Healing Guilt After Trauma

By Karen Robinson

Heal Thrive Dream 

How can I let it go and heal?

Guilt and Shame Healing

Attend my healing coaching intensive to learn about healing from guilt.

What is Guilt?

Guilt is a feeling that comes up when you think you've done something wrong or made a mistake. It's like an inner voice telling you that you didn't act in the best way possible, based on your own values or what you believe to be “right.” For example, if you cheat on a test and then feel bad about it because you value honesty, that feeling is guilt. Your guilt or your desire to not feel guilty may guide your actions and behaviors, and it may nudge you to make things right, like apologizing to someone you’ve hurt.

Letting go of Guilt To Heal

Letting go of guilt is like cleaning out a closet full of old things you don't need anymore. First, it helps to understand why you feel guilty. Is it because you think you've made a mistake or hurt someone? What steps or actions can you take to fix or amend the situation?

To heal guilt, it's important to take responsibility for your actions, understand the impact your behavior has on others, and make amends whenever possible. This process involves acknowledging what you’ve done, apologize to who you hurt or offended, and learning from your mistake to avoid repeating it in the future. Healing guilt is about making peace with your actions and yourself, which can be achieved through self-forgiveness and a commitment to doing better moving forward.

You may find it helpful to process your feelings with someone you trust. This can be a close friend or your therapist. Please remember that everyone makes mistakes, and it's okay. It's how you learn and grow.

The Connection Between Guilt & Trauma

The connection between guilt and trauma is like having a suitcase on your shoulders. The damn thing is so heavy! After a traumatic experience, it is normal or common to feel scared, sad, and sometimes guilty. This guilt can come from thinking you did something wrong, or that you could have done something differently, or even from surviving when someone else may not have (brutal assaults, trafficking, combat trauma., etc.) The thoughts are heavy, oppressive and now a part of our “baggage” or suitcase. Oftentimes, your thoughts may include "what ifs" and "if onlys."

This heavy suitcase on your shoulders can make it difficult to move forward and heal. Letting go of guilt is a necessary step in order to heal from your traumatic event(s). With the help of talking to someone who understands, like a therapist, you learn how to gently take out each item of your suitcase/baggage, to examine and analyze, you learn to understand that the trauma wasn't your fault and begin to forgive yourself for being a victim. This is how you can start to heal, address the emotions under the guilt, and to begin to move forward. 

Complimentary Coaching Healing Intensive

16 March 2024, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

Guilt and Shame Healing

 The Benefits of Letting Go of Guilt

Improve Your Mental Health

Releasing guilt can significantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, leading to a healthier, more peaceful mental state. Without the constant weight of guilt, you're likely to experience fewer depressive symptoms and enjoy a more optimistic outlook on life.

Enhanced Relationships

Letting go of guilt allows you to repair and strengthen relationships affected by past actions. It opens the door for honest communication, deeper connections, and the opportunity to rebuild trust and intimacy with others.

Personal Growth

Freeing yourself from guilt fosters personal development and self-improvement. It encourages you to learn from your mistakes (if you made one - remember trauma done to you is NOT your fault), make positive changes, and move forward with a stronger sense of integrity and confidence in your decision-making.

Unburden Yourself For Peace

Healing from guilt after experiencing trauma is a journey toward lightening the emotional load you carry. It involves understanding that feeling guilty is a common response to difficult situations, where you might blame yourself for things that were actually out of your control. By acknowledging these feelings and discussing them with a therapist or a trusted person, you can start to unburden the heavy thoughts and feelings. As you process through complex feelings, you gradually find peace and acceptance, making space for new, positive experiences.

Stay tuned as my next blog post will address Healing Shame After Trauma.

A reminder to sign up for my healing coaching intensive!

Complimentary Coaching Healing Intensive

16 March 2024, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

Guilt and Shame Healing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Karen Robinson

  Karen Robinson  

About the Author

I'm licensed therapist with 25 years of clinical experience. Service driven, specializing in trauma recovery, anxiety, and depression, holistic care, and transformation to create an impact for trauma survivors globally. Services include coaching, therapy, virtual courses, digital products, and on-line memberships.

Subscribe to receive emails when we publish new blogs and more healing tips from us!

Are you a survivor in need of HOPE?