Practicing Forgiveness: A Path Toward Healing

Our relationships enrich our lives. Strong bonds with family, friends, and colleagues make our lives full and vibrant, but they can also be a source of distress or even trauma. Few relationships are perfect, and we often find ourselves let down by even the people we count on most; learning to navigate the challenges is vital to protecting our health and wellbeing.

In this book the author presents a model for forgiveness that addresses how we either repair relationships when someone has harmed us, or how we move forward when relationships are beyond repair. Repairing a relationship is not always practical. The model presented in this book can be helpful to promote self-healing and to either re-establish relationships with others or move forward when reconciliation is harmful or not possible.

Practicing Forgiveness draws on the perspectives of counseling professionals from across the country to explore contextual and cultural aspects of forgiveness with stories, humor, clinical examples, research, and empirical findings, while also considering the influence of environment and religion. The forgiveness process is a universal one, and this book serves as a resource to anyone wishing to gain insight into their own personal journey.

Richard S. Balkin, PhD, LPC, NCC

Dr. Balkin is a Professor and Assistant Department Chair of Leadership and Counselor Education and Coordinator of Educational Research and Design for the School of Education at the University of Mississippi. He began his practice as a professional counselor in 1993 and has worked in academe since 2003. His counseling experience with at-risk youth was formative to his research agenda, which includes understanding the role of counseling and relevant goals for adolescents in crisis and counseling outcomes. Dr. Balkin’s publications include textbooks on assessment in counseling, research, and the counseling relationship; published tests and technical manuals; peer-reviewed manuscripts; book chapters; and conference proceedings. For more information please visit

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