HTS Theological Studies
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
DENTON, Rudy A.. Utilisation of forgiveness within a pastoral Gestalt therapeutic intervention. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2011, vol.67, n.3, pp. 191-202. ISSN 0259-9422.
This article is based on a pastoral base theory within the Gestalt therapeutic perspective to guide abused persons in their utilisation of forgiveness as a source of a recovery experience. The formation of the paradigm is based on a multidisciplinary approach, which takes place on the interface between pastoral counselling and Gestalt therapy without the unique content and character of pastoral care or the Gestalt therapy being lost. It appears that forgiveness, as a source of repair experience, can guide abused persons to psychological and physical health, positive emotions and healthy social interaction. Forgiveness can be defined as the unconditional acceptance of God's grace through faith, and release (surrender) of an offender to the mercy of God. It does not deny the pain or change the past, but it breaks the cycle of bitterness that abused people associate with the pain of the past. Through the use of forgiveness as a coping mechanism abused people can be guided to handle unfinished business.