Comparison of Two Group Interventions to Promote Forgiveness: Empathy as a Mediator of Change

Sandage, Steven J.; Worthington Jr., Everett L.
January 2010
Journal of Mental Health Counseling;Jan2010, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p35
Academic Journal
Undergraduate student volunteers (N=97) were randomly assigned to one of two six-hour forgiveness psychoeducational seminars or to a wait-list control group. Based on attachment theory, forgiveness was conceptualized in relation to the care-giving behavioral system (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). Both the Empathy Forgiveness Seminar and the Self-enhancement Forgiveness Seminar facilitated forgiveness to a greater degree than the wait-list control group at post-test and six-week follow-up. Empathy mediated changes in participants' forgiveness scores regardless of seminar condition. Shame-proneness was negatively related to post-test forgiveness scores and guilt-proneness was positively related to forgiveness at post-test and follow-up. Implications for interventions are discussed.


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