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Publisher's Summary

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." (C. G. Jung)

Within each woman and man, the dim cavern of the unconscious holds our forbidden feelings, secret wishes, and creative urges. Over time, these "dark" forces take on a life of their own, forming an intuitively recognizable figure - the shadow. A recurring theme in literature and legend, the shadow is like an invisible twin, a stranger that is us yet is not us. When it acts out in the public domain, we witness our leaders, like hero-villains, fall from grace in scandal. Closer to home, we may feel overcome with rage, obsession, and shame or succumb to self-destructive lies, addiction, or depression. These appearances of the shadow introduce us to the Other, a powerful force that defies our efforts to tame and control it.

Steve Wolf, PhD, and Connie Zweig, PhD, innovators in the use of shadow-work in psychotherapy, have helped hundreds of clients in their encounters with the dark side. Seeing it - meeting the shadow - is a first step. Learning to live with it - romancing the shadow - is a lifelong challenge. It means reading the messages encoded in the events of daily life in such a way that we gain consciousness, substance, and soul. In fact, shadow-work is soul work.

With shadow-work, we cultivate a deeper self-knowledge and authenticity. When we identify family shadow patterns, we move toward cultivating family soul. When we untangle romantic projections, we begin to build the soul of a relationship. When we face descent at midlife and meet the underworld shadow, we reclaim the unlived life of the soul. And when we retrieve our lost vitality and creative fertility - the gold in the dark side - we nurture the hungry soul.

©1997 Connie Zweig and Steve Wolf (P)2018 Connie Zweig and Steve Wolf

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What listeners say about Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating the Dark Side of the Soul

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its an introduction versus teaching the skill.

this book explains what shadow work is and the benefits it can bring you. while its is helpful to explain why shadow work is needed, it is not a textbook on how to perform the work. I would suggest this book to someone who wants to understand what shadow work is but would not suggest it if you were trying to use shadow work as a strategy

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  • w
  • 12-02-21

Had to write this review

This is my first review after nearly 100 audibles. This book has incredibly fresh insights into our behavior, unconscious and conscious.

As a recovering victim of many such addictions, parental abuse, and other impactful developmental factors, this book clearly lays out causes, both direct and indirect of what causes us to act in what we commonly say as “out of character”, and experience a level of shame.

The truth is- we all have these moments, but like the author says, this “lighting of the candles” of the mind will help you romance your shadow and ultimately, bring your self identity and shadow identity closer in sync.

1 person found this helpful

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Required Reading

I have been through a lot of therapy in my time on earth but this 3-hour audio book is probably more illuminating than the hundreds spent in the chair.

I’ll be referencing this for the rest of my life as I continue to romance my shadow.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

I think everyone could benefit from this book; excellent read that gets straight to the point.

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so interesting I finished it in one sitting

This audiobook is short, but it was so captivating that I finished it in one sitting even after countless Jungian audiobooks I listened to in the past.

1 person found this helpful

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Not what I expected.

Romancing the Shadow, while well written and performed, was not helpful to me. It's focus is very specifically identifying and working through shadow as it appears in relationships: familial, dating, and committed relationships. The archetypes referred to are too textbook and limited. If you are looking to identify and work through shadow as it appears in your relationships with others, then this book may be helpful.

I, however, was looking for help to do shadow work within myself, bridging between soul and Self as the authors call it, but not in context of external relationships. This book did not have examples or discuss archetypes that were of use to me.

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Darth Vader would've appreciated this....

Very interesting. Will listen to more than thrice. Shines a light on a not so often spoken of subject.

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Good introduction to the shadow

I thought they did a good job of going through
and explaining the concept of the shadow. It was complicated but I retained enough to be happy.

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Great listen for seeing some patterns

Great listen for seeing some patterns of behavior in people around you and within yourself. Good length and well worth the cost of admission. I have listened to it 3 times, which is not typical for me, but I get this. I went through a divorce and found yoga to be my only rescue from drugs and alcohol. I never really understood the root of repeating patterns in relationships that I was doing all my life, Reading this helped me realize breathing and ching my thoughts to a different Glad to have this in my library to share :-)

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  • Lawrence ratna
  • 06-29-19

shameless self promotion

No real analysis of the concept of the shadow
no theoretical or clinical evidence for the practice
consists of case reports with no supporting evidence or followup

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-10-19

Enjoyed it!

Loved the stories and found it a good introduction and overview of the Shadow concept. I was disappointed that I didn't learn anything really new and found it an oversimplified perspective. Probably best fire those new to the Shadow concept.

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  • Joshua
  • 02-17-22

Sublime.

There are no words. I thought I knew what it meant to be integrated. We've all read about Carl Jung's concept of the shadow, and it turns out I was just a boy scout at knowing how deep this concept really went. This book explains not only the shadow but it's archetypes, it's structures and systems, even pieces of Jung's original findings on alchemy. In here you'll find the shadow of the self, the family, and even shadow duality between romantic partners. For a book this short the only thing I can fault it on is that it doesn't go for longer. Goodluck!