ABSTRACT

How important is it that we forgive those who have hurt us? Is forgiveness possible or even desirable in the absence of repentance on the part of the wrongdoer? By examining ‘forgiveness’ on the one hand and responsibility and atonement on the other, this chapter explores forgiveness as an interactional event rather than an intra-psychic process. It is argued that in the context of therapy, facilitating an injured party to forgive when a wrongdoer is neither repentant nor taking the necessary steps to atone for the injury, may pose significant risks to the injured party.