Everyone of us knows what it feels like to feel guilty or shame. Essentially, guilt is what we feel when we behave in a way that violates our internal values. Guilt is biologically based and necessary for humans to learn how to live cooperatively. It’s the rudder that helps us to realign ourselves to our own integrity. Shame, on the other hand, is something that we feel applies to our entire person.If I’m guilty, I know I’ve done something wrong. If I feel shame, I am wrong. Shame occurs when we’ve been caught violating a social norm, like picking our nose or farting in public. When children are repeatedly shamed, they often grow up to be people who experience chronic shame which prevents them from living a full, confident and satisfying life. Those with chronic shame believe that they are worthless, inadequate or have nothing good to offer the world. This often leaves the person with a deep-seated belief that they are bad, weak, and never enough. Deeply rooted shame is often associated with other difficulties such as low self-esteem, poor self-confidence, poor self-image, self-doubt, self-criticism, emptiness, depression, chronic indecision, and social anxiety.
Counseling is a safe place to explore both guilt and shame and to learn to take appropriate action to relieve guilt (e.g taking right action) and relinquish the shame that binds us. Healing shame is a powerful, life-altering shift which can create significant change in a person’s internal and external world. I provide counseling in order to help clients develop feelings of self-love, create self-care behaviors, and radically accept who they are.