So occasionally I read and review a self-help book to use in my practice. Feel free to read along with me if you would like.
The one I have been recently reading is about forgiveness. It’s called “8 Keys to Forgiveness” by Robert Enright, and can be found here on Amazon. It’s available as a kindle book, as well. Before I bought it, I specifically looked for something that was not spiritual in nature. In my initial search, I found that many books written about forgiveness have a spiritual or religious focus. While I think that spirituality can be an important component in many peoples’ wellness, I am biased toward Western Medicine. I knew that there was a good deal of research available about the health benefits of forgiveness, so I looked for that.
Many of my clients have past abuses or hurts that they are working to understand and heal. Sometimes those hurts were perpetrated by a parent. I am of the firm belief that typically, ‘parentectomies’ aren’t very helpful for people. While some might need interpersonal distance from close family members to heal from a past hurt, or to protect themselves from current ones, portraying the perpetrator (especially if it is a family member or loved one) as ‘all bad’ promotes black and white thinking that is not helpful to people in the long run.
On the other hand, asking someone who has been seriously injured by another to ‘forgive’ is no small matter. It takes time, and work, and patience. At times, it even seems disastrous to tell someone who has recently experienced a severe injury to start a process toward forgiveness.
Let’s see what’s inside the book…