Therapeutic Word of the Day: Guilt

“Excessive Guilt is an excuse to do what you feel guilty about. Learn from the past and let it go.”

Guilt is a tricky concept. On the one hand, we need it so we know when we have done something wrong. It is a type of warning system that allows us to feel the consequences of an action that went poorly. However, in excess guilt can trap and cause the very behavior we wish to avoid. Addiction, for example, often comes with tons of guilt. Addicts often feel guilty for the things they have done to others, and feel like failures. Guilt tells them they are useless, that they will never change, and that they should just quit trying to change. If these thoughts are listened to, the addict will continue the addiction, leading to more guilt in the future.

Guilt can become an excuse to enter back into the addiction. I have had this problem myself before, where I felt guilt for my past which was a convenient excuse to relapse. If you are having excessive guilt for something in the past, stop the thought and tell yourself you learned from the experience, and focus on something else. Excessive guilt is harmful and does no good. You will remember your past, you do not need guilt as a reminder.

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Nathan Driskell

Hello, my name is Nathan Driskell and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor in the Houston / Cypress area specializing in the treatment of Internet Addiction & Asperger’s / Autism. I work with children, adolescents, adults, couples & families.

You can reach me at my website or call me directly at 832-559-3520 if you have any questions. Thank You!
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