The Psychology of Feeling Sorry : The Weight of the Soul book cover
1st Edition

The Psychology of Feeling Sorry
The Weight of the Soul

ISBN 9780415600477
Published December 5, 2012 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

Can feeling genuinely sorry enable an important healing experience? Can relieving the weight of guilt restore a general sense of self-worth? Can an individual's dawning awareness give birth to feelings of remorse; perhaps even to acts of repentance?

The concepts of betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness have long been a major part of religious doctrine throughout the world. However, only in recent times has the impact of these emotions become of interest to those involved in psychological study. In The Psychology of Feeling Sorry, Peter Randall links contemporary psychological research with religious teachings and doctrine that have provided spiritual guidance for hundreds of years.

Illustrated with explanatory narratives, Randall fuses religious precepts with psychological theory concerning one of the least understood but most common of human emotions; feeling bad about one's 'sins'.

Using an eclectic approach Randall explores how much of what is believed within the domain of faith is now supported by modern psychological research. This book will be of interest not only to those with religious beliefs, but to psychologists, psychotherapists, students, and anyone with an interest in the intersection of psychology, psychotherapy, and theology.

Table of Contents

The Weight of the Soul. The Stirrings of Conscience. Interpersonal Relationships and Betrayal. Interpersonal Relationships, Religion and Vengeance. Shame, Guilt and Remorse. Remorse and Criminal Offending. Religion, Spirituality and Remorse. Forgiveness. Remorse, Empathy, Forgiveness and Therapy. The Weight of the Soul.

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Peter Randall is a retired Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society.


"The book is a fascinating, rich, and highly rewarding account of the complexity of feeling sorry with its related phenomenology, actions, and interpersonal reverberations... There is much that is relevant to psychologists in the helping professions, including the likelihood that regrets and shame might emerge toward the end of one’s life. Interpersonal transgressions weigh down on people—hence the title of Randall’s volume—and a strength of the book is that it does not follow affective science blindly in giving quantitative succour to qualitative spiritual questions but seeks answers instead in the complex details of human secular and faith-based existence." - Gavin Sullivan, Leeds Metropolitan University, PsycCRITIQUES