Counselling for Shame and Guilt

Grief Counselling and Psychotherapy | Wellspring Counselling Inc.

Counselling & Therapy for Shame & Guilt in Vancouver And Online

When a person experiences chronic shame and guilt (or what seems to be), it usually is not connected with a specific present event, but is a result of a pervasive background sense felt all the time. People who have experienced trauma in the past can develop what is known as “core shame” and they can also be more sensitive to experiencing feelings of guilt in response to current events and internalizing others’ accusations (or perceived accusations).

While guilt can be adaptive in proportion to an event for motivating social compliance to norms and cohesion, shame is usually about the person being bad. This is different from guilt, which is about the behaviour being bad. Shame tends to be experienced as feeling bad about oneself as a person with no possibility of reparation, whereas guilt is experienced as remorse while still feeling connected and loved as a person with the possibility of redemption.

Self-esteem and individuation of self from the ‘internalized other’ during early experiences that formed a pattern of core shame or a predisposition and sensitization to feelings of guilt are likely part of the counselling for shame and guilt process. This process may include experientially learning:

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