Although mental health professionals have attempted to specify the meaning of forgiveness, lack of consensus exists. Despite the lack of consensus over the meaning of forgiveness, there is agreement that forgiving is not forgetting or pardoning. However, the relationship between forgiving and forgetting has been undertheorized, and as a result, this relationship has not been empirically investigated. In this paper, we suggest that it would be fruitful to assess the meaning systems individuals associate with the definition of forgiveness. Focusing on the lived experience of individuals may help researchers and counselors avoid unhelpful dichotomizations such as "authentic vs. inauthentic" forgiveness. Implications for both research and mental health counseling are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.