Shadow Work® is one of the methods of working with parts of the Self – along with Voice Dialogue and IFS – that informs my somatic coaching practice.
Shadow Work draws on the archetypes of Lover, Warrior, Sovereign and Magician.
Lover represents our availability to connecting deeply – with ourselves, our needs, our emotions, with other humans and other creatures, with nature, and with Spirit.
Warrior represents our capacity to do things, to accomplish things, to set goals and meet them, it represents our fire, our fierceness, our giving of ourselves to serve what is important.
Sovereign represents our capacity to stand in “I Matter, I am Somebody, I am honored and respected,” our ability to provide leadership and our ability to bestow blessings onto ourselves and others.
Magician represents our ability to see things from a wide view, to see and sense possibilities, options, or choices, and to transform ourselves, our lives and our experiences.
In addition to the brilliant gifts of these archetypes, each one also has a shadow side.
The Shadow Lover is clingy, withholding, and manipulative.
The Shadow Warrior wields power over, abuses power, or expresses through violence.
The Shadow Sovereign feels self-important and superior, and insults or diminishes others.
And the Shadow Magician convinces us – or others – that things are true which are not true. It covers up reality and shows us something that is compelling but is not accurate, causing us to behave in hurtful ways toward ourselves and others.
“Shadow Work® is a way of transforming parts of your character that you’d like to change with compassion and understanding, and offers an effective technology for balancing these diverse parts.
“Shadow Work® includes a set of facilitated processes that allow individuals to explore and change almost any behavior pattern. Shadow Work® is especially devoted to providing a setting that allows people to explore and evolve themselves safely, choice fully and without pressure from the facilitator.
“Based on Cliff Barry’s unique synthesis of ancient and modern tools, Shadow Work® uses a four-directional ‘map of the mind’ to identify and process your ‘shadows.‘”
Shadow Work has informed my way of working with clients more than any other approach to “parts” because I have witnessed the transformational magic of Shadow Work in more than one hundred individual processes over a dozen or so intensive weekend Shadow Work retreats, as participant or staff member, and I have also completed the Basic Facilitator Training in Shadow Work.