How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To (Paperback)
“If you are struggling with issues of betrayal—or the challenge of whether and how to forgive—here is the most helpful and surprising book you will ever find on the subject.”—Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger
Everyone is struggling to forgive someone: an unfaithful partner, an alcoholic parent, an ungrateful child, a terrorist. This award-winning book, recently updated with a new afterword by the author, provides a radical way for hurt parties to heal themselves—without forgiving, as well as a way for offenders to earn genuine forgiveness.
Until now, we’ve been taught that forgiveness is good for us and that good people forgive. Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring, a gifted clinical psychologist and award-winning author of After the Affair, proposes a radical, life-affirming alternative that lets us overcome the corrosive effects of hate and get on with our lives—without forgiving. She also offers a powerful and unconventional model for earning genuine forgiveness—one that asks as much of the offender as it does of the hurt party.
Beautifully written and filled with insight, practical advice, and poignant case studies, this bold and healing book offers step-by-step, concrete instructions that help us make peace with others and ourselves, while answering such crucial questions as these:
- How do I forgive someone who is unremorseful or dead?
- When is forgiveness cheap?
- Can I heal myself – without forgiving?
- How can the offender earn forgiveness?
- What makes for a good apology?
- How do we forgive ourselves for hurting another human being?
Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., is a nationally acclaimed expert on issues of trust, intimacy, and forgiveness. In private practice in Westport, Connecticut, she is the author of the award-winning How Can I Forgive You?, The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To, and Life with Pop: Lessons on Caring for an Aging Parent.
“If you are struggling with issues of betrayal—or the challenge of whether and how to forgive—here is the most helpful and surprising book you will ever find on the subject.” — Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger
“Clear, insightful . . . a thoughtful exposition on the nuanced role of forgiveness in relationships that goes beyond the average self-help book.” — Publishers Weekly
“Finally a book has been written that teaches couples how to make genuine forgiveness a reality without rushing toward a superficial peace. This book can help couples construct a marriage that never existed before, one based on deep understanding and trust.” — John Gottman, Ph.D., author of The Relationship Cure
“This book is a treasure—practical, authentic, illuminating, and wise. It’s like a breath of fresh air that puts forgiveness in a new and revealing light and provides clear steps to turn wounds into wisdom.” — Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and Inner Peace for Busy People
“This book is a treasure trove for anyone who has ever felt betrayed or hurt in a personal relationship. Dr. Spring cuts through all the clichés surrounding forgiveness and views it within a broad spectrum of common relationships—mother-daughter, father-son, student-teacher, husband-wife. We owe her a debt of gratitude for this enlightened and penetrating view of a universal human dilemma.” — Peggy Papp, author of Couples on the Fault Line: New Directions for Therapists
“A fresh and original approach to an ancient challenge. A clinically informed personal guide for the offender and the offended. How Can I Forgive You? should be read by us all.” — Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting the Love You Want
“Spring really shines. . . . Armed with her insights, offenders and those they’ve offended have hope of recovery.” — Bellingham Herald