Can you find it in your heart to forgive?
You’ve been wronged, but you want to do the right thing. You want to be free of the burden of a bitter grudge that weighs you down during the day and keeps you up at night. You’re wasting time and energy ruminating, railing, perhaps even plotting revenge. You’re sick and tired of being a victim, but you feel stuck.
You’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people are victimized by crime and violence every year, devastated by downsizing at work, or reeling from relationship betrayals, breakups, and other social traumas. The good news is that no matter what your injury, clinical psychologist and researcher Dr. Everett Worthington has found that there is a way to unburden yourself through forgiveness and move ahead with life. His new program, Five Steps to Forgiveness, offers step-by-step advice on how to achieve this breakthrough.
Based on more than a decade of research, including his own work and that of dozens of psychologists investigating the scientific benefits of forgiveness, Dr. Worthington has distilled the REACH plan: Recall the hurt; Empathize with the one who hurt you; Altruistically decide to forgive; Commit publicly to forgiveness; and Hold on to that forgiveness. Dr. Worthington offers simple, clear advice for putting the program to work in your own life and dozens of examples of how others have used it to forgive.
Sometimes you’ll want to do more than forgive—you’ll need to reconcile with the other person, perhaps because you need to continue to work together, share custody of a child, or have another ongoing relationship. Dr. Worthington also takes you plank-by-plank over the bridge of reconciliation.
Studies and clinical practice have demonstrated the effectiveness of the REACH program. Dr. Worthington faced the ultimate test, however, when his mother was brutally murdered in l995. Using the paradigm he had taught so successfully to hundreds of people, he used the REACH program to forgive his own mother’s murderer.
In Five Steps to Forgiveness, Dr. Worthington shares his proven program, the latest research, his own compelling story, and a wealth of wisdom from the experiences of those he has helped to enable you to attain the hope, health, and happiness forgiveness brings.
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“Dr. Worthington’s book and program offer a simple, compassionate way to achieve the gift of true forgiveness.”
—Former President Jimmy Carter
“This is a terrific book; it is the most practical of all the books on forgiveness. More than that, it is a sheer delight to read, and at times very moving. Five stars for Five Steps to Forgiveness.”
—Lewis B. Smedes, author of Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve
“Five Steps to Forgiveness translates forgiveness and reconciliation from theological concepts into a scientific approach to life. This readable and compelling book offers clear exercises to develop a ‘forgiving character’ and shows how ‘unforgiveness,’ rooted in anger and fear, can have a negative influence on our health and personal relationships.”
—Audrey R. Chapman, Ph.D., director, Science and Human Rights and Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion,
American Association for the Advancement of Science
EVERETT WORTHINGTON, PH.D., is professor and chair of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is executive director of A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, which, in collaboration with the John Templeton Foundation, has raised funding for more than 35 research projects studying forgiveness. He has published 16 books and 125 scientific articles and chapters, and has edited several journals. He is a father of four and an active leader in secular and Christian counseling fields. An experienced lecturer and promoter, he has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, and other national shows. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
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