1st Edition

Understanding Forgiveness and Addiction Theory, Research, and Clinical Application

By Jon R. Webb Copyright 2021
    238 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book integrates and synthesizes numerous empirically supported positive psychological constructs and psychotherapeutic theories to help understand addiction and facilitate recovery through the lens of forgiveness.

    Proposing forgiveness as an alternative and critical tool to understanding the process of addiction and recovery, whether in the context of substance use, compulsive behavior, and/or suicidal behavior, the book discusses multiple theoretical points of view regarding the process of forgiveness. Additionally, foundational theories underlying the process of recovery, the psychological and spiritual nature of forgiveness, and the nature of the association of forgiveness with health all receive detailed coverage. Considerable attention is also paid to the extant empirical support for the association of forgiveness with addiction and recovery.

    The text’s comprehensive integration of theory, research, and clinical application, including guidelines regarding forgiveness as a treatment for recovery from addiction, provide a roadmap forward for addiction counselors and other recovery specialists.

    List of Tables

    List of Figures


    About the Author

    Chapter 1 – Introduction

    Chapter 2 – Theory: Addiction & Recovery

    Chapter 3 – Theory: Definitions & Dimensions of Forgiveness

    Chapter 4 – Theory: What is Forgiveness?

    Chapter 5 – Theory: Forgiveness, Health, & Addiction

    Chapter 6 – Research: Forgiveness & Addictive Behavior

    Chapter 7 – Research: Forgiveness & Suicidal Behavior

    Chapter 8 – Clinical Application: Models of Forgiveness Intervention

    Chapter 9 – Clinical Application: Twelve-Step Model & Twelve-Step Facilitation

    Chapter 10 – Clinical Application: Motivational Interviewing & Stages of Change

    Chapter 11 – Clinical Application: Cognitive-Behaviorism

    Chapter 12 – Clinical Application: Other Modalities & Processes

    Chapter 13 – Conclusions & Recommendations



    Jon R. Webb, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, a tenured associate professor, and the Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies program director in the Department of Community, Family, and Addiction Sciences at Texas Tech University


    Dr. Jon Webb is the world's leading authority on the importance of forgiveness and spirituality in addiction and mental health. In Understanding Forgiveness and Addiction: Theory, Research, and Clinical Application, Dr. Webb is able to lean on his decades of research and counseling practice to offer science-tested and clinic-validated advice on how to beat addiction by embracing personal spirituality and finding forgiveness for oneself and others. Dr. Webb's work is grounded in widely used and accepted models of addiction care and treatment including 12-step, cognitive-behavioral, rational-emotive, and acceptance and commitment approaches to practice. Dr. Webb brings brilliant research, compassionate clinical skills, personal passion, and decades of experience to the pages of this book, making it a one-of-a-kind read. Written in a conversational tone with little jargon and technical language, but remaining grounded in sound scientific and clinical practice, the book is a good choice for beginners and those with casual interest in self-help, as well as, more advanced readers looking for a comprehensive summary of the literature and potentially considering a new science/practice direction. This is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and there is something potentially life-changing to be learned here for just about everyone.

    Loren L. Toussaint, PhD, professor of Psychology, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa

    In Understanding Forgiveness and Addiction: Theory, Research, and Clinical Application, Jon Webb is masterful at taking a massive hodge-podge of research and molding it into both a researcher's and clinician's dream. There's enough detail to fuel theory and new research ideas for years. Yet the writing is clear enough that clinicians can find evidence-based interventions that they might not have been familiar with. And apply them with clients. The title aptly captures the book's contents. Authoritative and usable. This book will be read and cited for years.

    Everett L. Worthington, Jr., PhD, Commonwealth professor emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia

    Forgiveness is an area that holds great potential in addiction recovery. This volume does an excellent job of bringing together the theory, research, and clinical relevance/application into one place. Whether a student, academic, researcher, clinician, or person struggling with addictive and/or suicidal behavior, this book serves as the comprehensive repository of authoritative information on all things related to the role of forgiveness in healing from problems with addiction including in the context of substance use, compulsive behaviors, and suicidal behavior.  

    Harold G. Koenig, MD, professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, associate professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

    Forgiveness, a principle shared by positive psychology and spirituality, is a powerful and essential tool to address the relational and inner issues commonly experienced in the struggle for addiction recovery.  In this book, Dr. Webb compellingly provides researchers, clinicians, and people struggling with addictions and related compulsive behaviors and suicidality with theory integration, scientific evidence, and clinical application to prioritize the inclusion of forgiveness in treatment.

    Lisa J. Miller, PhD, professor and founder, Spirituality Mind Body Institute, Columbia University, New York, New York.