Early in his career as a marriage counselor, writes the Washington Post, psychologist Everett Worthington “noticed that many couples become irritated by the offenses and wrongs they have suffered, but he also realized that they can only make progress if they forgive each other.” How?
From here and based on his own insights, Dr. Worthington began to develop a theory and a long academic career that has at its core “the study of forgiveness,” in fact a new science. So much so that together with his other colleagues he recently completed a study conducted in five countries showing that when forgiveness “is taught, practiced and achieved, the result leads to better overall mental well-being.” Already, because “forgiveness can change relational dynamics and prevent very burdensome facts for society,” pointed out Worthington, professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University. “There are injustices that we experience every day. People don’t necessarily have to forgive, it’s their free choice, they can do it or not do it,” but doing so changes a lot
His marriage therapy involves exercises and suggestions, specific techniques “for learning to let go.” The latest updated version of his theory and technique of forgiveness, which can be downloaded for free in as many as five languages guarantees a person can “become more forgiving in about two hours” through precise mental exercises.
The study, conducted among 4,598 participants spread across Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ukraine, Colombia and South Africa, invited half of them to perform and complete the exercises over a two-week period. The result was that forgiveness as a method used “brought about a statistically significant reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety” among those assisted.