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Forgiveness and Letting Go in Emotion-Focused Therapy
Greenberg, Leslie S. and Catalina Woldarsky Meneses
American Psychological Association / Hardcover / 2019-07-01 / 1433830574
Person-Centered and Experiential Therapy & Counsel
reg price: $78.50 our price: $ 66.73
240 pages
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Many individuals and couples come to therapy because of unresolved feelings of anger and hurt due to experiences of being wronged, betrayed, or violated. Over the past 20 years, Leslie Greenberg and his colleagues have undertaken clinical research to articulate a model of emotional injury resolution and map out a therapy-assisted path to forgiveness. This book shows how forgiveness oriented Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) helps individuals and couples process distressing negative emotions and transform them by accessing internal resources of strength and self compassion.

Step-by-step guides for conducting EFT and EFT for couples (EFT-C), along with analyses of extensive clinical case material, show readers how to:promote clients' ownership of their emotional experienceempower clients to appropriately assign responsibility for harm donehelp clients see themselves as having the personal resources and resilience to recover from the emotional injury.

Therapists will also learn to help clients determine whether forgiveness-with or without reconciliation with the injurer-is the right path, or whether it may be enough to simply let go of negative feelings.


This book is a happy marriage between forgiveness practice and emotion-focused couples therapy, especially using empty-chair dialogues. Therapists and counselors working with clients who have emotional injuries will benefit from knowing that they have several options: holding people accountable, letting go, or forgiving. A great how-to book.
—Everett L. Worthington, Jr., PhD
Commonwealth Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

Don't be fooled by the title of this book. It is not about one type of therapy dealing with one type of problem. For some clients, forgiveness is an optimal route to a more peaceful and fulfilling life, for others it is invalidating and socially unjust. As experts in the complexity of human suffering and the process of change, Greenberg and Woldarsky Meneses provide vivid clinical examples, conceptual maps, and various empirically based guidelines for moving away from emotional pain. A crucial therapeutic tool for all mental health practitioners.
—Louis G. Castonguay, PhD
Liberal Arts Professor of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Table of Contents:


Emotion-Focused Therapy
Emotion-Focused Therapy and Forgiveness for Individuals
Case Examples of the Resolution Process for Individuals
Overview of the Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples Framework
Emotion-Focused Therapy and Forgiveness or Reconciliation for Couples
A Model of the Process of Forgiving in Couples Therapy
Case Example of Forgiveness for Couples




About the Authors

About the Authors:

Leslie Greenberg, PhD, is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at York University in Toronto. He has authored key texts on emotion-focused psychotherapy, from its inception in the 1980s through today.

He has received the Senior Distinguished Research Career Award of the Society for Psychotherapy Research as well as the Carl Rogers Award and the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Applied Research of APA.

He conducts a private practice for individuals and couples and provides training on emotion-focused approaches.

Visit the Emotion Focused Therapy Clinic website for information on training.

Catalina Woldarsky Meneses, PhD, is a psychotherapist who works with individuals and couples in private practice. She is also an adjunct professor at Webster University's Graduate Counselling Program, Geneva campus.

She completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at York University, under the guidance and mentorship of Leslie S. Greenberg.

She is involved in supervising and training therapists learning emotion-focused therapy in North America and Europe and is one of the founding members and current vice president of the Swiss Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy.

Dr. Woldarsky Meneses was born in Chile, grew up and studied in Canada, and now lives in Switzerland with her family.

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