Dissertation Title:

Facilitating Self-Forgiveness in Psychotherapy: Clinical Perceptions on The Efficacy of Treatment Interventions


Sherry Marie Martyn

Date, Time & Place:

March 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm
Lecture Hall, Lambert Road campus


Literature extoling the psychological benefits of self-forgiveness are robust, yet there are no evidence-based models for facilitating self-forgiveness in individual psychotherapy. Further, there is no consensus in the literature on the definition of self-forgiveness. This quantitative, survey-based study examined licensed clinicians’ (N=57) perceptions of the efficacy of self-forgiveness treatment interventions, their preferred definitions of self-forgiveness, and how frequently treatment methodologies were utilized. Correlational analyses examined the relationship between clinicians’ definitions, perceptions of efficacy, and frequencies of use of self-forgiveness methods and the clinicians’ demographic factors (theoretical orientation, type of licensure, age, years of clinical experience and type of training). Hong and Jacinto’s (2012) definition was the most frequently chosen (36.8%), followed by Hulnick and Hulnick’s (2011) definition (35.1%). Most clinicians were not familiar with any of the various treatment methods (57.9%). Among clinicians familiar enough to rate the methods, Hulnick and Hulnick’s (2011) method received the highest efficacy rating (M = 4.11, SD = 1.17), followed by Enright, et al’s (1996) method (M=3.67, SD = 0.71). The most frequently used were Jacinto and Edwards’ (2011) method (M = 2.09, SD = 1.35) and Hulnick and Hulnick’s (2011) method (M = 2.04, SD = 1.58). Correlations were significant for theoretical orientation and source of training; theoretical orientation provided the largest explanation for variance. Implications for future research, clinical training and development of evidence-based treatment modalities are discussed. Linkage between self-forgiveness and remediating shame, recidivism, spiritual psychology and Jungian psychology are reviewed.



This is due to Pacifica’s conditional use permit, which restricts campus parking. Please call 896-1887 or 896-1888 for a shuttle pickup from the Best Western. A Pacifica shuttle driver will pick you up within 10 minutes or so and take you to the campus.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, Track B, 2007
  • Chair: Dr. Juliet Rohde-Brown
  • Reader: Dr. Lisa Sloan
  • External Reader: Dr. Bonnie Paul
  • Keywords: Self-forgiveness, Psychotherapy, Counseling Psychology, Spiritual Psychology, Quantitative Study