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October 29 2023, 19:13pm - October 29, 19:13pm

Do I have to forgive to be able to heal?

£65, Trainee rate £25, COL or other financial constraints free


This question is often brought to therapy by those who have suffered from childhood trauma in the form of sexual, physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual abuse and neglect. The question can also be complicated by considering whom they should forgive, the person or people who perpetrated the abuse? Or sometimes the client cannot forgive themselves, having been so young when they were abused, they could only see and understand things as their own fault or responsibility, being in that stage of development where whatever an abuser told them had to be true. Or being so young that they were in the ego-centric stage of development, ‘It had to be my fault’. Some professionals in the field of childhood trauma suggest that there is a ‘final stage of healing’ which includes forgiving the abuser and those parents or professionals who failed to protect when the abuse was occurring. Others are clear that forgiveness is not a requirement for healing and recovery to be possible. As practitioners, have you had the opportunity to think about what forgiveness means to you in general, and then in the context of childhood abuse? This is the day for that exploration.


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Last updated: 13 August 2023