Journal Review: The Effects of Forgiveness Therapy on Depression, Anxiety, and Posttraumatic Stress for Women after Spousal Emotional Abuse
May 21. 2011
The 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 about the effects of forgiveness therapy. The study compared forgiveness therapy with alternative treatments, such as anger validation, assertiveness, and interpersonal skills, to provide an efficient treatment for emotional abused women.
The authors of this article found there were many treatments available for women who have been emotional abused by a spousal, but found that there wasn’t any, “clear empirical support for the efficacy” (Reed & Enright, 2006, p. 920). Many researchers have defined the abuse or established ways to recognize the specific type of emotional abuse, i.e., jealous control, criticizing and ridiculing, but those who have been in this position need practiced, proficient results, which take the least amount of time and effort to deal with and/or alter the long term negative psychological effects that can come from this experience. Forgiveness therapy focuses on compassion and sympathy for the spouse who abused them and letting go of any resentment, but without overlooking or excusing the act or reconciling.
The hypothesis of this research study was, “that individuals who participate in forgiveness therapy would demonstrate less depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms and more self-esteem,…than those who engaged in the more standard therapeutic procedure (alternative treatment)”, (Reed & Enright, 2006, p. 921). It was found of the 20 participants, more found better results in psychological health with forgiveness therapy than with an alternative treatment. Forgiveness therapy was found to be successful in giving the desired result of...