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We’re taught that forgiveness is good for us, that it’s what good people do. But if you’ve experienced betrayal or hurt and the responsible party demonstrates little remorse, forgiveness may seem impossible. Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring would argue that acceptance is a viable alternative to forgiveness, allowing you to stop obsessing over the injury, get healthy and heal.

Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring is a board certified clinical psychologist and renowned expert in the realm of trust, intimacy and forgiveness. She has been in private practice for 40-plus years, earning the Connecticut Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology and the Connecticut Marriage and Family Therapy’s Award for Distinguished Service to Families. Dr. Spring often serves as a guest expert in the national media, appearing in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Good Morning America and NPR, among others. She is also the award-winning author of After the Affair, How Can I Forgive You? and Life with Pop.

Today, Dr. Spring joins Katherine to discuss some of the common scenarios she encounters in her practice. She explains the nature of a sincere apology and how the ‘hurt partner’ can adopt acceptance as an alternative to forgiveness. Dr. Spring describes strategies to help you stop obsessing over an injury and offers her approach to being honest with your kids—without putting them in the middle. Listen in to understand how you can move forward from a place of power without being reactive and learn Dr. Spring’s approach to reconciliation and forgiveness.


Common scenarios Dr. Spring has encountered in her practice

  • Couples deciding whether to divorce
  • ‘Hurt partner’ comes by themselves
  • Earn forgiveness without reconciliation

The specific, deep and personal nature of a sincere apology

How acceptance can serve as an alternative to forgiveness

Why forgiveness is reserved for an offender who makes good

The tools for overcoming the rumination of an injury

How to choose a level of relationship with an ex in the absence of forgiveness

The damage caused by putting kids in the middle of warring parents

How to honor your truth without dragging your kids into the conflict

How to move forward from a place of power without being reactive

Dr. Spring’ steps to forgiveness and reconciliation

  1. Compose hurt list
  2. Write apology letter
  3. Ask, ‘Why did I do it?’
  4. Build trust on concrete behaviors


Dr. Spring’s Website

Email drjaspring@gmail.com

Call (203) 227-4771


After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis A. Spring

How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To by Janis A. Spring

Life with Pop: Lessons on Caring for an Aging Parent by Janis A. Spring and Michael Spring


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

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The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765