What Does A Shadow Work Group Session Look Like?
To work effectively with your shadows, you need a place where you feel safe, a place where you can trust others. Shadow Work provides you with such a place. We call the circle of people and the overall environment within which processing can be done the ‘container’. A ‘safe container’ means that outside pressures are temporarily set aside. Everyone in the group is asked to withhold judgement, examine their own prejudices, refrain from giving advice and commit to keeping everything that they hear or witness during the time together confidential. This means that the participants can appreciate and learn from the different journeys we have each chosen. Feeling the depth and power of love in a truly safe and shame-free Shadow Work container is often an inspiring experience in and of itself.
Our shadows can mess up our life: that’s why we put these parts ourselves out of sight in the first place. Shadow Work creates an opportunity in your life to bring these parts of you out in the open slowly, safely and by choice and for you to be witnessed in your expression of them in a shame-free environment.
The process creates ‘virtual’ situations where you can experiment freely without the fear of real-life consequences. Trained facilitators can help you break the work down into manageable parts, so you don’t lose your perspective. By sharing the path with others, who will help motivate you with their acceptance and encouragement, and by having the opportunity to watch how others process their shadows, you may well find the courage, inspiration and insights you need for changing your own situation.
A Shadow Work Group Session usually starts on a Friday mid-afternoon and continues till a specified time on Sunday afternoon. It may be residential or non-residential, and unless stated otherwise your lunches and dinners will be provided for throughout the session. The group will consist of between 5-10 participants. Sessions are always facilitated by at least 2 facilitators and if the group is of mixed-gender then there will always be one female and one male facilitator.
Shadow Work makes use of an Archetype Model developed by Carl G. Jung and then further developed by Jungian analysts Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. This Four-Quarter Archetypes Model provides a valuable lens through which to look at our shadows and provides the framework for this powerful and transformative work.
In brief, we believe that:
- the Magician energy gives us the tools to transform situations using our perspective, intuition and intellect
- the Lover energy helps us to access our emotions and deepen our connection with ourselves and others
- the Sovereign energy empowers us to honour our passions, dreams and visions, and supports and blesses us to pursue them
- the Warrior energy enables us to set boundaries, protect ourselves and take action.
A Shadow Work Session begins with the facilitators explaining the beliefs about the shadow that we hold in Shadow Work and introducing the above mentioned Archetypes in more depth. As this is the model we use to help you access your shadows, we feel it is important to share it with you, so that you can engage more fully in the session and make your own choices about how deeply you choose to work. There will then be the opportunity for each participant, if they choose, to do a piece of individual work, with others supporting their process.
Visit the Shadow Work EU website for details of upcoming sessions in the UK and abroad.