Forgiveness Becomes Her Passion: “Replace Hate with Love”

Carly Elms is a determined woman, a well-educated and experienced therapist, and a disciple of “forgiveness therapy” as developed and proven by Dr. Robert Enright, the founder of the International Forgiveness Institute (IFI) and a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Forgiveness is the only way to move through the anger and pain of even the most horrible wrongs,” according to Elms, “and to not let hate consume the rest of a life.”

Carly Elms Photo 2
Carly R. Elms, M.Ed., LMSW, CRC

Elms holds two master’s degrees. Along with her Masters in Clinical Social Work (MSW), she has a Masters of Education in Educational & Counseling Psychology (M.Ed.). She is a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC), with experience as a trauma therapist, counselor for the blind, transition counselor for youth with disabilities, a service-disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and a fanatic about forgiveness therapy.

Last fall, Elms opened the Franciscan Forgiveness Center on the grounds of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Eucharist in Independence, MO, to help victims recover their lives from even the worst thing that could possibly happen to them.

“It’s a place of healing,” Elms said of the peaceful grounds where she has her office and where she also teaches the Sisters about forgiveness. “And that’s what forgiveness is. It is healing.”

Elms said she became a disciple of Dr. Enright’s forgiveness model after reading his popular self-help book Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope.  Inspired by what she read, Elms then enrolled in the IFI’s online Continuing Education Course: Helping Clients Forgive. She completed the course with the highest score ever recorded at the IFI.

Elms’ philosophy is simple (though easier said than done): Replace hate with love.

“You have a right to be angry if someone does something wrong to you,” Elms said. “But there really can’t be anything good that comes out of that. All that anger is the desire for revenge.”


“Revenge won’t heal a broken heart. The ability to forgive and to love will.”


Read more about Carly Elms:
» Replace hate with love: forgive and heal, an article in The Catholic Key Online.
» Carly Elms, M.Ed., LMSW, CRC; Franciscan Forgiveness Center, a review on CatholicTherapists.com.

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