Hypnosis and the shadow self
One of the ways I work with clients, using hypnotherapy, is to work with their ‘shadow self’. The shadow self was a term first used by Carl Jung to describe that part of us which is hidden – both to others and to ourselves – but which is responsible for causing us to act in certain ways. We have a persona which we think of as ‘us’ – but underneath what we know and show of ourselves is another self. This shadow self – may cause us to think and act in certain ways, which might seem very at odds with how we want to think and act. Let’s take someone who really wants to find love and have a fulfilling relationship. But every time they start a new relationship, they find themselves sabotaging it and cheating on their partner. Another person loves their job and wants to progress up the career ladder, but they fail to apply for the jobs they want because, deep down, they feel they aren’t good enough. In both these cases, the shadow self is causing us to act and think in ways which go against what we feel we want. The shadow self isn’t all bad – it can be a fountain of creativity, of deep insight, and can be assertive and aware of what we really need, when we have been raised to act against our better instincts.
What is the point of looking at our shadow self? Isn’t it better just to pretend that it doesn’t exist? The thing is, it does exist – and denying it just means that it’s controlling certain thoughts and actions. Let’s say your shadow self is deeply hurt and upset, because you were neglected as a child. When these thoughts surface, you push them down and present a happy face to the world. But, deep down, you’re still hurt and upset – you just choose to take your feelings out on your partner who reminds you of the mother who didn’t love you. Or let’s say you have resentment and anger because your father left when you were little, and your mum depended heavily on you. Perhaps you turn that resentment and anger inwards, and become depressed and anxious.
If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression or loss of confidence, or are engaged in addictive and self-sabotaging behaviour, exploring your shadow self in a state of deep calm and relaxation, where your creative mind is carefully allowed to explore and accept the shadow can be extremely helpful.
To make an appointment for a shadow self hypnotherapy session via Skype or at my office in Prestwick, please get in touch.