Beliefs of Counselor Trainees about Forgiveness

Author/s: Fatma Ebru Ikiz, Bahar Mete-Otlu, Esra Asici

DOI: 10.12738/estp.2015.2.2205 

Year: 2015 Vol: 15 Number: 2

Abstract

Counselors might be able to help clients to forgive after interpersonal hurts and one of the first tasks of working toward forgiveness with clients is helping them understand exactly what forgiveness means. However, a counselor who wants to use forgiveness in his/her work must first know what forgiveness is, what forgiveness is not, and which factors affect the forgiveness process. The purpose of the present study is to determine the beliefs of counselor trainees about forgiveness. The scope of this study includes how trainees define forgiveness, as well as their beliefs about their own forgivingness, the factors affecting forgiveness, and the importance of forgiveness in counseling. A qualitative study was conducted with 59 undergraduate students attending the Division of Psychological Counseling and Guidance in Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey, during the 2012-2013 academic year. The data from individual interviews were analyzed using content analysis techniques. The results indicated that the trainees considered forgiveness to be a conditional process in an interpersonal context and attributed some conditions about the offender and the offense to their forgivingness. In particular, apology and awareness of the offender about his/her fault affected their decisions to forgive. In the counseling process, forgiveness was considered an important issue and mostly regarded as a counselor characteristic.

Keywords
Forgiveness, Counseling, Counselor trainees, Counselor development, Therapeutic tools

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