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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Healing Through Forgiveness

by Silvie Ward, PhD 7 CE Credits

A significant part of personal growth and healing is forgiveness, both of oneself and others.  We cannot move on if we are tethered to old wounds. This course explores the research on forgiveness and its relationship to physical and emotional health to build a knowledge base about this essential component of every day living and interpersonal relations. Participants are provided with the opportunity to explore their own relationship with forgiveness and to practice the steps of forgiveness. The clinical therapeutic applications for direct patient care are discussed. Topics include different types and models of forgiveness, beneficial effects on health, different methods of forgiveness, and how and when to incorporate forgiveness and reconciliation into patient care.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction to Forgiveness
  • Definitions of Forgiveness and Important Terms
  • Types of Forgiveness
  • Which Forgiveness is More/Most important?
  • Theoretical Models of Forgiveness
  • Research Methods Suited for Forgiveness
  • Measuring Forgiveness and Associated Variables
  • Associated Sociodemographic Factors
  • Cognitive-Affective and Dispositional Factors: An In-Depth Look
  • What Does Executive Functioning Have to do with it?
  • Possible Biological and Psychological Health-Related Benefits of Forgiveness
  • Population-based and Situation-specific Variables
  • Anger: The Special Ingredient of Forgiveness and Health
  • Moving Toward and Through Forgiveness
  • Evidence-based Clinical Interventions
  • Conclusions and Future Directions
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Define the concept of forgiveness from a therapeutic perspective and identify 8 types of forgiveness.
  • Discuss and compare 5 common theoretical models of forgiveness and recognize emerging models.
  • Summarize 3 assessment domains related to forgiveness (e.g., self-report) and at least 5 sociocultural factors that influence the process of forgiveness.
  • Recognize the impact forgiveness, or its absence, can have on their patient’s physical and emotional health and the specific role anger and hostility play in this process.
  • Use the 4 phase model of “forgiveness” to guide treatment goals and applied clinical work with patients.