Flip Your Script an Exercise in Forgiveness

  • A Literary Path to Forgiveness The Flip Your Script program allows students to work toward forgiveness by writing from the point of view of someone who has caused them harm or hurt. Image Credit: Telling Our Legacies Digitally (TOLD), WGBY 57, Springfield, Massachusetts

  • A Literary Path to Forgiveness The Flip Your Script program allows students to work toward forgiveness by writing from the point of view of someone who has caused them harm or hurt. Image Credit: Telling Our Legacies Digitally (TOLD), WGBY 57, Springfield, Massachusetts

  • A Literary Path to Forgiveness The Flip Your Script program allows students to work toward forgiveness by writing from the point of view of someone who has caused them harm or hurt. Image Credit: Telling Our Legacies Digitally (TOLD), WGBY 57, Springfield, Massachusetts

  • A Literary Path to Forgiveness The Flip Your Script program allows students to work toward forgiveness by writing from the point of view of someone who has caused them harm or hurt. Image Credit: Telling Our Legacies Digitally (TOLD), WGBY 57, Springfield, Massachusetts

  • A Literary Path to Forgiveness The Flip Your Script program allows students to work toward forgiveness by writing from the point of view of someone who has caused them harm or hurt. Image Credit: Telling Our Legacies Digitally (TOLD), WGBY 57, Springfield, Massachusetts

Flip Your Script an Exercise in Forgiveness

A writing program called Flip Your Script has shown remarkable results in a college classroom setting, where storytelling is being used as a catalyst to help students learn to forgive people who have caused them great pain in the past. 

Through the Flip Your Script process, participants write about someone who has caused them pain or harm and then they “flip the script,” changing their point of view to that of the “other”—to the one who has caused them pain. Flip Your Script offers creative writing instruction that also has significant therapeutic value. In several instances, these storytelling exercises have led students to report dramatic turnarounds not only in their attitudes toward transgressors, but also in their attitudes toward themselves, reversing the teller’s sense of him or herself as helpless victim. Combined with journaling and mindfulness instruction, these exercises offer great promise as a new form of forgiveness curriculum, one designed to help individuals better understand the value of empathizing with other viewpoints.

The Fetzer Institute seeks to learn from Flip Your Script by applying and expanding this work to a new population, teen mothers at a community organization called The Care Center, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. This five-week program will enhance the Flip Your Script program’s contemplative dimension by adding yoga and a greater emphasis on introspection and storytelling, rather than writing skills and grammar. Teens will also use video and scrapbooks, and their collective process and outcomes will be captured via video blogging by instructors. 

This initiative offers an opportunity to learn about the power of writing and reflection to create a new paradigm for the girls, one that underscores the power of individual narrative and the power of love and forgiveness.

With its emphasis on mental and emotional health, and its applied use of contemplative practice, this project holds a unique place among those being pursued by the Fetzer Advisory Council on Health Professions, which is guided by their vision which calls, in part, for projects that allow patients "...the opportunity [for people] to realize their full selves—physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually...."

This is found palpably and tangibly in Flip Your Script.

This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on Health Professions.