An ideological position that supports the view that forgiveness is important and essential for healing is commonly taken by members of the counseling community who are Christians.
While these therapists acknowledge that forgiveness might not be appropriate or desirable for a client at a given point in time, their writing is oriented toward techniques and interventions that can be used by the counselor to aid clients to eventually attain the goal of forgiveness as the essential end point.
Terapeuter i mellomposisjon
Many of the middle position writers argue a theoretical perspective that emphasizes “contextual” factors as key predictors of when forgiveness will lead to healing. In other words, forgiveness may or may not lead to positive outcomes depending on aspects of the context or situation and, given that context, the meaning that forgiveness has for the potential forgiver.
The determining factor is whether the betrayed individual is freely choosing to forgive or feels obligated to do so “for the sake of family harmony, to placate others, to avoid personal distress or to submit to religious or cultural beliefs”.
Skeptiske og kritiske terapeuter
Many who are skeptical or critical of the notion of forgiveness are therapists and counselors who work primarily with survivors of abuse and other severe injustices.
Several of the writers who are skeptical of forgiveness take a strong feminist position. Their commitment to social justice and gender equality leads them to a critical view on forgiveness because, they argue, forgiveness may potentially allow abuse to continue, revictimize the abused, and blame the victim while appearing to absolve the perpetrator who is often a man in cases of partner violence or childhood sexual abuse.