Are you among those who have been in talk therapy for many years, with only minimal improvement and no permanent changes? Are you suspecting that the origin of your life challenges might lie beyond the areas covered by conventional psychotherapy? Are you brave and curious enough to explore unconventional areas and methods?
If you answered “yes” to those three questions, transpersonal therapy might be for you.
What is transpersonal therapy?
Transpersonal therapy is an approach that includes but also goes beyond the scope of traditional Western therapy. Conventional therapy is usually limited to personal and autobiographical aspects of our life, starting with early childhood. In transpersonal therapy, we extend the personal to include events that occurred during pregnancy and birth, and then move into the transpersonal, which might include collective, archetypal, inter-generational, and past-life aspects of our present-day challenges.
Transpersonal therapy also differs from conventional therapy in terms of its methods. While conventional therapy limits itself to verbal interaction in a normal state of consciousness (the waking state), transpersonal therapy also employs unconventional Western methods (e.g. breathwork, psychedelics, astrology, and past-life regression), as well as methods from the shamanic traditions (e.g. rituals, plant medicines, drum journeys, and soul retrieval).
Please note: these methods are no magical cures or solutions in and of themselves, they are simply gateways that allow you to access areas of your body-mind-spirit that normally remain hidden or inaccessible. The real work begins once you have entered these areas. For good results, the use of these methods must be motivated by the sincere wish to uncover the root causes of your challenges, even (or rather especially) if this journey takes you to dark and unfamiliar places. This is where the notion of Shadow work comes in.
A tree can only grow as high as its roots grow deep.
What is the Shadow?
The Shadow is a psychological concept originally developed by Carl Jung. There are two types of Shadow: a personal and a collective Shadow. Our personal Shadow contains all the things we have pushed down or that we are not giving full, mature expression to. Mostly, it contains archetypal energies that have remained in an immature and polarised form, as well as parts of our psyche that are carrying trauma and have been locked away in a dungeon because of that (to read more about how the mind deals with trauma, click here).
For instance, the King archetype might exist either as a tyrant or a coward (its black & white, polarised form when in the Shadow), instead of being protective, caring, and just (the exalted version of it, beyond the polarity). Or when you were two years old, your mother shamed you in front of other kids, but because you couldn’t afford getting mad at your mom and risk losing her affection, your mind buried the emotions of shame and anger inside the unconscious.
While in the Shadow, all these traumas and archetypal energies control us and influence us in a counter-productive and limiting way. However, we’re not aware of it, because it’s unconscious and automatic. The good news is, these things can be changed, and there are ways to regain our autonomy and step more fully into our power. What it takes is committed and sincere Shadow work.
What is Shadow work?
The point of Shadow work is to enter the cave of the unconscious and do two things:
- Transmute the polarised and immature archetypes so that they start working for us and not against us;
- Meet, unburden, and reintegrate all the fragmented parts of our psyche that are carrying trauma.
The difficulty resides in finding ways to access all this Shadow material. For example, what comes to trauma, our system is very reluctant to give us access, because it thinks we can’t handle it (e.g. because the traumatic charge is very big, or because it thinks we’re still two years old). This is why many people end up staying on the surface, while believing they’re going deep. Furthermore, if we’re not careful, the Shadow work might easily become a form of spiritual bypassing (i.e. using a spiritual practice to avoid having to face the truth about ourselves).
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.— Carl Jung
How I work and what to expect
My aim is to accompany you on your underworld and otherworld journey, and help you navigate these realms so that you can make the most out of your psycho-spiritual inner work.
My approach is informed by Jungian psychology, transpersonal psychology in accordance with the work of Stanislav Grof, and the IFS model of the mind (IFS: internal family systems). I also like to include embodiment practices and somatic release, since trauma is always stored in the body. Whenever possible, I will suggest that we have the session (or part of the session) outside in nature, for example in the forest. Being in nature helps with inner work, because we become immediately more connected to our Self (to read more about the Self, click here).
The content of each session and the tools I will use depend on your current needs and the stage of your journey. Typically, if you’re not yet familiar with trauma work and Shadow work, we will first focus on stabilising your nervous system and creating a strong base. After that, we will choose a suitable way to “cross the threshold” and explore the root causes of whatever limitation, pain, false belief, or fear you might be having in your adult life.
Please note: if at any point I realise that you would benefit from a modality that I’m not offering, I will gladly refer you to someone that I know and who is competent in that modality.
– Regular session (one hour): 70 €
– Short journey (5-session package): 325 €
– Long journey (10-session package): 600 €
– Preliminary consultation (30 min): free
You can contact me via email (olivier [at] shadowdance.fi) or Telegram (@ShadowDance99). I live in Jyväskylä, Finland. I preferably work in person, but transpersonal therapy can also be done remotely via video call. I can give the sessions in English, French, or German.
So that we get to know each other and find out if we want to work together, I recommend starting with a preliminary consultation of 30 min, free of charge.