Shadow work is a psychotherapy technique initially developed by Carl Jung. The technique rests on believing that every person has a shadow self — a version with all the traits they can’t see. People create shadow selves to protect themselves from unflattering or unfamiliar images. This shadow becomes everything we hide. It isn’t negative or shameful but an important part of self-discovery. Jung’s psychotherapy focuses on discovering and assimilating this shadow into the visible self. This assimilation teaches us to manage the impulses we usually ignore, like anger or greed.
Shadow work leads to a more authentic self. It also awakens creativity and energy and is essential to reaching mature adulthood. The technique helps people see and accept negative personal traits and work toward confronting trauma, grief and other challenging emotions. This journey toward personal knowledge can lead to many benefits, such as:
Individuals can use many techniques to discover their shadow selves. Here are a few standard practices used in therapy or personal journeys toward self-discovery:
The characteristics people hide from themselves are often undesirable and lead to behaviors like addiction. Jungian shadow work helps people discover hidden parts and learn to act consciously by accepting those components rather than letting their shadow self control their behavior. When you find love and acceptance for hidden traits, you can free yourself from the fear your shadow uses to control you. Jungian shadow work guides individuals struggling with addiction to accept concealed parts of themselves. This practice leads to healing from the injuries that caused you to flee to alcohol or substance use in the first place. Bringing the hidden and visible selves together allows those with addiction to feel complete without using substances to soothe old hurts.
Using a non-12-step recovery program, The Sanctuary at Sedona seeks to address the hidden factors contributing to addiction. Healing the mind and spirit through Jungian shadow work and other therapeutic techniques allows complete healing. Get in touch online or call us at (866) 750-0763 to learn more about our programs.