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The Power of Forgiveness in Recovery: An Interview with Nicholas Ney

Learning how to forgive is an essential life skill that takes on profound significance in the recovery process. But what is forgivenessWhy is it so important to recovery? In this interview with Nicholas Ney, facilitator of Alta Mira’s forgiveness workshops, we explore what forgiveness looks like and why it can be such a powerful part of healing.

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”

Early recovery is a volatile time in which the veil of denial is pulled back and you have an opportunity to  confront the hurt, shame, and sorrow that have both contributed to and been caused by your addiction. This is no easy task; for many, it involves exposing yourself to the deep-seated pain masked by your drug or alcohol use, and learning how to sit in that place of discomfort without resorting to self-destructive behaviors.

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3 Simple Steps Toward Forgiving a Loved One That’s Wronged You

When a loved one wrongs you, it can be nearly impossible to move on. But these steps from Nicholas H. Ney, Ph.D., a California-based psychologist who specializes in forgiveness education, can help you let go of hurt feelings and open up your heart again.

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The Power to Forgive

The weekend Shuntai Walker turned 10, she took her birthday money to her father’s house in hopes of a shopping trip. Instead, her father, Charles Hill, “borrowed” the money and sent Shuntai home to her mom’s house. “I was really upset,” she remembers.

Normally her visits with Charles involved picnics, fishing trips, and basketball games, but after that birthday weekend, Shuntai overheard that Charles was addicted to drugs, and her mother forbade her to spend time with him.

Growing up fatherless hurt. “I felt abandoned by him,” says Shuntai. The feeling haunted other parts of her life too: “As an adult, I could never really trust anyone.”

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“Dr Nick Ney is an associate of mine who has worked with me on presenting Forgive For Good workshops. He was trained in our year long forgiveness training program for therapists and has successfully led workshops on forgiveness locally and throughout the West. Dr Ney has my full confidence as a clinician and a trainer. He is a skilled therapist who has absorbed this powerful method for letting go of hurt, helplessness, and anger. I have seen his presentations help increase participant’s confidence, hope, and happiness in their daily affairs. If you find yourself battling with anger and resentment I recommend you contact Dr. Ney for help.”

– Fred Luskin, Ph.D. Author of Forgive For Good

“I had the opportunity of being supervised by Nick during my post-doc year and again as a psychological assistant. I really absorbed a lot from Nick because his presence invited collaboration and introspection. Nick’s deep insights about this human endeavor called psychotherapy will always stay with me. I think back on our weekly meetings and remember his warmth, fun attitude, and thoughtfulness. I could sense how he is as a therapist by his impact on me – I always felt respected and yet at the same time, challenged to grow.”

– Amy Greaves, Ph.D.

“I was fortunate to work for Dr. Nick Ney as a psychological assistant prior to being licensed as a clinical psychologist in private practice. Many of the attributes I so enjoyed in the mentorship I received from Nick speak to his excellence as a psychotherapist. Perhaps first and foremost, Dr. Ney is deeply compassionate and wise. Second, his presence is utterly welcoming and totally accepting. Lastly, from the depth and wealth of his experience, he always generously offered insightful, intelligent, and creative guidance and feedback regarding the healing work I was doing with my clients. I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Nick Ney, both as a psychotherapist, and as a mentor.”

– Sean Hatt, Ph.D.

“On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, our church’s youth group invited Dr. Ney to speak to our entire community about forgiveness.  His message appealed to people of all faith backgrounds and was marvelously well-received.  Even our busy teens took the time to attend, and they asked some challenging questions!  He gave us very practical advice to face our issues and learn how to come to peace.  Dr. Ney’s humble, caring manner helped us all contemplate forgiveness in a new light. ” 

– Colleen Vandevoorde, Youth MInister at St. Cyprian Church in Sunnyvale