by Tiffany Schupanitz, LMHC
Have you ever done something that causes guilt? What do you do about that feeling?
Guilt is a normal human emotion. It motivates us to apologize and change behavior for the future. But what happens when that guilt is misplaced or inappropriate for the situation. Often we can feel guilty for situations in which we have no control. This guilt can quickly turn to shame. Shame begins to shift the focus on the self, thus leading to feelings of self-loathing and helplessness.
When shame is present, thoughts shift to thinking of the self as inherently bad instead of thinking the behavior as bad. If we view the behavior as bad, then we can take responsibility and change the behavior. If we think of the self as bad, then we begin to blame others or hide our shameful parts. This impedes healing and growth.
Therapy can help do sift through feelings of shame versus guilt to gain a more healthy and appropriate perspective. It is possible to shift the thinking from “I am bad” to “I am good, regardless.” Through Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, you can work with a therapist to reprocess memories that feed in to feelings of shame to fully heal and connect to a more fitting and true message. Consider taking the first step towards healing today.
I write articles based on my experience as a therapist or a training or conference attendee. Many of these articles are written by others who are experts in their field and I share their information as resources for others.