Therapies for Guilt: Techniques to Overcome Guilt

Therapies for Guilt: Techniques to Overcome Guilt

November 26 2022 TalktoAngel 0 comments 1997 Views

Guilt is defined as a feeling of regret or responsibility for one's thoughts, words, or actions. It can happen when you believe you have harmed someone, made a mistake, or violated your personal moral code of conduct.

In some cases, feeling guilty can be a positive emotion that can help you learn from your mistakes. Guilt issues can be treated by connecting to the Best Psychologist in India at TalktoAngel India’s No.1 Online Counselling and mental health well-being platform.

However, you may feel guilty for situations that you believe were your fault, or even for incidents that were not your fault at all. People can also use guilt-inducing techniques to manipulate others into doing things they would rather not do. 

There are effective ways to deal with and overcome guilt, whether it's misplaced guilt, appropriate guilt or guilt caused by others — even if you've carried it for a long time.

What is the root of the guilt?

According to a 2018 study, guilt is a learned social emotion that may play a role in successful group interaction and cooperation.

When you feel guilty, it could be a sign that you need to examine certain situations or behaviors more closely. It can also assist you in correcting any perceived wrongdoings.

Guilt can also arise as a result of assumed rather than actual responsibility for an event or situation. When the feeling of guilt affects daily life or relationship it’s the right time to seek professional help from the Best Clinical Psychologist in India for online counseling.

Therapy for Guilt

Therapy can be of great help in working out guilt. The most useful type of therapy depends on the cause and nature of the guilt. In most cases, an Online Counsellor is likely to start by working with the person seeking professional help to understand what the triggers are or contributing factors to their guilt. Forgiveness therapy is often very useful in overcoming guilt. Therapist depending on his/her expertise uses different types of therapies.

Tips to stop feeling guilty

Once you've determined why you're feeling guilty, the next step is to figure out how to deal with it. Consider implementing some of these tactics or techniques.

  • Recognize its existence.

Guilt can sometimes be hidden beneath other symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia. This can make determining what is truly bothering you difficult.

Identifying whether guilt is the root cause of these difficulties can help you clarify the situation and determine the next steps to take.

  • Get rid of negative self-talk.

Though guilt can motivate you to take positive action, it can also cause you to associate your behavior with your personality. This can result in inaccurate self-evaluation and negative self-talk such as "I'm a bad person."

Remember that, while your behavior may have been less than ideal, it does not define who you are.

  • Determine whether there is a reason to feel guilty.

Guilt is sometimes unwarranted because the person involved has moved on or has already forgiven you.

Consider asking the person how they truly feel. You may be surprised to learn that you've been carrying guilt for no apparent reason.


  • Remind yourself of everything you do.

When you're feeling guilty, it can be difficult to remember all of the good things you do. Make a list of all the acts of kindness you have bestowed on others.

You may discover that the number of positive actions far outnumbers any perceived transgressions.

  • Recognize that it is normal to have needs.

Guilt is frequently rooted in concerns that you are being selfish with your time, money, or energy. However, it's important to remember that no one person can be everything to everyone all of the time.

You have needs as well, and they are just as valid as the needs of others.


  • Set ground rules.

Uncertain boundaries can lead to feelings of guilt. For example, you may feel guilty when attempting to communicate your needs to others, or you may feel guilty when failing to do what others request.

Setting healthy boundaries entails stating your expectations clearly. It specifies which behaviors you will tolerate from others and which behaviors others can expect from you.

Setting these boundaries can help you avoid feeling guilty when dealing with others.


  • Make corrections

Sometimes the presence of guilt indicates the need to apologize for your actions — a sort of call to action. When these changes are made, remorseful feelings often seem to fade. 

If you can't make amends to someone, perhaps because they've died, try journaling or writing a letter to express what you couldn't say at the time.

As an act of closure, you can then discard it in some way, such as ripping it up or burning it.

  • Recognize what you have control over.

It may be beneficial to investigate the source of your guilt and determine which aspects you can control.

Assume you feel responsible for something that occurred years ago. It may be more beneficial at this point to concentrate on what you can do right now to help the situation. 

If nothing else works, remember that holding on to guilt is unlikely to result in the desired change. Try to be compassionate to yourself.

Remember that some things cannot be changed, and that is perfectly fine!


  • Address any mental health issues.

If mental health issues or past trauma are contributing to your guilt, you should speak with a mental health professional.

They can work with you to identify areas where you may need assistance and offer strategies for dealing with your guilty feelings.


  • Recognize that perfection does not exist.

If you hold yourself to a high standard and even minor infractions leave you feeling guilty, it may be helpful to remind yourself that no one is perfect.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Making mistakes does not imply that you are a bad person. It simply means that you, like everyone else, are learning and growing as you navigate this thing called life.


1. Belden, A. C. Barch, D. M., Oakberg, T. J. (2015). Anterior insula volume and guilt: Neurobehavioral markers of recurrence after early childhood major depressive disorder. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(1). Retrieved from

2. Clark, A. (2012). Working with guilt and shame. Advances in Psychiatry Treatment, 18(2). Retrieved from

3. Fergus, T. A., Valentiner, D. P., McGrath, P. B., Jencius, S. (2010). Shame- and guilt-proneness: Relationships with anxiety disorder symptoms in a clinical sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24(8). Retrieved from

4. Hedman, E., Strom, P., Mortberg, E. (2013, April 19). Shame and guilt in social anxiety disorder: Effects of cognitive behavior therapy and association with social anxiety and depressive symptoms. PLoS One, 8(4). Retrieved from

5. Kiger, P. J. (2016, March 6). Feeling guilty? That could be a good thing. Insights by Stanford Business. Retrieved from

6. Kubany, E. S., Manke, F. P. (1995). Cognitive therapy for trauma-related guilt. Conceptual bases and treatment outlines. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 2(1). Retrieved from

7. Neff, K. (n.d.). Self-compassion-guided meditations and exercises. Retrieved from

8. Stossel, J. (2018, January 17). Is guilt good for you? ABC News. Retrieved from



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