On whether the widespread “shadow work” method of improving our well-being is as good as it can be imagined

Generation Z has made it very trendy but the truth is that according to experts in psychology and psychiatry, it is not a method for everyone as it may put our mental health at risk.

Literally translated, shadow work is “work in the shadow,” because what it is trying to do is work with this dark side that we all have. #shadowwork has racked up over 2.6 billion views on TikTok, but the concept isn't new, though it was thanks to Kelia Sahin's book,'Light your shades. A memoir for accepting and moving beyond your dark side“Which has become very popular.

now “Shadow work” has become popular among Generation Z, but the truth is that it is not without risks Which many people ignore when talking about its benefits.

What is the “shadow work” method?

According to the Association for Analytical Psychology, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung was the first to Definition of “shadow” how “That hidden, repressed, inferior, and guilt-laden personality “The last branches of which go back to the animal kingdom of our ancestors.”

Jung had a deep interest in the shadow, in its form and content, and in the process of internalizing “what one does not wish to be.” This is exactly what Shaheen explains in his book, which defines that shadow as “a side of yourself that you do not fully realize.” To discover this, it is necessary to introspect, because many people tend to repress those hidden parts of themselves. To avoid having to face this dark side.

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Shaheen asserts that engaging in shadow work will lead to positive outcomes including healing generational trauma, increased empathy, setting boundaries, and “unstuck.” The holy grail of personal development This is echoed by other authors such as Kelly Bramblett in books such as “Release your shadows'.

Is it a good idea to explore our shadows on our own?

In the book, in addition to teaching us how to “illuminate” our shadow and see it, he gives us self-guided exercises and writing suggestions, something similar to memoirsThis is what you are looking for, according to the author. “Confronting and integrating these repressed parts of ourselves” and “shedding light on the darkest corners of our psyche to achieve healing, acceptance, and wholeness.” That's by saying, We see all that we have inside, the good and the bad, and that by accepting all that we are, we achieve the desired personal development.. But how true is this? Is it safe to do this alone?

The truth is that if we think about exploring the darkest parts of our being, the traumas, and the drama that accompanies us…it seems absurd to do so alone. In fact, says Dr. Willow Jenkins, a psychiatrist and director of psychiatric emergencies at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, MedPage said today Which Shadow work is not available to everyone and is not a substitute for mental health treatment from trained professionals.

This whole path is explorable and the work will pay off, but it is always better to have a professional by our side to give us security and support, because in this contemplation a lot of pain will come to the surface and it may not be easy to resolve and manage it. Moreover, there is a big difference between “a person who is in relatively good mental health and is seeking deeper understanding, and someone who is suffering from a mental illness and is seeking treatment,” Jenkins said. If there was a childhood trauma, no matter how much we read a book we will not be able to heal it.

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Jenkins also explained that if someone engages in self-directed journaling, “it can take time away from proven, effective treatments,” and for people with mental illness or past trauma, even guided journals can be difficult to process on their own. Moreover, he explains that “This type of work was always intended to be done with a therapist, because it involves confronting difficult aspects In a certain way, in a shadow sense, negative towards oneself.

“When a psychiatric term hits the mainstream and everyone is searching for it, it's important to realize that it's a very specific type of treatment and usually very individualized for a particular type of patient,” Jenkins said. “This is one of the concerns that arises when highly individualized treatment is recommended for everyone.” That's by saying, It's not something for everyone.Far from it, as well Iria Riguera actually showed us what was happening with meditation and mindfulness.

For those who do not know, Shaheen does not hold advanced degrees in psychology or psychiatry, meaning they have no training in that, no matter how widespread it has become, and some therapists are already questioning the authenticity of his authorship.

Embracing the negative emotions we have is good and necessary for proper emotional self-regulation.But exploring trauma without psychological help can be very dangerous no matter how popular it may seem.

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Photos | Tik Tok @nixxypixxyy And @rainbownomad_jess

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