221 – Don’t Ask Me to Forgive You!

A Radical Approach to Healing Interpersonal Wounds
Janis Abrahms Spring

Forgiveness has been held up as the gold standard of recovery from interpersonal injuries, but in real life, hurt parties often find that they can’t or won’t forgive, particularly when the offender is unrepentant or dead. In this workshop, you’ll learn to reframe the healing process in ruptured relationships not as forgiveness, but as acceptance without forgiving. You’ll also explore how to:

  • Differentiate between forgiveness as it’s traditionally defined and acceptance as a tool to free clients from bitterness or preoccupation with their wounds
  • Coach hurt parties to reframe the personal meaning of a deeply wounding experience without the additional dimension of shame
  • Design ways to create an apology that’s specific and heartfelt
  • Empower both parties to acknowledge a fair share of responsibility for the wound as a way of fostering personal growth and perhaps reconnection and forgiveness


Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD, ABPP, is a former clinical supervisor at Yale University and author of After the Affair, How Can I Forgive You? and Life with Pop.

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