The Effects Of Forgiveness Therapy On Depression, Anxiety And Posttraumatic Stress For Women After Spousal Emotional Abuse

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Summary The journal article – “The Effects of Forgiveness Therapy on Depression, Anxiety and Posttraumatic Stress for Women after Spousal Emotional Abuse” by Gayle L. Reed and Robert D. Enright is a research study to determine what effects forgiveness therapy has on emotionally abused women who continue to experience negative psychological outcomes long after the abusive relationship has ended. In the article, the authors compared forgiveness therapy (FT) with an alternative treatment (AT) such as anger validation, assertiveness and interpersonal skill building for women who had been emotionally abused and permanently separated from the abuser for more than two years. The intent of the research was to focus on the negativity that…show more content…
The study was the first empirical research supporting the benefits of FT for women who have experienced emotional abuse by a spouse or romantic partner. It concludes that FT is a promising therapeutic approach for women who have experienced emotional abuse since it gave the abused women a relief from negative psychological outcomes which in turn promote courage, competence and altruism.
In order for a spouse, romantic partner/significant other to overcome the psychological and emotional trauma suffered while in an abusive relationship, there must be a willingness to heal and move on, not wallow in self-pity because all that does is exacerbate the situation. As Reed & Enright (2006) noted “Spousal psychological abuse represent a painful betrayal of trust, leading to serious negative psychological outcomes for the abused partner” (Dutton & Painter, 1993; Sackett & Saunders, 1999). The abused individual must be of the mindset that the abuser no longer has power over her, that person can no longer inflict emotional abuse or issue threats to undermine their safety and sanity and it’s time to take back control of her life. Forgiveness is an important step for the abused individual to take to regain control and move forward. Reed & Enright (2006) asserts that “In helping clients move toward forgiveness, clinicians need to differentiate
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