Item description for Forgiving the Unforgivable by Beverly Flanigan...
Overview Now available in trade paperback, Forgiving the Unforgivable presents a six-stage program that guides people out of the paralyzing anger and resentment caused by unforgivable emotional injuries. "Inspiring and thought-provoking . . . should give comfort to those who thought they could never trust a loved one again".--Publishers Weekly.
Publishers Description A clearheaded study of what life can do to us and possible ways to begin again. --Carl A. Whitaker, M.D., author of Midnight Musings of a Family Therapist and coauthor of The Family Crucible Women and men who have been deeply hurt by someone they love often experience a pain that spirals out to undermine their work, relationships, self-esteem, and even their sense of reality. In Forgiving the Unforgivable, author Beverly Flanigan, a leading authority on forgiveness, defines such unforgivable injuries, explains their poisonous effects, and then guides readers out of the paralyzing anger and resentment. As a Fellow of the Kellogg Foundation, Flanigan conducted a pioneering study of forgiveness, and from that study, from her clinical practice, and from her many years of teaching, researching, and conducting professional workshops and seminars, she devised a unique six-stage program, presented here. Filled with inspiring real-life examples, Forgiving the Unforgivable is both a practical and a comforting guide to recovery and healing.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.18" Width: 5.74" Height: 0.64" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Jun 15, 1994
ISBN 0020322305 ISBN13 9780020322306
Availability 0 units.
More About Beverly Flanigan
Beverly Flanigan, M.S.S.W., is a clinical professor at the school of Social Work, University of Wisconsin, and a therapist in private practice specializing in forgiveness.
Beverly Flanigan currently resides in the state of Wisconsin.
Reviews - What do customers think about Forgiving the Unforgivable?
Very helpful in finally forgiving Feb 10, 2004
Provides a systematic approach in carefully distinguishing injurer/injury/injured as well as Your core beliefs about these distinctions. Hopefully it provides you with some relief/release from you current bondage. I fundamentally DO believe in forgiveness. However, my process for arriving at forgiveness always felt more like avoidance or hyper vigilance towards life's risks. For me, it entailed extremes of passive (my needs are irrelevant) at one end, or aggressive(your needs are irrelevant)at the other end. More helpful is an assertive approach which tries to accommodate both parties needs. Initially, this is far more difficult than the passive or aggressive approach. Requires an increased awareness of the present moment and of what is really so for you, as well as for the person you're dealing with. The processes in this book gave me a way to examine my assumptions about what did/did not and/or should/should not have happened; it helped me to become more clear about issues of control and trust; and ultimately learning the wisdom of spreading the trust around, even trusting that I can learn to actively cope with my errors in judgement. Some of the book's 'blaming' and 'punishing' exercises (very hard for me) helped me see that while certain perpetrators could have/should have known (forseen) the damage that would result from their behavior, in most cases, damaging me was not the perpretrator's primary objective. Book also was very 'validating' of my experiences with various therappists, freinds, family lack of capacity to really look at the injury and what the injury means in it's entirety (not just the negative and/or not just the positive aspects). Again, for some of us, it's not so helpful to hear 'yeah, people suck, what are ya gonna do?' or 'just get over it', or 'just forget it', or 'hey, look on the bright side'. Helped me to go from being deeply resigned (hopeless and helpless) to more aware and 'acceptant'of entirety of human nature (both the positive and the negative) and more aware of specifically what I'm really left with after the injury. Hey, for three bucks for a used copy of the book, you can't go wrong. Attaining forgiveness is such a relief !!! Good luck.
If Something Unforgivable Has Happened to You Aug 22, 2003
This book was awesome....understandable...easy read...no convoluted psychological jargon...reasons for why we need to forgive....and suggestions for support groups at the end.... If something you think is unforgivable has happened to you....this is a must read...takes a load of weight off your shoulders...
This book is different from the rest. Sep 1, 2002
I disagree with some of the previous reviews. This book helps people overcome some of the most heinous events imaginable, where changing one's point of view cannot ease the pain. Many books deal with forgiveness of the slings and arrows of more typical human existence, and while those events may be horrible, they may not change lives to the degree of some of the events Flanigan describes. This book deals with methods to overcome the events that cause friends and family to become speechless, or worse, withdraw from the wounded in shock and confusion. It's a challenging book - take it slowly: it's well worth the effort.
Very troubling Mar 26, 2002
This book starts brilliantly: Flanigan understands the profound moral and (for lack of a better word) philosophical harm "unforgiveable injuries" do us. This is well worth reading, as are the first three steps of her program--naming the injury, claiming the injury, and blaming the injurer. From there, it goes WAY down hill.
Flanigan says anyone who successfully forgives must come to the conclusion that, in having suffered betrayal, "his core beliefs have failed him." Wow. The problems with that notion are legion: To start with, one need not have ill-formed beliefs to be horribly betrayed or injured, and the injurer does the damage, not our beliefs, and those damages do not consist mainly of exposing intellectual shortcomings.
Flanigan thinks we forgive by learning that "harm is a constant potential," that the sort of thing done to us is just the sort of thing that happens. This book is not about forgiveness at all. It is about disillusionment.
But injury isn't injury because it teaches us that harm is a constant potential, nor are we susceptible to harm because we don't know that. Every halfway intelligent grown up already knows that. The entire point of building societies (not to mention houses) and making laws and developing contracts and teaching moral codes and such things is precisely because most everyone, except the very sheltered or retarded, already knows that harm is a constant potential. That's why we work hard and--contra Flanigan and her disillusioned forgivers-- amazingly successfully to safeguard ourselves from harm.
That someone breaches the usually-successful safeguards against harm does not teach us anything we didn't already know about the possibility of harm. Harm teaches us about the injurer, not about how the world works.
One thing harm teaches us is that the injurer is dangerous. He or she does not respect basic obligations, agreements, contracts, or other ordinary protections of civil life. Forgiving a dangerous person--giving up the anger and caution that keep you on your toes against such danger--is not a smart thing to do. Flanigan nowhere mentions crucial prerequisites for fogiveness: repentance, remorse, and reform. Without them the injurer remains someone toward who you should be censorious and inhospitable.
If you draw from your injury large conclusions about the world, as Flanigan urges, instead of specific conclusions about the miscreant, you will violate every sound principle of logic, scientific method,and therapy. If you overlook that injurers, not beliefs, are the problem, you may "forgive" someone who is not at all repentant or reformed, and remains a danger.
This book was a big help to me. Jul 26, 2001
My relationship of 3 1/2 years recently ended when my partner left me for another woman. I had no warning that this was coming and was devastated by the abrupt ending. I had foolishly believed that we were both happy. Because I am a believer in attitudinal healing I wanted to be able to forgive. But I was just so hurt and so angry that I couldn't find my way to the forgiveness that would bring back my peace of mind. Then I found this book. It started out by validating all of the feelings that I had ... and explaining how I had lost much more than just the relationship. It then offered practical advice and case studies to help get through the 6 steps for forgiveness. If I had not read this book, I would still be in a much darker place right now. I highly recommend it to those of you suffering from intimate woulds and unforgivable offenses.