couple's language and understanding of their definition of forgiveness, it becomes easier to modify the couple's definition if they ascribe to any myths of forgiveness. Benefits of forgiveness include general well-being in the relationship, marital longevity, and marital satisfaction. The focus of decision-based forgiveness is on the decision to forgive, which involves steps that allow for a reduction of negative emotional, cognitive, and behavioral experiences.