How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To
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How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  106 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Until now, we have been taught that forgiveness is good for us and that good people forgive. Dr. Spring, a gifted therapist and the award-winning author of After the Affair, proposes a radical, life-affirming alternative that lets us overcome the corrosive effects of hate and get on with our lives—without forgiving. She also offers a powerful and unconventional model for g...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published November 13th 2007)
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Sarah Whitney
Absolutely wonderful. I'd recommend this to anyone who is human. (Yes, that would be to everyone.) Chock full of wonderful information, poignant case-in-points, and the appendix is an excellent resource all on its own.

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Cheap Forgiveness is a quick and easy pardon with no processing of emotion and no coming to terms with the injury. It's a compulsive, unconditional, unilateral attempt at peacemaking for which you ask nothing in return. ...
Cheap Forgiveness is dysfunctional becau...more
Thomas Holbrook
I had read Dr. Spring’s book, After the Affair, several years ago and found it to be a wealth of useful information, research and interventions for those who have suffered infidelity. This book was recommended to me by a trusted colleague and, as it addressed an area that is a part of many (most) issues I see in my clinical practice, I hurried to read it. I was disappointed in the book until I realized Dr. Spring’s use of “forgiveness” was given a much broader definition than the one I generall...more
This is the best thing I've ever read on forgiveness, even better than Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits. The author explores the psychological processes involved in forgiving or deciding not to forgive someone.

Most people act like forgiveness is a single simple decision to turn off their anger. I've never understood that concept, as almost nobody has the capability to cut off emotions by an act of will.

If you feel pressured to forgive someone, if you wish someone would forgive you, if y...more
Aug 25, 2011 Claudia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who want to move on; those who want to reconcile relationships
Recommended to Claudia by: Psychologist
Shelves: personal-growth
The subtitle: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To. For anyone who has been hurt by someone in their life and cannot find a way to move on. Dr. Springer discusses four kinds of forgiveness: Cheap Forgiveness, Refusing to Forgive, Acceptance and Genuine Forgiveness. Acceptance is one avenue that is not offered to us from those who insist "we must forgive to find peace." Acceptance is an alternate route to take when the other party is unwilling or unavailable to participate in the process of...more
The goal of revenge is to crucify the offender. The goal of Acceptance is to resurrect your best self. Revenge is other-directed; Acceptance is inner-directed. When you contain your obsessions, the offender becomes less important to you than you are. Getting back or getting even becomes less important than getting well.

With Acceptance you make a conscious decision to break loose from your nagging thoughts and reclaim the energy you've spent on feeling betrayed-to dismantle your rage and reach ou...more
This book is easy to read with not too much therapist-speak. It is not directed towards those who seek to forgive after an affair (which so many books are) but for any major grievance in any relationship. Also the chapter on acceptance could be applied to any aspect of life you can't change. She gives specific tasks that needed to be completed and lays out four different ways to move past a grievance, some which allow you to be more successful than others.
Amazing, insightful book. I'll probably read it again, there's so much to take in. I recommend it to anyone who has had a painful relationship problem in their lives. It made me realize how many things I thought I had forgiven people for that I really hadn't, and now I can work on that, and let go of ghosts from the past. Highly recommend it.
Interesting book, I liked the fact that the author is not a proponent of "forgiveness at any cost, in order to achieve healing for oneself". She allows that forgiveness is a choice, and one that doesn't need to be made in order to let go of hurt and move on successfully.
Brent Wilson
Not satisfying for me. I agree we need the freedom not to forgive - but the author seemed to under-value that end.

This is an important topic for me because I wrestle with these issues. I just needed a different slant on it.
gives specific helps for each party and for those whose perpetrater is not available for the process
Already knew this. Applying in increments as I'm able.
Laura Talley
Loved this! It was exactly what I needed.
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