Forgiveness Therapy

A research study to find the effects of forgiveness therapy (FT) on depression, anxiety, and
posttraumatic stress for women after spousal emotional abuse was carried out. The study
hypothesized that abused spouse who participate in forgiveness therapy (FT) will have less
anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms and more self-esteem than those that
participates in the alternative therapy (AT). Forgiveness therapy was compared to other
alternative therapies like assertiveness, anger validation and interpersonal skill building for
women who are emotionally abused and have been separated for two or more years. Twenty
women who are between the ages of 32 and 54 and who are emotionally abused participated in
the research. They were divided into groups of 10 pairs and matched as closely as possible in
age, duration of abuse relationship and time since separation (Reed & Enright, 2006). All
participants were made to sign the informed consent form before the pretest, posttest and follow-
up. After pretesting, the pairs were divided into two groups consisting of the experimental
participants and the control group. The experimental participants were subjected to one hour of
weekly forgiveness therapy session based on the Enright Forgiveness Process Model while the
other group participated in a weekly one-hour alternative therapy using participant-initiated
discussion of current life concerns. Time of treatment for each pair was equal. The result from
forgiveness therapy (FT) and the alternative therapy (AT) were compared on all dependent
variables with matched pair t-test (Reed & Enright, 2006). Analysis of result shows that
forgiveness therapy (FT) participants did better significantly compared to the participant in the
alternative therapy session. The research shows that forgiveness therapy (FT) is more efficacious
than alternative therapy (AT) in reducing anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress symptoms