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Learning to Deal with Guilt and Shame

Are you struggling to handle your feelings of guilt and shame? I can help you to forgive yourself and see yourself in a more positive light.
I want to start therapy

Guilt and shame are powerful emotions and while they are related, they are not the same. When you feel guilty, you feel you’ve done something wrong. When you feel shame, you feel you are defective and maybe even beyond repair. If you’re dealing with guilt and shame, you may need to seek out the benefits of psychotherapy.

Guilt and shame in recovery are common among people who are being treated for substance abuse disorders. While feelings of guilt can allow for healing, shame can hamper recovery. When you feel guilty, you can do things to make up for what you did wrong. However, feeling like you’re what’s wrong makes it difficult to feel better about yourself. 

Overcoming Guilt and Shame with Professional Help

Overcoming guilt and shame can take time. Some people find it difficult to get through each day because of the guilt they feel. They may struggle to maintain relationships or stay focused at work and over time, they may develop anxiety, depression or poor self-worth. Trying to rationalize your actions may ease your feelings temporarily but if you don’t properly address your guilt, it may not go away for good. It is best to seek professional help in managing your feelings.

If you’re experiencing debilitating shame, you can learn to think about yourself more positively and become more self-compassionate. You shouldn’t have to live forever with painful feelings about the mistakes you made in the past. Therapy aimed at overcoming guilt and shame can help you to correct your mistakes and look at yourself differently.

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Living With Guilt and Shame: Strategies for Healing

Living with guilt and shame doesn’t have to be a lifelong experience. To overcome shame and restore your self-esteem you can:

  • Revisit childhood experiences which may have led to your shame and remind yourself that what happened was not your fault.
  • Identify the way you react to pain and work to recognize what triggers your feelings of shame.
  • Avoid people who say things that hurt or belittle you and reinforce your shame. Choose emotionally healthy relationships instead.
  • Challenge the negative thoughts which trigger feelings of shame.

To stop feeling guilty:

  • Think about whether your actions really warrant the punishment you’re inflicting on yourself.
  • Remind yourself that bad actions don’t make you a bad person.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Say sorry for what the other person thinks you did wrong.
  • Ask yourself what you can learn from the situation. 

Getting professional therapy can help with getting over guilt and shame. If you want to learn the skills which can help you to move on, contact Transformation Therapy at (303) 872-7899. I offer individual adult counseling and couples counseling to clients throughout Arvada, Golden, and Wheat Ridge, CO.