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It is sometimes thought that, if someone hurts us, they need to offer a full and genuine apology. It is then up to us how we choose to respond. If it seems to us that they really are sorry, then we usually feel that we can—and perhaps ought to—accept their apology and ‘move on’.

This is not necessarily an irrational or reckless response. A sincere apology is a rare and precious thing. It will have taken a great deal of painful ‘inner work’. Someone who is genuinely remorseful will have overcome all the self-protecting barriers of denial, self-justification, minimising, victim-blaming…

Relational Approaches

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