Fueled by a fundamental belief in the strength and resourcefulness of families, Dr. Terry Hargrave sets forth a conceptual framework to help therapists and their clients negotiate the difficult pathway toward achieving forgiveness.
Unflinchingly honest yet deeply optimistic, the volume is based on a complex therapeutic process that Dr. Hargrave has used - quite successfully - with numerous clients who have suffered severe violations of love and trust within their intergenerational families. He conceptualizes the work of forgiveness as four "stations" on the journey toward this goal.
These include Station One: Insight, which addresses the origins of family pain and how insight can be used to make initial inroads to trustworthiness by stopping and blocking the perpetuation of unjustified and harmful actions. Station Two: Understanding pertains to the origins of guilt and shame and how the client can rework his or her perspective to ultimately reduce pain.
The tough and risky work of forgiveness is the subject of Station Three: Giving the Opportunity for Compensation. It is here that forgiving is considered as a process by which the victim gives the victimizer the opportunity to demonstrate love and trust in the present so that the family can be reworked. Station Four: The Overt Act of Forgiveness is a step-by-step process, whereby a confrontation between the victim and relational culprit can result in a restoration of love and trust.
The author provides vivid case histories from his own practice that demonstrate how each of the four stations plays out in a therapeutic situation. Practitioners will also benefit greatly from a discussion of the therapeutic issues facing the therapist who is helping an individual or family work through painful violations. Dr. Hargrave addresses the goals, pace, and assessment of forgiveness - ever vigilant to maintain the client's integrity and protection - as well as the role the therapist should play in each station.
The volume concludes with answers to commonly asked questions about the complex and difficult but highly rewarding process of forgiveness.
Families and Forgiveness, the only volume in the therapeutic field to address this timeless issue, will be a great asset to the practice of any therapist who deals with intergenerational violations among his or her clients.
..."Clearly written, thoughtful and articulate... The author's self reflections and stories regarding his won negotiation with shame, hurt and forgiveness add depth and veracity to the book... Useful to clinicians who work with victims and victimizers as well as to family members themselves."
-Families in Society