Self-forgiveness in the recovery of Israeli drug-addicted mothers: A Qualitative exploration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


It has been suggested that self-forgiveness plays an important role in the process of recovery from addiction, especially for women, but this issue has been largely overlooked in the research. This study explored self-forgiveness from the perspective of 25 recovering drug-addicted mothers associated with the same therapeutic community, either as current residents in the course of recovery or as past residents who maintained recovery. The participants were interviewed in a dual-research design (35 interviews) that enabled comparative-longitudinal examination of the self-forgiveness process. Qualitative methods were used to identify the emotional, cognitive, and offense-related factors associated with self-forgiveness regarding mothering patterns during addiction. The results indicated that self-forgiveness involves cognitive flexibility by using the disease model, creating new constructions of motherhood, and changing mothering patterns. Furthermore, self-forgiveness is accompanied by diminishment of guilt and enables construction of a new shame-free identity. The findings may inform self-forgiveness interventions in the addiction field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-467
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Addiction
  • Motherhood
  • Self-forgiveness
  • Women


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-forgiveness in the recovery of Israeli drug-addicted mothers: A Qualitative exploration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this