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Martens, W.H. (2013). Complex dynamics of forgiveness: Psychological, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic implications. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 22(2):82-94.

(2013). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 22(2):82-94

Complex dynamics of forgiveness: Psychological, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic implications

Willem H.J. Martens


The distinctive correlates of forgiveness are studied and analyzed in this paper. It is concluded that superficial and hasty forms of forgiveness might have a harmful impact on self-respect, self-concepts, self-complexity, and authenticity. Even deep forgiveness might not completely free the individual from negative side-effects, and there is some doubt whether complete forgiveness is possible. The paper also examines what place forgiveness should have in therapeutic settings and how it could be practiced in an accurate and safe manner.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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