Carl Jung's the Shadow

Topics: Psychotherapy, Carl Jung, Psychology Pages: 3 (998 words) Published: October 20, 2011
The following assessment explores my understanding of how I apply the person-centred approach/core conditions to myself when considering my shadow. To help explore and deepen our understanding of Carl Jung's term 'the shadow' the class this week carried out an exercise whereby we each chose a card depicting a negative/challenging personality trait. The card I chose was ‘The Miser’. We then individually explored how we considered this aspect to play a part in our shadow and how the shadow impacts on us personally and professionally. I will go on to describe what I discovered about my shadow during this exercise. The shadow represents the unconscious parts of our personality - the parts our conscious-self disowns due to inner conflicts often originating from foundations such as culture and upbringing. Refusing to acknowledge its existence and place within our psyche threatens to distort our relationships with ourselves and others. Embracing the shadow allows us to move deeper within our unconscious layers and develop a better understanding of self. According to Carl Jung, recognising our shadow material is part of the journey to embracing the totality of ourselves. However, this can prove to be a difficult task. As Jung notes, it takes considerable moral effort, insight, and good will to embrace the dark aspects of our personality. Some parts of the shadow can be recognised more easily than others but because the shadow is ‘a moral problem’, there is usually some resistance to confronting it.

3a) Apply the person-centred approach to self
When thinking about the definition of The Miser, I initially was not sure about its true meaning. After questioning this I discovered it describes a miserable, penny pinching character. On expanding on this and relating it to my shadow, I expressed my own connection of this to selfishness leading on to false guilt. So how do I apply the core conditions to myself when experiencing these elements of my shadow? And how...
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