The Shadow: Facing up to disowned parts of us

“The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognising the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge” Carl Jung (1951).

Therapy is an opportunity to reflect upon the part of ourselves that we are unwilling to acknowledge as part of us, or perhaps even unaware of. It shines a light on such areas, encouraging us to honestly look at them, and therefore increased self understanding and integration is an inherently uncomfortable and challenging experience. By acknowledging and accepting aspects of your shadow you can become less harmful to yourself and others and can choose which parts you engage in. When unacknowledged they take on a life of their own and cause havoc, with you often feeling confused at why you may be behaving in a certain way, with a sense of being out of control and not understanding yourself.

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