Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 360–368 | Cite as

Forgiveness and Blame Among Suicide Survivors: A Qualitative Analysis on Reports of 4-Year Self-Help-Group Meetings

  • Ines TestoniEmail author
  • Elisa Francescon
  • Diego De Leo
  • Anna Santini
  • Adriano Zamperini
Original Paper


This article presents the qualitative analysis of reports obtained through participant observations collected over a 4-year period in a series of suicide survivor self-help group meetings. It analysed how grievers’ healing was managed by their own support. The longitudinal study was focused on self/other blame and forgiveness. Results show how self-blame was continuously present along all the period and how it increased when new participants entered the group. This finding indicates that self-blame characterizes especially the beginning of the participation, and that any new entrance rekindles the problem. However, no participant had ever definitively demonstrated self-forgiveness, while a general forgiveness appeared when self-blame stopped. It is also suggested how to facilitate the elaboration of self-blame and forgiveness.


Suicide survivors Self-help group Forgiveness Causal attribution Self/other-blame 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology (FISPPA), Fisppa DepartmentUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.De Leo FundPadovaItaly

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