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Question
Posted by: | 2016/09/15

Can someone change?

Dear Doctor, my daughter of 24 years is interested in a guy 3 years older. She has been hurt very much by previous broken relationships. She is an extremely sensitive person, and although is trying to step carefully around the relationship issue, she has a question, that I am perhaps not the right person to give her the answer to. I am someone that feels every individual in life "could" change, and deserves a "chance", barring your rapists, murderers etc. I just feel we all have made wrong decisions, mistakes in life and no one should be "branded", so I tend to perhaps "forgive/allow" for too much?, which is perhaps not wise?.... The guy she is starting to like, is very gentlemanly to her, makes her feel special etc. He is not Mr Handsome or Mr Build, he is pretty average, BUT, makes her feel good... HOWEVER.... he has 2 "GBH" charges against him, and once in a temper hit out his dad's car window. She is a normal 24 year old that likes to go out have fun, BUT, is NOT on the wild side at all, sleeping around, getting drunk, trying drugs etc..... She has already let him know what she is about, and that is does not like heavy partying... drinking etc etc.... He likes her a lot too and is saying.... I have been wanting to change, to settle down, to meet a nice girl, the right girl... I have already made changes since meeting you and am working on everything to make sure you would be happy with me. .... I want to change!. He also does suffer from depression for which he is using meds... she is asking.... can this happen?... could this work?... can someone put all this rubbish away?... my nature says... yes IF he felt the reward was big enough?... I would say give him a chance..... But outside of me... what would you say?. What does experience prove?... She knows that words are cheap and that the proof would be in the pudding... but wants to know what is the likelihood that someone could change? He says he has already cut down drastically on his liquor intake and wants to do more.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2016/09/15

Indeed,  some people CAN change in the ways you are thinking about, but often they cannot do this entirely on their own. Motivation is important, as are good intentions, but not enough on their own.  If he cares, wants to change, and has begun doing so on his own effort, that's encouraging ; but he should seek out a good local counsellor, preferably one using the modern method of CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ), to help him better define the ways in which he needs to change, to learn the best methods for making lasting changes, and to help him to achieve those changes efficiently

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