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200 word count per peer reply Angelo Peer 1 Dr. Robert


200 word count per peer reply


Angelo Peer 1

Dr. Robert D. Enright’s approach to forgiveness therapy, as presented in this week’s video titled “Couple’s Forgiveness Therapy for Marital Conflict,” distinguishes itself from the Traditional Behavioral Couple Therapy (TBCT) discussed in Chapter 19 of this week’s text. Enright’s method prioritizes understanding and empathizing with each partner’s past wounds, facilitating a personal journey toward forgiveness without necessarily waiting for an apology or behavioral change. This conflicts with TBCT, which focuses on behavioral exchanges, communication training, and problem-solving to enhance relationship satisfaction through direct behavioral modification. One term that resonated with me was “woundedness,” which Dr. Enright used to describe the deep emotional pain felt by both parties, this was striking because it is those emotional wounds that hold back the ability to move fwd.  While TBCT aims to change observable behaviors to improve relationship dynamics, forgiveness therapy seeks to heal emotional wounds through a deep, self-acknowledging process, addressing the in-depth psychological factors influencing marital hardships. Dr. Enright’s approach is more introspective, requiring a readiness to forgive, which can lead to a transformative experience affecting both partners deeply. 

A good example from Scripture that comes to mind when supporting the use of forgiveness in resolving conflict is found in Colossians 3:13: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” This verse really shows the true heart of forgiveness therapy by urging individuals to forgive, mirroring the unconditional forgiveness offered by our God. It highlights the importance of forgiveness in maintaining harmonious relationships, suggesting that forgiveness can be a powerful tool in resolving conflicts, which seems to be the central principle to Enright’s therapy model. Faith can play a transformative role in couples therapy and the healing of wounds by providing a shared framework of values and beliefs that foster resilience, hope, and forgiveness. It serves as a foundational pillar upon which couples can rebuild trust, find meaning in their struggles, and navigate the complexities of forgiveness. Through faith, partners are encouraged to view their relationship within a broader spiritual context, promoting a sense of purpose and commitment beyond the immediate emotional pain or conflict. 

Barlow, D. H. (2021). *Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders: A Step-by-Step Treatment Manual* (6th ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN: 9781462547043.

New International Bible. (2011). The NIV Bible. Retrieved from (Original work published 1978).



Kylie Peer 2

Dr. Enright starts the session off strong by asking each partner in the relationship questions that test their “mindset” of love. This is a great introduction to the topic of forgiveness. The formulation of the session begins as Dr. Enright “conceptualizes the problems of the couple” and draws them out for their better understanding of one another (Barlow, 2021, p. 747). He breaks down the theme of Joe and Sabrina’s distress and frustration, later providing a deep analysis of their past and how it affects their present, as well as explaining the mutual trap of “unforgiveness” that they have both found themselves in. His approach is fairly cohesive with that of the text on integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT). 

Dr. Enright was able to help Sabrina and Joe break down some walls of bitterness and anger by introducing the topic of how to see the other from their “wounded heart” during the analysis stage. Similarly, scripture calls us to view and treat our neighbor as Christ first loved us, which he did knowing that we would sin again. The ultimatum Dr. Enright offered them on the definition of forgiveness resonated with me, as it did with the clients. He said “When you forgive, you are offering goodness to those who have not been good to you” (Couples Forgiveness, 6:51). He also added that is easy to forgive those who are kind to you, but more challenging to forgive those who have hurt you. As he broke down the definitions of forgiveness, fairness, justice, and reconciliation, both parties sat in a stronger place of understanding one another and what would be needed to move past their pain. The greatest concept that I believe Dr. Enright brought to the table was the example of forgiveness being something that frees oneself. Therefore, camping in unforgiveness is trapping oneself in pain and bitterness, and this can often bleed into other relationships: romantic, professional, and most importantly what they inflict on their children. Scripture states that “love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends” (English Standard Version, Proverbs 17:9). I have seen and experienced far too many times when a grudge, or lack of forgiveness, allowed for division and bitterness to choke out the life of a relationship. I believe there is great power in this verse and complements Dr. Enright’s approach with Sabrina and Joe beautifully. They both expressed how they are holding on to something from the past and were later able to acknowledge that it has kept them from being kind and forgiving to one another. 

 

References:

Barlow, D. H. (2021). 
Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders (6th ed.). Guilford Publications, Inc.. 

to an external site.

English Standard Version Bible. (2001). ESV Online. 


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