Imagine Forgiveness: A Guide for Creating a Joyful Future
I am happy to announce that my book, Imagine Forgiveness, is available through your favorite online channels. Purchase directly at any of the following links:
The following are a couple of reviews that the book has received:
THE THERAPIST September/October 2011California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) Newsletter
Reviewed by Barbara M. Katz, MFT
As a therapist, I’ve helped many clients who were trying to forgive themselves or others for a host of injustices caused by betrayal, abuse, abandonment or who just wanted to achieve a peaceful life. They were often confused by what forgiveness really meant and how to truly achieve it. In the book, Imagine Forgiveness, the author Juliet Rohde-Brown Ph.D., an integrative clinical psychologist and an educator, answers these questions. She takes you through the process to find your own power, inner strength and peace. In a hopeful, compassionate and practical way, she integrates the material with useful practices to heighten your awareness and insight. Not only could it serve as a handy resource for the clinician’s toolbox, but it is a well written and engaging self-help book that will appeal to the clients as well.
As the title suggests…Imagine Forgiveness offers a solid foundation on the topic plus a host of practices, visualizations and step-by-step ceremonies to stretch the imagination and empower the reader to move toward acceptance, joy and true forgiveness. All aimed at reaching a deeper psychological and spiritual health. Peppered throught the 196 pages are brief stories of people’s experiences and their quest to find forgiveness. These stories are well placed to illuminate the point at hand and provide the reader with an opportunity to reflect and consider important lessons to be gained.
The book is presented in three sections. Part one the author offers clarification of what forgiveness is, while underscoring that success lies not in ruminating and remaining locked in anger about the injury, but rather…actively integrating acceptance, mindfulness and loving-kindness into the process. Dr. Rohde-Brown emphasizes that self-forgiveness must come first to pave the way for forgiveness of others. The second section is devoted to activating forgiveness by encouraging “feeling the feelings” and “grounding forgiveness in our bodies”…moving it from an intellectual concept to a body centered approach. To that end her easy to follow exercises encourage the reader to “check in” with their body and be aware of the effects of forgiving or not. She draws a compelling argument for the multiple physical benefits found in achieving forgiveness and how the lack of it can be detrimental to our well-being. The last section focuses on the intention of forgiveness and how we could incorporate it in our lives with mindfulness and other rituals. She believes we are capable of extending “metta” or loving-kindness on a global level and the power of our connection and good intentions could have a collective impact.
I recommend this book to clinicians and clients alike. I think it is beneficial no matter where you might be in your journey toward forgiveness. Something all of us have to grapple with at one time or another.
ImagiNews: The Journal of Imagery International. September 2011, Vol. 15, No. 3
Reviewed by Bev Hollander, BSN, MS, HNB-BC
My friend and colleague, Juliet Rohde-Brown, has written a book that is simultaneously spiritual, intense and of great depth: spiritually holistic and full, intensely personal and open and depth of content and soul. Imagine Forgiveness offers a prescribed pathway to become the epitome of forgiveness and compassion while offering a hopeful and joyful future. One of Juliet’s premises is that when we cultivate a sense of compassion and forgiveness in ourselves, then we can offer our very best to the world and also heal body, mind and spirit.
I love how she has organized this book – using the seven letters of IMAGINE to organize the chapters – Imagine, Metta, Activating, Grounding, Inventing, Nurturing, and Engaging. (There’s more to the chapter titles than I have included – I just wanted to give you the flavor.)
Her book is a scholarly achievement that includes wonderfully inspiring and mindful quotes from psychologists, religious leaders, poets and documented studies. Her resource/reference list is all-inclusive. She balances science with wisdom, experience, anecdotes and spirituality. I thought I could finish the book in a few sit-downs and found it to be so rich and full of insight that it took me much longer than anticipated to read.
One aspect of Juliet’s book that offers inspiration to me is her focus on the personal benefits of forgiveness that can be expanded to impact others, and ultimately, the whole of the universe. I am reminded of the quote “Peace begins within.” That is how Juliet passionately approaches forgiveness – beginning with self and extending it to others.
She is very clear that forgiving another person does not mean one must condone their actions. “Forgiveness does not require us to condone cruelty, unkindness or inexcusable behavior. If that were the case, the act of forgiveness would be extremely dangerous. It would require blinding ourselves to the character of the offender. Forgetting the past would only make us vulnerable to the same attacks again.” She further explains what forgiveness is: “…a compassion-based intentional practice…about reconciliation with ourselves.”
In her book, Juliet offers many personal exercises to internalize the work. She includes numerous imagery practices to facilitate the forgiveness process. She describes in great detail a twelve week forgiveness ceremony that includes three phases: lamentation, descent and emergence. This works well as a grand solo practice or one that would also function as a group process.
As mentioned, scattered throughout are exercises intended to promote self-awareness and connection with our deeper self. Most are forms of imagery. There is an appendix entitled “A Variety of Brief Practices” intended to begin “building that wonderful home within your heart…getting back into your body…[to] assist you in having a ‘felt’ sense of and understanding how your emotions impact your body and general health…[to]enhance discovery of your inner core of strength and tranquility at the heart of your central nervous system…”
I am truly grateful for the gift of Juliet’s book. It’s a way to polish your heart.
Further quotes inside book cover:
“A beautifully written book that will help you find the healing power of forgiveness without forgetting or condoning wrongful actions. Dr. Rohde-Brown’s experience and compassion weave together a deep but easy to read guide to a deep level of personal healing.”
–Martin L. Rossman, M.D., author of Guided Imagery for Self-Healing, Fighting Cancer from Within, and co- founder of the Academy for Guided Imagery
“Humanity is deeply enmeshed in an era when a book of the magnitude of Imagine Forgiveness offers an explicit opportunity for hope and healing. Juliet Rohde-Brown has explored the primary antidote for today’s troubles times and brought it forth to us with wisdom and compassion.”
–Patricia J. Turner, Founder, Tierra Sagrada: The Sacred Earth Foundation www.sacredearthfound.org
“Imagine Forgiveness suggests that one of our greatest resources is our imagination, and it presents ways to utilize this resource in the context of forgiveness. With brief stories, guided moments of reflection, and suggested visualizations, Dr. Rohde-Brown invites the reader into a felt experience of what it means to forgive. While refraining from psychological jargon and providing an integrative theoretical framework that is both practical and esoteric at the same time, Dr. Rohde-Brown offers a unique approach to facilitating an entry into forgiveness. Her closing chapter discusses the broader implications of compassion-based practices for communities and suggests that forgiveness is sytemic and contagious, an important piece to consider in these current times. Readers will find Imagine Forgiveness a useful guide on the path to forgiveness.”
–Frederick Luskin, Ph.D., co-founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project and author of Forgive for Good, Stress Free for Good, and Forgive for Love.
“Dr. Juliet Rohde-Brown offers a way to invite forgiveness into our lives within the context of loving-kindness and serves as a welcome companion on a healing journey toward wholeness.”
–Barbara Lipinski, Ph.D., JD, clinical psychologist, educator and author of The Tao of Integrity: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Psychology, and Heed the Call: Psychological Perspectives on Child Abuse.
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