The article demonstrates the necessary understanding of the term forgiveness and practicing forgiveness in mental health practice. As determined through the previously conducted researches, forgiveness has been practiced and utilized in counseling. The aim of the article is to search for the ways following which the concept of forgiveness can further be used in practicing mental health and counseling tied to the Christian context.
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The article includes an overview of a number of definitions of forgiveness defined in psychological and theological ways. It further provides the necessary understanding of how forgiveness can facilitate and assist the spiritually sensitive counselor. The three dimensions of forgiveness reviewed in the article include forensic forgiveness, therapeutic forgiveness and redemptive forgiveness that have been used to develop a framework for using forgiveness that would facilitate spiritually accommodative therapy. In facilitating individuals, for practicing forgiveness, an important role has been played by the spiritually sensitive counselor. The counselor needs to be sensitive to the Christian tradition (Scott 2013).
The characteristics and skills of a Christian counselor must necessarily include having the ability to engage with the individuals, that have been victimized, in his/her sufferings. In this way, they would be able to encourage them in the most efficient way of utilizing forgiveness and providing them with the necessary empathy. The counseling would be done to make the people believe that they are sons and daughters of God. Further, the counselor, when aiding victims, must have such skills and characteristics that he resembles with the face of God (Parker 2011). The implications for the provision of Christian counseling would include allowing the individuals to become more like their Christ, provide them with the ability to face losses in life, and face one another thus building a sense of forgiveness. The Christian counselor is responsible for developing safe and respectful relationships with the victims. This would further help in redemption and liberation as the victim experiences a safe relationship with the spiritual Christian counselor.
As a result of the services of the counselor, He may be personified as a governor for encouraging the people to be forgiving. The counselor would further be responsible for ensuring and restoring safety at the places where victimization has occurred such as local communities, family, and the church as well. Following the services as provided by the counselor, of facilitating forgiveness from a Christian spiritual perspective, would further make the local communities and families help each other providing with the necessary counseling through the perspective of forgiveness, identifying the needs of the people and making efforts to fulfill the desired needs (McMinn, Staley, Webb and Seegobin 2010). Among the three types of forgiveness as discussed by the authors in the article, the therapeutic forgiveness or therapeutic intervention is considered as the only dimension facilitating forgiveness from the spiritual Christian perspective. The concerns, however, are also raised by the counselors using the approaches of the therapeutic use of forgiveness. The spiritually sensitive counselor would also be able to incorporate the redemptive dimensions of forgiveness.
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