Andrea Brandt, PHD, MFT, provides 5 steps to heal shame and find self-forgiveness.
We feel guilty when we believe we have done something wrong, but we feel shame when we believe that we are wrong. In other words, guilt is about a specific act, whereas shame is about self-worth. When you feel bad about who you are, that is shame. Sometimes we feel shame because we’ve been taught to think of ourselves as wrong or broken. Abuse, for example, can lead victims to feel shame. Shame can also occur when past choices haunt us—when we feel regret not for what we did to someone else, but for what we did to ourselves.