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Journal Article Review:Self-Forgiveness: The Stepchild of Forgiveness Research by Hall and Fincham

Updated on December 26, 2017


The purpose of this article is to stipulate a conceptual scrutiny of the interpersonal or self- forgiveness aspect. The emphasis is to inspire more research on the topic of forgiveness. The researchers were motivated to undertake this research owing to the low level of empirical research available on the subject of self-forgiveness. Accordingly, the authors, Hall and Fincham (2005) strive to distinguish the concepts of self-forgiveness, pseudo-forgiveness, and interpersonal forgiveness. There is an outline of a new theoretical framework that is used to describe the processes which are engaged in self-forgiveness after an outlining of interpersonal transgression. The model outlined by the author is intended to facilitate more studies on the issue of self-forgiveness. Its value lies in the massive support it harbors from available research.


Indeed, as articulated by Hall and Fincham (2005), the topic of self-forgiveness is least explored. This assessment is, therefore, a good way of stirring interests from other researchers to a more thorough and in-depth study on the subject. I duly harbor strong beliefs that self-forgiveness is one of the most potential steps that can be utilized by an individual in getting rid of shameful experiences. This is more relevant for people who have been subjected to abuse, although it still applies to each person. Furthermore, self-forgiveness is particularly important in enhancing not only the emotional health of individuals, but, also in reinforcing the peace of mind. If shame is healed, then one will be in a position of seeing himself in a clearer manner, both on the negative and positive manner. Moreover, a person will be able to identify areas that he or she has harmed him/her and what is needed to be done to change that aspect. Therefore, I concur with Hall and Fincham (2005) on the need to emphasize the role of self-forgiveness for an individual’s wellbeing. What is more, how this process need to be undertaken is also a critical factor to be considered. This article is indeed among the few studies available which have presented the role of self-forgiveness and the process that need to be followed in another perspective.

In the article by Hall and Fincham (2005), the definition of the word self-forgiveness is elaborate. It is also supported by a diversity of research supporting or explaining the concept. In other words, the authors have utilized an extensive array of scholarly sources to explain the concept-self forgiveness. In addition, the authors have also made a concise comparison of self-forgiveness with seudo-self-forgiveness, and interpersonal forgiveness, with an aim of distinguishing between the three concepts. This has not only been important in supporting the arguments presented but also makes it easier for all level of audiences to understand each of these concepts, the differences and relations to each other among others. After explaining the concepts, the authors have then go on to present the new model of self-forgiveness with each process clearly highlighted. The process presented is not only easy to follow but also logical. Furthermore, there are sufficient levels of evidence utilized to back the reasoning behind the process. Therefore, I can say that the author’s framework is convincing enough at this stage and need to be embraced by those in the counseling discipline.


The scenario in this counseling session is a church office where the client, a woman has approached me (the pastor) to solve her marital woes with the husband. Upon arrival on my office after requesting for an appointing, the woman appears charged and angry to her husband for what she considers as disrespect and lack of concern for her welfare. She points out that at some points, she saw her husband chatting with some woman while at another time, and another woman “looked at him”. According to her, this is enough evidence that her husband’s ways is suspicious and therefore, she cannot trust him. She therefore insists that it is high time that he confesses his infidelity or she does something bad to him. She basically wants to know on what is wrong with her that his husband has to chat with other women.

A closer analysis of the client’s history reveals that she was subjected to a harsh environment, with an adverse psychotically torture. Furthermore, the client had gone through various relationship breaks which adversely affected her psychological and emotional wellbeing. Although her condition had reached a stage which can be considered as severe, I immediately engaged her in discussions regarding his perceptions, pointing out where the mistake was and where there was no mistake. In revisiting the history and circumstances with her, I endeavored to reason with her on why her views and reasoning are flawed and how her upbringing plus the relationship experiences had contributed to her attitude towards such issues. I informed her that there was no wrong in someone having a normal chat with another person unless they were in a compromising situation and that no one was in control of who looked at him or her.

I also encouraged her to call her husband so that they can solve the issue together. Upon arriving, the husband explained that the wife had been overly suspicious and jealous of him. She didn’t want him to greet even people who were living in the same plot, whether men or women. Accordingly, she was threatening him with all forms of abuses and insults.

Upon reasoning with her, she felt a sense of guilty for her attitude and consequently agreed to seek further assistance for her damaged ego. After a while, she developed conciliatory behavior towards me and her husband. Stated differently, she became remorse to her partner after realizing that her behavior had been peculiar. In the end, she felt content after assurance that her husband had forgiven her and the pastor had also valued her personality. She felt appreciated and eager to pursue the help.

o course pedagogy and content is essential in ensuring that economic students are better prepared to face and deal with the current world. What is more, despite its associated challenges and disadvantages, this approach presents integral components that can help students in not only relating their economic skills with their world, but also learning the better ways of designing practices to achieve desired goals. The pluralist perspective exposes students to multiple paradigms that present relevant content coverage. Furthermore, it encourages the faculty into moving away from lectures and embrace active and practical learning to shape their thinking skills. As for now, the concern should be geared towards making a pluralist approach to economics to be more useful. What this generally implies is that economists and researchers need to take an active responsibility in finding the best materials through research to formulate an economic curricular that meets the demands of the new approach.


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