Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Beliefs of Counselor Trainees about Forgiveness *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Beliefs of Counselor Trainees about Forgiveness *

Article excerpt

Forgiveness is a concept that has been studied in different cultures and religions for thousands of years (Denton & Martin, 1998) through religious and philosophical studies. Until the 1980's the concept was ignored in psychological studies, but it is currently seen as an important issue for psychological research (Bugay & Demir, 2011, 2012; Ergüner-Tekinalp & Terzi, 2012; Legaree, Turneri, & Lollis, 2007; McCullough, Bellah, Kilpatrick, & Johnson, 2001; McCullough, Pargament, & Thoresen, 2000). Forgiveness is an important element for both spiritual development and psychological healing (Gartner, 1988). Forgiveness is considered as a tool to reach the therapeutic goals of counseling (Berecz, 2001; Hope, 1987; Murray, 2002; Wade, Bailey, & Shaffer, 2005) as well as a counseling technique (Fitzgibbons, 1986).

Actually, being an effective counselor warrants an integration of field knowledge with techniques and skills within the personality characteristics and self-awareness of counselors (Ikiz & Karaca, 2011; Johns, 1996). In order to reach the intended outcomes involving client growth, the therapeutic relationship itself is the main determinant of the counseling process. The relationship is one of the most important factors in outcome variance (Tursi & Cochran, 2006). The construction of a therapeutic relationship impacts a counselor's growth to establish a meaning for life, to cope with his/her own stress and traumatic life events, and to develop his/her own spirituality and mental health (Jodry, 2003). Effects of forgiveness on counseling students' overall wellness were investigated, and forgiveness was found to contribute a significant proportion of variance in wellness for counselor trainees (Moorhead, Gill, Minton, & Myers, 2012). They emphasized that "counselor trainees who were more inclined toward forgiveness also reported meaning-making processes toward self and others" (Moorhead et al., 2012, p. 90). In the present study, we examine counselor trainees' thoughts and experiences about forgiveness, and the place of forgiveness in counseling applications according to their views, to draw attention to their personality development by considering interpersonal and intrapersonal processes. Moreover, a review of the concept of forgiveness and its treatment in counseling provided in the paper will help readers to establish a concrete perspective for the importance of forgiveness, both in counselor education and applications.

Definitions of Forgiveness

There is no consensus in the field of psychology about the definition of forgiveness. The properties of the concept are handled differently by researchers. For the reader to be enlightened about the conceptual development of forgiveness in psychology-related disciplines throughout the last twenty years, it is best to consider the definitions of forgiveness chronologically: Gartner (1988) pointed out that forgiveness include a real and combined view of a whole person with both good and bad sides. Forgiveness does not need to replace negative feelings with feelings of love. Haber (1991) stated that forgiveness is a one-sided process from the forgiver to the forgiven. Enright, Gassin, and Wu (1992) defined forgiveness as "the overcoming of negative affect and judgment toward the offender, not by denying ourselves the right to such affect and judgment, but by endeavoring to view the offender with compassion, benevolence, and love" (p. 101). According to Roberts (1995), virtues are personal traits and forgiveness is a virtue. McCullough, Worthington, and Rachal (1997) defined forgiveness as "the set of motivational changes whereby one becomes (a) decreasingly motivated to retaliate against an offending relationship partner; (b) decreasingly motivated to maintain estrangement from the offender; and (c) increasingly motivated by conciliation and goodwill for the offender, despite the offender's hurtful actions" (pp. 321-322). According to Scobie and Scobie (1998) "Forgiveness is a conscious decision to set aside one's legitimate claim for retaliation or restitution for a damaging act committed by a significant other" (p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.