Intervention Studies on Forgiveness: A Meta-Analysis by Thomas Baskin and Robert Enright (2004) is an analysis that is based on the findings of nine studies that sought to determine the efficiency of forgiveness interventions derived from counseling sessions. A review of the findings of each study indicated that the theories of forgiveness fell into three broad categories; process-based individual interventions, process-based group and decision-based.
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The article begins by identifying that critics may be of the opinion that there are not enough studies on the issues of forgiveness as an intervention. The authors point out this meta-analysis would be of great help to those willing to venture further in counseling studies. Fitzgibbons, Hunter and Kauffman all found out that detrimental behavior towards their patients had affected them negatively. This was evident through their anger-directed actions on the people around them in life. Through the implementation of forgiveness counseling, these individuals were able to move on with their lives positively. These were the very first indications of the impacts of forgiveness counseling though tests were yet to be carried out (Baskin &Enright, 2004).
Forgiveness is then defined as the hurt person’s willingness to accept that the wrong party was unfair but is in a position to forego the bad feelings emanating from the other person’s actions. The article goes further to look at the models of counseling resulting from forgiveness. The first model has four phases; Uncovering, Decision, Work and Deepening. The second model has nine components that seek to promote affective and cognitive empathy. The third model sought to bring about forgiveness through involving the offended party. This was achieved through writing letters to the offender expressing how much hurt one was by the deeds of the offender. Through all the models, the main aim is to focus on the offender and evaluate the harm that they have caused and the appropriate way to forgive them. An analysis of the models indicates that the first tow models are process-based while the third model is decision based.
The aim of the Meta-analysis was to determine any correlation in the various interventions in order to attain forgiveness. It was determined the decision-based interventions had no effects, the process-based group interventions showed tremendous effects while process-based individual interventions showed the largest effects. Also, it was determined that forgiveness was not only effective in clinical settings but in many other settings.
The article was intriguing and extremely fascinating. The contents and analysis presented in the article was a reflection of the daily experiences that an individual goes through. This is because each person is in a relationship be it parent-child relationship of man-woman relationship. Irrespective of the kind of relationship, many are the times when people may be at loggerheads resulting in anger and hurting one another. As such, the offending party ends up seeking forgiveness though the offended person may not necessarily grant it to them. The authors present information in a manner that suggests that forgiveness is the answer to being able to lead a better life without the anger of being hurt. The use of real life experiences brings the readers closer to sharing the opinions of the writer. This draws them to the urge to know what else the author seeks to unveil to them.
The choice of the author to use many findings of different studies to present the effectiveness of forgiveness as a form of intervention is highly recommendable. This is because it creates the notion that the information presented to the readers is well founded and sought by the authors. It is a presentation of validity of information. The outline of the various models and what they entail is extremely helpful to individuals who would prefer to carry out their own intervention when faced with difficult situations. Specifically, this helps in a big deal since it is clearly explained. Personally, I am especially impressed by the third model which requires to the forgiver to pour out their feelings in form of letters to the offender.
The information presented in the article is extremely useful in a counseling setting. This would be particularly helpful to a couple that is suffering from one spouse’s infidelity. One of the most vital things to note is that forgiveness is extremely crucial in ensuring that they continue living peacefully together. However, this cannot be attained without speaking out openly to each about the manner at hand. The spouse who was unfaithful is the offender while the wounded party is the forgiver. I would choose to use the first model in tackling their problem. This is because it entails an individual effort of working towards forgiveness (Munro & Small, 1999).
The healing process would entail the offended party telling the offender exactly what it is that they feel deep within themselves. This would ensure that they speak out their minds as it would help them eliminate the load of anger that they have been carrying since the discovery of the infidelity. The offender on the other hand would also speak out their minds about the reasons for their infidelity. This could be helpful in identifying the reasons why the infidelity occurred in their marriage.
Through speaking out their minds, the couple would be aware of the expectations that they have of each other. It would also help the forgiver work towards forgiveness and eventually deepen that feeling. This would lead to them being able to do away with the anger and betrayal that they felt.
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