Facilitating forgiveness in the treatment of infidelity: An interpersonal model

Stephen T. Fife, Gerald R. Weeks, Jessica Stellberg-Filbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This article presents a unique clinical model of forgiveness developed specifically for use in the treatment of infidelity. The model focuses on forgiveness as a central component of the process of healing for couples who desire relationship reconciliation following an affair. Infidelity causes significant damage for couples and results in a loss of trust and relationship stability. However, couples can become reunified and trust may be restored as couples work through the process of forgiveness. Forgiveness is facilitated as therapists and clients focus on four unifying factors: empathy, humility, commitment and apology. Specific steps are outlined for therapists to help them guide clients through the process of forgiveness. The clinical application of the model is illustrated with a brief case example. Journal of Family Therapy

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-367
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Couple therapy
  • Forgiveness
  • Infidelity
  • Marriage
  • Treatment


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