Preface: What's so difficult about self-forgiveness?

Lydia Woodyatt, Everett L. Worthington, Michael Wenzel, Brandon J. Griffin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

16 Citations (Scopus)


Self-forgiveness is one method by which people process self-condemnation in the aftermath of perceived wrongdoing or failure. When people seek to resolve self condemnation, they attempt to reconcile conflicting identities—one who accepts personal responsibility for violation of a socio-moral value and experiences consequent emotions like guilt and shame, as well as one who seeks self-acceptance through release of distressing emotions directed at the self. For this reason, the challenge of forgiving oneself is to both accept responsibility for a perceived violation and accept oneself as a person of value. In this prologue we outline what to expect in this volume on the psychology of self-forgiveness. We preview the chapters in which expert researchers and clinicians offer their views on self-forgiveness, conceptual models that guide research and practice in different areas, and agendas for future research and practice. We identify ten themes to keep in mind when reading this book. Overall, we hope that readers will appreciate the many roles of self forgiveness in personal well-being and interpersonal relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Psychology of Self-Forgiveness
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783319605739
ISBN (Print)9783319605722
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2017


  • guilt
  • positive psychology
  • psycopathology
  • personal transgression
  • counselling psychology


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