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Bonnie Fuller

Bonnie Fuller

Posted: March 24, 2011 06:40 PM

Don't Write Off Chris Brown -- He Needs Help!


There's no excuse for dangerous temper tantrums, but after talking to anger-management experts, I'm convinced Chris has made progress and sincerely wants to be a better person.

When word spread like wildfire that Chris Brown had freaked out after his on-air interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, the chorus of voices condemning him -- including some here in our Hollywoodlife.com office -- couldn't have been louder.

"He'll never change," 'he's a jerk," "he's a thug," "he's just a brute" were a few of the more damning comments I heard.

And while I believe that Chris' assault on his then-girlfriend Rihanna was unforgivable, I've always felt that everyone -- especially a young person -- deserves a second chance. People make mistakes, especially teens -- and Chris was just 19 at the time of the assault. He was a baby. It's also a fact that when someone like Chris has grown up in a household witnessing domestic violence, they can learn terribly destructive behavior.

I'm as letdown as anyone that after a year of court-mandated, domestic-violence counseling and six months of community service, Chris exploded after he was questioned by Robin about the Rihanna assault. But as I watched him apologize on the BET show 106 and Park on March 23, a day after freaking out, I felt that he truly was ashamed that he lost control again.

When he said that he was "disappointed in my actions," I took him at his word. But what do experts who treat people like Chris with anger-management issues, say? Would they say that Chris is irredeemable?

"There's no question that he overreacted to the interview and didn't handle the situation well. It's a red flag for Chris that he needs to do more work. He needs to add psychotherapy to deal with the deeper issues that are causing his anger," says psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere, a contributor to healthguru.com. "But I know he was disappointed in his actions. When people like him calm down, they become very guilty, embarrassed and disappointed in themselves because they know they lost control and did things that were very inappropriate."

But Dr. Gardere also thinks it was unfair of Robin to push on the Rihanna subject: "I really believe Robin should have been a little more kind. He's 21, he's got anger issues, he's a little immature. He came on to promote his new album. She didn't need to push him quite so hard."

Click to read why you shouldn't write off Chris Brown quite yet!

 

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