Cover image for Forgive for good : a proven prescription for health and happiness
Forgive for good : a proven prescription for health and happiness
Luskin, Fred.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvii, 222 pages ; 24 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BF637.F67 L87 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Newstead Library BF637.F67 L87 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library BF637.F67 L87 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library BF637.F67 L87 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library BF637.F67 L87 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Results from Dr. Fred Luskin's Stanford University Forgiveness Project, one of the largest and most important studies on forgiveness ever conducted, show that learning how to forgive improves our emotional and physical well-being. Holding onto resentment or hurt disrupts our personal and professional lives, leads to bad decision-making, and releases stress chemicals that can have a negative effect on our health. Yet all too many of us clutch our grievances and give away our power by remaining victims of the people who have hurt us.

By teaching us how to forgive, this book enables us to move beyond being a victim to a life of improved health and contentment. Based on scientific research, this groundbreaking study from the frontiers of psychology and medicine offers startling new insight into the healing powers of forgiveness. Through vivid examples (including his work with victims from both sides of Northern Ireland's civil war), Dr. Fred Luskin offers a proven nine-step forgiveness method. Participants in Stanford University's Forgiveness Project experienced:

Decrease in feelings of hurt Reduction in the physical symptoms of stress, including backache, muscle aches, dizziness, and upset stomach Increase in optimism Reduction in long-term experience of angera significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease

Forgive for Good distills the essential elements of Dr. Luskin's forgiveness training into an accessible guide for overcoming the negative effects of anger, bitterness, and resentment by gaining control of our feelings. Forgiveness does not mean condoning the behavior of those who have hurt us. Forgiveness is a choice that we make to release our past and heal our present.

Author Notes

Dr. Fred Luskin has a Ph.D. in counseling and health psychology from Stanford University. He is currently the cofounder and director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

To forgive may be divine, according to Alexander Pope, but it is hardly easy. How do you forgive a hit-and-run driver, a boss who makes life unbearable, or a cheating spouse? Luskin says not only can you forgive such people but that for your own good mental and physical health, you must. The author is careful to make the distinction between forgiveness and condoning actions, forgetting them, or reconciling with the offender, all or some of which may not be possible. He says that over time we build up "grievances" against others on which we obsess and that make it impossible to get on with our lives. It is only through forgiveness that we can let go of the grievance, stop playing the role of victim, and move on. Through case studies, he indicates how we build up grievances and how they can block our happiness. He then describes the HEAL method of forgiveness, which stands for Hope, Educate, Affirm, and Long-term. Good practical advice for a very difficult task. --Marlene Chamberlain

Publisher's Weekly Review

Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, insists Fred Luskin in Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, nor does it mean condoning bad behavior. What it does mean is that you "take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel, and become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell." Luskin, a practicing psychologist and cofounder of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, shows why forgiveness is important for mental and physical health, explains how to form a grievance and suggests practical steps for healing. He uses examples from his clinical practice including instances of broader cultural grievances like those between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland in this solidly researched and convincing guide. ( Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Part 1 Creating a Grievancep. 1
1. Renting Too Much Space to Disappointmentp. 3
2. Taking Things Too Personallyp. 12
3. The Blame Gamep. 21
4. The Grievance Storyp. 33
5. Rules, Rules, Rulesp. 46
Part 2 Forgivenessp. 61
6. To Forgive or Not to Forgive: That Is the Questionp. 63
7. The Science of Forgivenessp. 77
8. Northern Ireland: The Ultimate Testp. 94
Part 3 Forgive For Goodp. 103
9. Forgiveness Techniques for Healing: Changing the Channel, Breath of Thanks, Heart Focus, and PERTp. 105
10. From Unenforceable Rules to Wishes and Hopesp. 123
11. Your Positive Intentionp. 137
12. The HEAL Methodp. 154
13. The HEAL Method Part II: Soothing the Hurtp. 167
14. The Four Stages of Becoming a Forgiving Personp. 178
15. Forgive Yourselfp. 193
16. Above and Beyondp. 208
Acknowledgmentsp. 219
A Note to the Readerp. 221

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