V415 Transforming Regret

How to Forgive Oneself to Improve the Future

People talk about regret more than any other emotion except love. And these days, ever-increasing choice, speed of technology, and social-media shaming have all made us particularly prone to regret. When it spirals into shame, rumination, and intense self-criticism, it can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and avoidance. By helping clients respond constructively to regret, they’ll be able to leverage it to improve their lives. You’ll discover how to:

  • Increase self-compassion using meditation, guided imagery, somatic techniques, and expressive writing
  • Improve emotional awareness and reduce rumination by expanding emotional vocabulary, differentiating emotions, locating them in the body, and enacting them
  • Stimulate radical acceptance of both feelings and reality, and identify common thinking traps involved in regret to boost flexibility
  • Use regret to clarify what’s important in life, make amends, and improve future actions

Jelena Kecmanovic, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, the founding director of the Arlington/DC Behavior Therapy Institute, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She’s a frequent contributor to The Washington Post and other popular outlets.


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