Forgiveness as outcome in emotion focused therapy for adult survivors with childhood abuse.

Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The objectives of the present study were to (1) identify clients who reported forgiveness with abusive and/or neglectful other(s) in Emotion Focused Therapy for Adult Survivors of childhood abuse (EFT-AS) and (2) determine whether this subgroup was distinct from clients who did not report forgiveness in terms of pre-treatment characteristics, therapy processes and outcome. Previous studies have shown conflicting results concerning forgiveness in EFT-AS where forgiveness is not an explicit goal of therapy. In two studies, clients, on average, reported resolving issues, and separation from abusive/neglectful other(s), but no reductions in hostility (Rice & Paivio, 1999; Paivio & Greenberg, 1995). Since forgiveness has been defined as increased separation from and reduced hostility toward the offender (McCollough, 2001; Rotter, 2001), this type of resolution does not meet criteria for forgiveness. An analysis of post-treatment interviews (PTI) showed that some clients did report both reductions in hostility and forgiveness of abusive/neglectful others (Paivio, 2001). These findings led to further exploration of the data. This study used archival data from 23 clients and examined changes in perceptions of self and others, identified by clients in PTI's and client's responses to individual items on the Resolution Scale (RS; Singh, 1994) and the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB; Benjamin, 1988). Specific criteria on these measures were used to categorize clients as resolvers (R) or non-resolvers (NR), forgivers (F) or non-forgivers (NF) of others and forgiver of self (FS) or non-forgiver of self (NFS). Results indicated that there were (1) more resolvers than forgivers of others in both relationships, (2) more self-forgivers than other-forgivers in both relationships, (3) more other-forgivers in neglectful versus abusive relationships, and (4) no significant differences between forgivers and non-forgivers on any of the measures.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .C43. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-03, page: 1511. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.