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What is Shadow Work?


Michael Simmons, DLd

Facilitator | Writer | Teacher

"To honor and accept one's own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole-making and thus holy and the most important experience of a lifetime."

- Robert A. Johnson


"Shadow" refers to our hidden, repressed, and denied parts, of which we are not consciously aware. Our shadow is like a long bag we drag behind us that carries our unwanted emotions, inner narratives, hidden expectations, longings, repulsions, etc. We stuffed these parts into the bag in order to meet the expectations and demands of our environment. 


Shadow work provides safe, embodied, and judgement-free space to explore and integrate these parts in the presence of a trained guide. Our shadows may appear terrifying, but befriending them opens us to possibilities, and taps into energy of which we've only dreamed. 


Shadow work is not therapy. It's a mix of coaching and spiritual direction, but you will find therapeutic elements in our time together. This work is not meant to replace community, but to draw you deeper into your own depths and wholehearted relationships with others. 

Is Shadow Work for me?

I work with individuals from various faith and non-faith traditions, particularly those who have experienced spiritual/relational wounding and trauma. I offer a nonjudgemental and confidential space for clients to explore their inner landscape and integrate what they find. 

Below are a few examples of when shadow work may be effective:

  • Entering a major life transition

  • Disillusionment with/Deconstruction of previously held beliefs

  • Chronic flooding or numbness with emotions

  • Issues understanding/resolving conflict with others

  • Consistently triggered by certain people, places, or energies

  • Irrational fears of God

  • Inability to accept one's worth, positive qualities, or inner "gold"

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