Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Davis, Thomas


There has been an increase of research in the area of forgiveness, particularly since the early 1980’s; however, there has been far less research done in the field of addiction and how forgiveness or the lack of forgiveness impact’s a person’s recovery. The profession of social work has a wide array of fields and services, and it is not uncommon for a social worker to work with a person abusing substances at some point in his or her career. While there are many aspects of treating and assisting client’s in their recovery, one topic that may not be discussed with clients is the subject of forgiveness. However, forgiveness renders itself as pertinent in a person maintaining sobriety and thus it is imperative while conducting treatment for social workers to not shy away from this subject with their clients. This study utilized a qualitative analysis consisting of interviews with ten participants who share their experiences of forgiveness in their own recovery. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of forgiveness on 12 step group attendees in order to gain an awareness of how forgiveness or the lack of forgiveness affects one’s ability to maintain sobriety. The findings of this research will be used to increase social workers’ understanding of utilizing forgiveness as a treatment modality, impact future social work policy, practice and research.

Included in

Social Work Commons