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“The pyramid model of forgiveness: Some interdisciplinary speculations about unforgiveness and the promotion of forgiveness.”

Worthington, Everett L
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) In Dimensions of forgiveness: Psychological research & theological forgiveness, ed. Everett L. Worthington, Jr., 107-138. With a preface and an introduction by Everett L. Worthington, Jr. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

Worthington notes that scientific research on interventions to promote forgiveness is sparse. In this context, he presents his Pyramid Model of Forgiveness, a version of an empathy model of intervention. As part of the basis for his approach, he speculates about a neurobiological foundation for unforgiveness and forgiveness; a table lists various conditions in a person and in a person’s environment associated with not forgiving or forgiving. His Pyramid Model of treatment has five steps (REACH): (1) Recall the hurt; (2) Empathize with the one who committed the hurt; (3) offer the Altruistic gift of forgiveness; (4) make a Commitment to forgive; and (5) Hold onto forgiveness. Worthington concludes with a consideration of forgiveness and its connection to reconciliation.


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