2018 Fall Conference: Promoting Forgiveness
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Everett Worthington speak at a national conference. I was a very young therapist at the time and found myself often overwhelmed by the topic of forgiveness with clients. I had been to seminary and graduate school, so I knew all the right answers and knew what to say in sessions, but I was not always sure how to lovingly convey that message to hurting clients. I remember hearing stories of trauma, grief, and hurt and thinking to myself, “How in the world would I ever broach the subject of forgiveness with this person? That feels so cold!”
What I recall most about hearing Dr. Worthington speak was his testimony. If anyone has the credibility to talk about forgiveness, it would be this man. You see, in 1996, his mother was murdered. His website states that, “While he forgave the murderer, as did his brother and sister, the emotional fallout was devastating, and in 2005, his brother committed suicide. In addition to studying forgiveness of others, Everett drew on his own feelings of guilt and self-condemnation and added the study of self-forgiveness to his interests.”
As I heard him share his testimony at this conference, I hurt for him. I hurt for the trauma he had experienced, the grief he so deeply felt, and the sadness that I could see in him. But I also saw something remarkable. I saw a man who turned what God had allowed to happen in his life into his life’s work. He made the decision to use this evil thing to propel him forward, and to show others about what God says about forgiveness.
Dr. Worthington uses a model called REACH Forgiveness. REACH stands for R–recall the hurt, E–empathize, A–altruistic gift, C–commit, and H–hold onto forgiveness. At the Pathways Fall Conference on September 21, we will hear Dr. Worthington present a Christian worldview for each of these steps in the forgiveness process.
We will also hear his thoughts and research on two different types of forgiveness. The REACH Forgiveness model of intervention has had over 30 published, randomized and controlled trials providing evidence for its efficacy. Dr. Worthington does a wonderful job of coupling practicality and scientific, peer-reviewed research to show the effectiveness of his work.
As a therapist and a believer, I highly recommend this conference for pastors, counselors, and others who would benefit from learning more on this topic. When I left after hearing from Dr. Worthington for the first time, I felt better equipped to help my hurting clients and others in my life with this information and work. I am forever grateful for the unknowing role he and his research have played in my life and in my career. I am sure others will leave this conference feeling the same way!
To learn more about the conference and how you'll register, visit our events page.