Efficacy of a self-forgiveness workbook: a randomized controlled trial with interpersonal offenders

J Couns Psychol. 2015 Apr;62(2):124-36. doi: 10.1037/cou0000060. Epub 2015 Jan 26.


The present study tested the efficacy of a 6-hr self-directed workbook intervention designed to increase self-forgiveness and reduce self-condemnation among perpetrators of interpersonal offenses. University students (N = 204) were randomly assigned to either an immediate treatment or wait-list control condition, and assessments were administered on 3 occasions. Treatment led to increases in self-forgiveness and decreases in self-condemnation. Stronger treatment effects were associated with (a) lower levels of dispositional self-forgivingness, (b) higher levels of transgression severity, and (c) higher dose of treatment. In summary, the workbook appeared to facilitate self-forgiveness among perpetrators of interpersonal wrongdoing, though replication trials are needed to build from these preliminary findings.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Criminals / psychology*
  • Female
  • Forgiveness*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult