Often, just behind the feelings of guilt, there are underlying distorted beliefs about yourself, like "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not lovable," which keep the guilt alive. These distorted beliefs, not only affect how you feel about your past, but they also affect your life in the present. If you feel unlovable or unworthy, it often affects the choices that you make in your relationships, career, and other important aspects of your life. You might choose to be with someone who is abusive because you feel so unworthy. Feelings of low self worth can also keep you from striving to have what you want in your life. If you have very low self worth, you might not even feel that you're entitled to want anything at all.
Especially in cases where a client has intractable guilt, I usually use a mind-body oriented psychotherapy, like EMDR, clinical hypnosis or Somatic Experiencing. Whereas talk therapy often remains on an intellectual level, mind-body oriented psychotherapy is usually more effective in resolving guilt and the underlying distorted beliefs on a visceral as well as an intellectual level. Mind-body oriented psychotherapy allows clients to shift emotions on a deeper level.
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