WHAT: Shadow Work seminar by Christen Burns and Giles Carwyn
WHERE: 11 Willow Street, Black Mountain
WHEN: Introduction: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 7 p.m-10 p.m. Seminars: Friday, Aug. 22, 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 24, 3 p.m.
WHY: Coined by Carl Jung, the term “shadow” often refers to the parts of ourselves that we hide, repress or deny. Founded by Cliff Berry, one of the early leaders of the ManKind Project, Shadow Work Inc. combines gestalt therapy, voice dialogue therapy and archetypal exploration models.
Mountain Xpress: What is shadow work, and why is it important?
Carwyn: Growing up, we all get messages that certain parts of ourselves are not acceptable. Maybe in your family your anger wasn’t acceptable. Maybe your fear, your exuberance … your sexuality. A child will do whatever is necessary to become acceptable, even if that means hiding a piece of who they are .… However, just because these “unacceptable parts” are hidden doesn’t mean they are gone. We carry them with us, and they will “leak out” by accident.
People develop shadows to keep themselves safe. Children will become whomever they need to become to stay safe. If these childhood strategies remain unexamined, they will continue into adulthood, where they can really undermine the quality of our lives.
How do we get to know our shadow, and what relationship should we have to it?
The way to bring these shadows into the light is by examining wants and risk. We look at what we are longing for … and what is getting in the way of us getting what we want. Once we have given voices to these wants and risks, we create a psychodrama — a re-enactment of what is going on in our inner landscape. … Once all of the conflicting voices in our heads are out in front of us, it gets much easier to see where they came from, what each part wants and what needs to happen to shift the dynamic.
Seminar cost: $300. Call 782-7110 to enroll or discuss options, if financial constraints apply.