Positive responses to benefit and harm: Bringing forgiveness and gratitude into cognitive psychotherapy

Giacomo Bono, Michael E. McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

76 Scopus citations


Forgiveness and gratitude represent positive psychological responses to interpersonal harms and benefits that individuals have experienced. In the present article we first provide a brief review of the research that has shown forgiveness and gratitude to be related to various measures of physical and psychological well-being. We then review the empirical findings regarding the cognitive and affective substrates of forgiveness and gratitude. We also offer a selective review of some of the interventions that appear to be effective in encouraging forgiveness and gratitude. To conclude, we suggest some ways in which the insights from the basic research on promoting forgiveness and gratitude might he meaningfully integrated into cognitive psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006



  • Cognitive psychotherapy
  • Forgiveness
  • Gratitude
  • Interpersonal
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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