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Forgiveness in Mind, Body, and Spirit: Healing Emotional Wounds and Health Loren Toussaint, Ph.D. Luther College Top Ladies of Distinction June 18, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Forgiveness in Mind, Body, and Spirit: Healing Emotional Wounds and Health Loren Toussaint, Ph.D. Luther College Top Ladies of Distinction June 18, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forgiveness in Mind, Body, and Spirit: Healing Emotional Wounds and Health Loren Toussaint, Ph.D. Luther College Top Ladies of Distinction June 18, 2013

2 Defining Forgiveness Releasing or letting go of negative affect, beliefs, or behaviors toward an offender Releasing or letting go of negative affect, beliefs, or behaviors toward an offender Development of positive affect, beliefs, or behaviors toward an offender Development of positive affect, beliefs, or behaviors toward an offender

3 Dimensions of Forgiveness Targets – Self, Others, and God Methods – Offering, Feeling, and Seeking State/Trait – Feeling or disposition Toussaint & Webb (2005)

4 Our Working Definition Trait forgiveness involves a tendency to offer, feel, or seek changes from negative to positive cognitions, behaviors, and affect pertaining to offenders that include oneself, others, and God. Trait forgiveness involves a tendency to offer, feel, or seek changes from negative to positive cognitions, behaviors, and affect pertaining to offenders that include oneself, others, and God. State forgiveness involves a process of offering, feeling, or seeking a change from negative to positive cognitions, behaviors, and affect pertaining to specific offenses that are perceived to be perpetrated by oneself, others, or God. State forgiveness involves a process of offering, feeling, or seeking a change from negative to positive cognitions, behaviors, and affect pertaining to specific offenses that are perceived to be perpetrated by oneself, others, or God. Toussaint & Webb (2005)

5 What Forgiveness IS and IS NOT Forgiveness IS Forgiveness IS NOT peace for you and not the offender taking back your power being responsible for how you feel about your healing a trainable skill regaining emotional control a choice a difficult thing reconciliation forgoing justice forgetting something painful condoning unkindness excusing poor behavior denying or minimizing your hurt giving up having feelings about the person who hurt you

6 Additional Issues Decisional vs. emotional Decisional vs. emotional Social & cultural influences Social & cultural influences Intrapersonal Intrapersonal Interpersonal Interpersonal Religious influences Religious influences

7 Benefits of Forgiveness Interpersonal relationships Interpersonal relationships Social support Social support Health Health Mental Mental Physical Physical Happiness Happiness Better mood Better mood Satisfaction with life Satisfaction with life

8 BENEFITS OF FORGIVENESS General Populations

9 Net of sex, age, marital status, education, income, race, & anger Forgiveness and Mental Health

10 Net of sex, age, marital status, education, income, race, & anger Forgiveness and Mental Health

11 Net of sex, age, marital status, education, income, race, anger, & depression Forgiveness and Heart Disease

12 Net of sex, age, marital status, education, income, race, anger, & depression Forgiveness and Heart Disease

13 Forgiveness, Mortality, and Mechanisms Conditional Forgiveness of Others Mortality Depressive Affect Physical Health Depressive Somatic Symptoms.152***.102*** *** *** *Toussaint, L., Owen, A. D., & Cheadle, A. C. D. (online first) Forgive to live: Forgiveness, Health, and Longevity. Journal of Behavioral Medicine /s

14 BENEFITS OF FORGIVENESS Vulnerable Populations

15 Forgiveness & Police Officers

16 Forgiveness & Police Officers, cont.

17 Forgiveness & College Students

18 College students: Vulnerable? Yes!

19 Forgiveness & College Students

20 REACH FFG Change in Forgiveness Indirect Benefits of Training Positive Traits Trait Forgiveness Perceived Stress Gratitude

21 Forgiveness & AIDS

22 Forgiveness & Fibromyalgia

23

24 Forgiveness in Sierra Leone

25 Hard work in the classroom by teachers and students

26 And more hard work!!

27 Forgiveness in Sierra Leone

28

29 A team effort

30 HOW TO OBTAIN THE BENEFITS OF FORGIVENESS

31 Four Approaches to Promoting Forgiveness Enright Forgiveness Therapy Enright Forgiveness Therapy REACH REACH Forgive for Good Forgive for Good Release! Release! Restore Restore

32 Enrights Forgiveness Therapy Uncovering Uncovering Defenses Defenses Anger Anger Shame Shame Decision Decision Change of heart Change of heart Consider forgiveness Consider forgiveness Commit Commit Work Reframe Empathy Context Deepening Meaning Purpose Humility Universality

33 REACH Model Recall Recall Empathize Empathize Altruistic Altruistic Commit Commit Hold on Hold on

34 Forgive for Good Model Gratitude and openness to beauty and bounty – focus on positive Gratitude and openness to beauty and bounty – focus on positive Reframe/challenge unrealistic expectations Reframe/challenge unrealistic expectations You cant make people treat you well You cant make people treat you well Unenforceable rules Unenforceable rules Change victimization story Change victimization story Taking things too personally Taking things too personally Blame game Blame game Stress management Stress management

35 Gratitude, Beauty, Bounty, Focus on Positive Simple techniques for living a more forgiving life

36 Release! Model Narrative Therapy Narrative Therapy Prayer Prayer RET RET

37 Restore Model Self-Forgiveness Acceptance Benefit-finding Commitment Key methods Prayer Narrative therapy

38 Interpersonal Stress Interpersonal Stress Intrapersonal Stress Intrapersonal Stress An Intervention Model Unforgiveness Poor Health (e.g., cancer) QOL Forgiveness of Others Forgiveness of Others Forgiveness of Self Forgiveness of Self

39 Questions about Forgiving Oneself Is it the best alternative? Is it the best alternative? Self-acceptance Self-acceptance Narcissism Narcissism How do you promote it appropriately? How do you promote it appropriately? Why is it so important? Why is it so important?

40 Review What is forgiveness? What is forgiveness? Complex and multidimensional Complex and multidimensional What are its benefits? What are its benefits? Social, health, well-being Social, health, well-being How do you promote it? How do you promote it? FT, REACH, FFG, Release!, Restore FT, REACH, FFG, Release!, Restore

41 Contact Loren Toussaint Loren Toussaint Department of Psychology Department of Psychology Luther College 700 College Dr. Decorah, IA


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