February 2019
with Dara McKinley

This online course guides participants on a practical path that ends the emotional confusion of betrayal.

Whether created by you, another person, or life circumstances, betrayal is when someone or something you trusted fails, often without notice.

Betrayal’s intensity is fierce.

But forgiveness is fiercer.

Forgiveness heals betrayal.

About Dara

I’m Dara McKinley, the creator of and guide for How to Forgive.

I completed an MA in Contemplative Psychology from Naropa University and have spent my entire adult life in the field of human services and wellness. From counseling delinquent adolescents, to a private psychotherapy practice, to leading retreats and workshops — helping others restore their emotional health is my passion.

Forgiveness is a spiritual experience that heals betrayal. I have one foot firmly planted in the mystical world and the other firmly planted in the rational world. Synchronizing the rational and the mystical is where forgiveness is found.

My Story

Nine years ago I experienced a betrayal that radically changed my life and left me awash in confusion and disbelief. Despite all of my efforts to let it go, take the high road and focus on gratitude, the pain of the betrayal endured. After three years I hit rock bottom. I suspected I could benefit from forgiveness but I had no clue how to do it. Thus began my quest.

In October 2012, armed with my previous knowledge of eastern spirituality and western psychology, I dove deep into the vast world of forgiveness. In less than a month the betrayal was healed and my entire world view was transformed.

Initially it didn’t occur to me to share what I’d discovered, but after many meaningful conversations with friends and colleagues, I saw that many people were in the exact boat I had been in: they needed to forgive but they had no idea how to go about it and, they were stuck.

I realized that a straight-up, practical, heart-centered, dogma-free, forgiveness course that honors the individual and their unique journey, would not only be useful, but for many , necessary… and How to Forgive was born.


Trauma and betrayal are distinct experiences that often occur together. This course heals betrayal, not trauma, thus it’s important to understand the difference.

Trauma is the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope/integrate the emotions involved with that experience (wiki). Symptoms include, but are not limited to, anxiety, aggression, insomnia, dissociation, and physical ailments. If you suspect that you may be suffering from trauma, seek professional help as trauma is treatable.

Betrayal is the breaking of a trust that produces psychological and emotional conflict. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, resentment, anger, grief, and if you caused the betrayal, guilt and shame.

If your betrayal experience was also traumatic, it is important to heal the trauma first and then do the work of forgiveness.

If you experienced a betrayal and feel awash in constant emotional turmoil, it is likely that you were also traumatized. Please seek professional help to heal the trauma first, and then do the work of forgiveness.

“After seven years of a difficult marriage that ended in divorce, I was stuck in a resentful place. This course is phenomenal. So well done and insightful.”
– Binah R., Colorado Springs, CO

“How to Forgive” was an excellent experience with huge and lasting shifts.” – Jen K., Seattle, WA

“Dara makes the forgiveness process doable, meaningful, and effective.” -Carissa M., Seattle, WA

How to Forgive is a four-week course that includes:

  • Weekly instructional videos that deliver a relatable view and clear path
  • Weekly assignments designed to realize each piece of the forgiveness puzzle
  • Support from me, via email, for the duration of the course

Support and guidance: Forgiveness is ultimately an adventure with many potential twists, turns, stumbles, and leaps. For the full four weeks of the course + two weeks post course, I am available via email to help guide you through any confusing spots*.

Time commitment: Though everyone’s forgiveness journey is unique, on average the course requires 1-3 hours/week. Ultimately the more time and space you allow yourself during the four weeks, the more effective the course will be.

Each week, you will receive a video/audio session to guide you through the following themes:

Session 1/Week 1 – You will prepare for a successful course experience and learn the foundation of forgiveness.

Session 2/Week 2 – You learn how to use the part of your brain that is designed for forgiveness, and how to overcome the part of your brain that impedes forgiveness.

Session 3/Week 3 – You learn how to transform your circumstance and your suffering into personal power.

Session 4/Week 4 – You identify the core of your betrayal and learn how to align with the mystery of your becoming.

Session 5/Week 5 – Your sacred forgiveness journey is reviewed, celebrated, and integrated into everyday life.

*Please note that this is not a do-at-your-own-pace online course. Registering for this course means that you are purchasing access to the How to Forgive online portal with email guidance and support from me during the dates listed above. If you cannot make these dates, this course is offered multiple times a year. Please enter your email at the bottom of this page to be notified of the next course.

“I chose to forgive what I thought was unforgivable and I was astounded by the eye-opening perspective of this program.” – Miriam B., Boulder, CO

“It worked magic. Thank you for creating this life-changing course” – Kim L., Boulder, CO

“A masterful teacher.” – Lillian S., Seattle, WA

The next How to Forgive course is from October 7th - Nov 4, 2018

The cost for this four-week course is $250.

Registration closes October 5, 2018

The next course will begin in February 2019

Enter your email address to be notified when registration opens.

Is this course for me?

To decide if this course is for you, please answer the following questions:

  1. Do you struggle with chronic anger, resentment, shame, and/or guilt?
  2. Does your body wince/cringe when you recall certain memories/thoughts?
  3. Did something or someone you trusted fail you?
  4. Using a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 signifying a burning desire, and 0 signifying no desire, how badly do you want to feel differently about ____________________ (fill in the blank with who/what you are considering forgiving)?

If you answered “yes” to question 1, 2, and/or 3, and scored an 8, 9, or 10, on question 4, then you could benefit from this course.

Have another Q?

I am happy to answer it. Click here to contact me.

The next course will begin in February 2019

Enter your email address to be notified when registration opens.