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Forgiving the Unforgivable

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A clearheaded study of what life can do to us and possible ways to begin again. --Carl A. Whitaker, M.D., author of Midnight Musings of a Family Therapist and coauthor of The Family Crucible Women and men who have been deeply hurt by someone they love often experience a pain that spirals out to undermine their work, relationships, self-esteem, and even their sense of ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Wiley (first published February 29th 1992)
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Skylar Burris
May 26, 2009 Skylar Burris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology, psychology
Most books on forgiveness take a theological perspective and spend a great deal more time on what forgiveness is and why you should practice it than on how you do it, i.e. "You should forgive because Christ commands it." Unfortunately, however true that may be, it's not particularly useful. "Forgiving the Unforgivable" focuses on the “how” of forgiveness from a sociological, rather than a theological, perspective. The author has studied scores of people who have actually managed to forgive ...more
Lia
May 24, 2010 Lia rated it it was amazing
This book is brilliantly written. It moves intelligently through the actual forgiveness process, as opposed to the "denial" forgiveness process. Her process leads the reader to where forgiveness is a rational choice rather than an emotional obligation. The author also does a great job at defining what "unforgivable" means and why it is unforgivable. It has already clarified my understanding of some events in my life in a valuable way.

The second part of the book includes exercises to help the rea
...more
Phileo Truth
Jul 05, 2010 Phileo Truth rated it it was amazing
I am usually skeptical about the psychological reasonings offered in self-help books. This one was a welcomed exception. The author has done her homework and offers very wise, practical advice that even seems to make room for the reader's religious worldview on the topic of forgiveness. It was even handed and level-headed. I found that it challenged me to recognize that there is some damage that will never be undone and it offered tools to get past it.

My only complaint about the book is that the
...more
Binah
Nov 24, 2011 Binah rated it it was amazing
This is without question, the best book I have read on the subject of forgiveness. I have read many good books on forgiveness. However the depth and brilliance of this book, in addition to the scope of betrayals that one is capable of doing to another, or of the devastation that one may endure and come out not only okay, but whole, that the author addresses in this book, is beyond what I expected...This book is a balm. I am reading it again for the second time, and it is even better than the ...more
Brian
Oct 28, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok
I struggled with the book from the title onward. The first few chapters show many people who have had atrocities done to them, but then forgive the perpetrators. This is fine and inspiring, but then continuing to repeat that this is "forgiving the unforgivable" doesn't rectify the logic problem in that wording. If something is unforgivable, then by definition it can't be forgiven.

Now, if the author instead used wording like "forgiving the scenarios-that-society-as-a-whole-usually-perceives-as-un
...more
Angela
Oct 28, 2007 Angela rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
now this might sound lame, but i don't care. this is by far the best self-help book i've ever used. it has helped me a whole bunch, and it continues to do so. it has helped several of my friends. i was lucky enough to stumble upon it; i'm passing my luck on to those of you who find yourselves in a conundrum. And let's be frank: who here hasn't found themselves in a conundrum?
includes: the real reason to attempt to forgive (it sure ain't about THEM); how to cultivate an attitude of humility and k
...more
Debra
Jun 23, 2016 Debra rated it really liked it
This was so helpful. I'm one to bury anger and resentment deep down, thinking that I'm over an issue, only for it to come to the surface with a memory or other trigger. I realized that I had not forgiven or moved on, and I really didn't know HOW to forgive. We are told that we should forgive, but we are never given the steps to get there. This book gives you the steps and walks you through the healing process leading to forgiveness. The transactional model of forgiveness in the introduction ...more
Laura
May 12, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who need to forgive
This book is written by a social worker. It is about the first extensive study on forgiveness, done in the 1980s. She visited with people who had been abused by their parents, had spouses who left them for others while they were struggling with cancer, just all sorts of horrible things. It reminded me how charmed my life is. It also explained the process of forgiveness and relationship patterns that emerge that cause one party to harm another. I would highly recommend it.
Amie Black
Feb 22, 2013 Amie Black rated it really liked it
A good place to start the process. There were a lot of accompanying stories that didn't apply for me but the basics of the concept really apply to all. What helped me most was the idea of choosing one person, even though there may be more than one who you think it applies to. Could be that you're the person, even. Taking time and thinking about it was another good point.
Mandi
Feb 21, 2010 Mandi rated it did not like it
Actually, I couldn't even finish it. This book is for someone overcoming a divorce but it isn't insightful regarding anything else. I often find psychological perspectives on topics such as these that overlook religion end up lacking. Plus, there are too many rules that psychology pushes onto people that I don't agree with.
Tammie
Feb 24, 2014 Tammie rated it liked it
FORGIVING THE UNFORGIVABLE offers insight on how to do just that. It's a helpful book on the subject.
Julie
Julie rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2011
Linda Macdonald
Linda Macdonald rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2013
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Cathy
Jun 19, 2009 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I will sing a song of praise for this book for the rest of my life.
Kat
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Lauren Anzaldo
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