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The Jungian Confrerie Jungian Analysis & Psychotherapy
Harley Street, central London, Bermondsey & Colchester

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Jungian Shadow Work

Have you ever acted out of character? Flew off the handle with someone you love? Been selfish, greedy, jealous or irrationally angry?

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have a dark side to our personality. It’s a side that we often prefer not to acknowledge, keep hidden from others and subconsciously suppress from the outside world, but which has an unfortunate tendency to reveal itself at the most unexpected of times.

Anyone who has come across Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, will be familiar with the concept, namely that each person has the capability of being outwardly good, yet at the same time shockingly evil.

Shadow Work. mean-cat

This dark side is what the acclaimed Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung refers to as our ‘shadow self’. In his groundbreaking work, Psychology and Religion, he states: “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it.

Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.” Simply put, the more we try to run away from our negative tendencies, the less control we ultimately have over ourselves.

Shadow Work. light-bulb

That’s where Jungian shadow work comes in. Jungian shadow work involves tapping into the subconscious ‘dark side’ of the mind and integrating it increasingly into conscious awareness so as to obtain more control over it. This is typically achieved using various techniques, including meditating, keeping a journal, talking to a therapist and writing a letter to yourself. As the end goal is bringing the negative aspects of our personality to the forefront rather than burying them, it is all about adopting ways of engaging with our dark side.

Jungian shadow work can produce a number of benefits for those who try it. These include:

Improved Relationships

Accepting the ‘shadow’ in our own personality can help to accept the flaws of others, therefore turning us into more empathetic individuals. We no longer ‘project’ onto others and, as a result, we find that we are able to communicate with people better by understanding the world from multiple perspectives. This can lead to improvements in relations with family, friends and colleagues.

Higher levels of Energy

Suppressing the parts of our personality that we don’t like can have a surprisingly draining effect on us. When we face up to our negative tendencies and increasingly engage with our shadow selves, it frees up a considerable amount of energy we may not have even known we were using.

Greater Creativity

Unlocking creativity is a key benefit of Jungian shadow work, as an improved mental wellbeing often leads to more frequent spontaneous creative occurrences. By accepting our dark sides, we are no longer being held back by negative forces that have the ability to hinder our creative potential.

Partaking in Jungian shadow work alone can seem like a daunting prospect. While shadow work can be done alone, speaking with a trained professional can drastically improve results and lead to an overall more beneficial experience.

At Jungian Confrerie, trained analysts and therapists are on hand to work with clients from start to finish, supporting them through the entire process and ensuring the use of the most effective techniques. They offer expert Jungian Analysis and therapist services across central London, Bermondsey, Southwark and London Bridge, as well as Colchester in Essex. To find out more or for queries about booking sessions, call 0333 339 2430 or get in touch by email.

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