APPROPRIATE AND NEUROTIC GUILT
Por: ©Rev. Dr. José Abraham De Jesús-Rivera
1. Appropriate guilt
-is associated with harm to persons resulting from the misuse of whether degree of inner freedom one possesses in that situation.
2. Five steps to deal with appropriate guilt:
Confrontation = help face the behavior that hurts themselves and others.
Confession = person accepts that he/she is responsible for the harm done.
Forgiveness = person seeks for forgiveness from the affected person.
Restitution = changing destructive behavior, attitudes and beliefs that created the harm.
Reconciliation = the person gets back his/her wholeness, a healed relationship with God, himself/herself, and with some of the people from whom he/she had been self-alienated.
3. Neurotic guilt
- is not the result of the real harm one has done intentionally to persons. It is produced by immature side of one's conscience.
Neurotic guilt is a psychological disturbance in a person. It is usually derived from immature or rigid value system.
Neurotic guilt is superimposed on the deeper guilt as a camouflage.
For most the problem is self-righteousness, which is a way of trying to reinforce a shaky self-esteem by a sense of moral superiority.
3. Principles of counseling with weak-concienced persons:
Establish rapport - often difficult because they tend to distrust and stay away from authority figures. The pastor or counselor represent an authority figure for him/herself.
Confront the person with the self-defeating nature of his/her reality-denying behavior. The therapist must reject the behavior, but accept the person.
Seek to block the irresponsible, acting-out behavior.
Reward responsible behavior with approval.
Help the person learn to satisfy his/her needs in socially constructive, reality-oriented ways.
Explore the person's aspirations and help her/him make and implement realistic and satisfying plans for the future.
Note: The most important element in any counseling situation is Confidentiality.
Whatever you are told by someone should die with you. That is the first and most important rule in any counseling situation in the church and outside. When people lost their trust in you, your ministry is over as a counselor.