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Shadow Work & 6 Holistic Counselling Ways to Get Started

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. He believed that in order to achieve wholeness and self-realisation, one must integrate their shadow self, which consists of repressed, negative or undesirable aspects of our personality. Shadow work refers to the process of acknowledging, accepting and integrating these aspects of ourselves.


Now, I know what you're thinking. "But, I'm a well-adjusted, perfectly balanced individual! I don't have a shadow self!" Sorry to burst your bubble, but everyone has a shadow self. It's like that one sock that always disappears in the wash. You may not see it, but it's there. And just like that sock, it's important to deal with it.


So, how can you start doing shadow work? Here's 6 ways to get you started:

  1. Start small: You don't have to dive headfirst into your deepest, darkest fears. Start with something small, like acknowledging that you sometimes judge people. By taking small steps, you can build up your courage and resilience to deal with the bigger stuff.

  2. Practice self-compassion: Shadow work can be tough, but it's important to be kind and compassionate to yourself throughout the process. Treat yourself like you would treat a friend who is going through a difficult time.

  3. Journal your thoughts and feelings: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process them and gain a better understanding of yourself. You can also use this as a way to reflect on your progress and set goals for yourself.

  4. Seek support: It's okay to ask for help! You don't have to go through this process alone. Seek out an ecotherapist or holistic counsellor who can guide you through the process and provide support along the way.

  5. Embrace the process: Shadow work is not a one-and-done kind of thing. It's a lifelong process of self-discovery and growth. Embrace the journey and be patient with yourself.

  6. Pay attention to your dreams: Our dreams can provide insight into our unconscious mind and bring to light aspects of our shadow self. Keep a dream journal and write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Take note of any symbols, recurring themes, or emotions that come up in your dreams. You can use this information to gain a better understanding of yourself and the areas you need to work on. If you're having trouble interpreting your dreams, consider seeking the guidance of a therapist or counsellor trained in dream analysis.

Shadow work can be a challenging but transformative process that can lead to greater self-awareness, self-acceptance, and personal growth. By taking the time to explore and integrate our shadow selves, we can become more whole and authentic versions of ourselves.


Remember to approach this process with kindness, curiosity, and a willingness to learn. And if you find yourself struggling along the way, don't hesitate to seek out the support of a holistic counsellor or therapist who can guide you through this process with compassion and expertise. So go forth and embrace your shadow self - you may just discover a whole new side of yourself that you never knew existed. And who knows, you may even find a way to make peace with that missing sock.


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