News & Events



The Science and Practice of Forgiveness

May 15, 2010
Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley Campus

A day-long seminar exploring why and how to forgive, with Frederic Luskin and Jack Kornfield. Part of the GGSC’s Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series.

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This seminar, part of the Greater Good Science Center’s Science of a Meaningful Life series, will feature presentations by two of the world’s leading experts on forgiveness, Frederic Luskin and Jack Kornfield.

Dr. Luskin will teach participants the forgiveness training methodology he has validated through successful studies, including his famed Stanford University Forgiveness Projects. This research, as well as others’ research, has consistently shown that forgiveness increases physical vitality, optimism, hope, compassion, and self-confidence while reducing anger, blood pressure, hurt, depression, and stress.

Dr. Luskin’s presentation will combine lecture with a hands-on approach to forgiveness. Participants will explore forgiveness with the goal of reducing hurt and helplessness, letting go of anger and grudges, and increasing their feelings of confidence and hope. They will also learn how to facilitate forgiveness through a combination of cognitive therapy and narrative approaches, intermixed with mindfulness and guided imagery practices.

The seminar will also feature a presentation by psychologist, author, and Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, a founder of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In his hands-on, interactive presentation, Dr. Kornfield will teach the art and practice of forgiveness, drawing on modern Buddhist exemplars and traditional Buddhist psychology. Through texts, stories, and practice, he will help attendees awaken the three essential directions of forgiveness: forgiving oneself, forgiving others, and being forgiven.

Workshop Topics

  * Practicing forgiveness carries significant health benefits—both to one’s mental and physical health
  * Forgiveness is an essential ingredient to healthy relationships, especially romantic relationships
  * Forgiveness is a skill that almost anyone can learn, but it takes practice and commitment
  * Practicing forgiveness benefits from a deep appreciation of the mind-body connection
  * Cultivating mindfulness is important to practicing forgiveness
  * The practices of Buddhist psychology are supported by findings from scientific research on forgivness
  * There are three essential directions of forgiveness: forgiving oneself, forgiving others, and being forgiven

(All sections led by Frederic Luskin unless otherwise noted) 

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  Registration and check in
9:00 - 10:15 Jack Kornfield on “The Ancient Heart of Forgiveness”
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 – 12:00 Fred Luskin on the science of forgiveness: Research into the mind-body connection and its relationship to emotional and physical well-being
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 2:15 Learning the “Nine Steps to Forgiveness”
2:15 - 2:30 Break
2:30 - 3:30 Cognitive disputation and narrative approaches to forgiveness
3:30 - 3:45 Break
3:45 - 4:45 Simple techniques for facilitating self-change and building a repertoire of forgiveness skills to help others

Learning Objectives

  * Identify Dr. Luskin’s “Nine Steps to Forgiveness”
  * Indicate the positive mental and physical benefits of practicing forgiveness
  * Practice simple techniques for facilitating self-change and emerge with an enhanced repertoire of therapeutic skills to help others
  * Formulate an expanded view of the mind-body connection and how it relates to emotional and physical well-being
  * Practice techniques for forgiving themselves, forgiving others, and being forgiven


Attendees should park in UC Berkeley’s Underhill Parking Facility (Channing Way, between Bowditch St. and College Ave.). From there, walk one block west on Channing and take a right on Telegraph Ave. Proceed two blocks north to the UC Berkeley campus, then take a left on Bancroft Street. Continue for one block until you reach Spieker Plaza, and take a right onto the plaza. Zellerbach Playhouse is located right off the plaza, across from Alumni House and Haas Pavilion (near the corner of Bancroft and Dana streets).

Continuing Education

Course approval for Psychologists, Social Workers, Therapists, Counselors and Nurses

This seminar is approved for 6 CE hours.

Continuing Education is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

Psychologists R. Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program.  (6) hours.

Social Workers CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418. This course provides 6 CE hours.

Marriage and Family Therapists CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418. This course provides 6 CE hours.

Chemical Dependency Counselors Provider approved by CAADAC, Provider #4N-00-434-0210 for (6) CEHs.

Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists will receive a certificate of attendance for 6 CE hours.

Nurses - CA: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP12224, for (6) contact hours.

Register now!

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