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Bear Psychology Podcast

Dr. Anna Baranowsky is a Canadian Clinical Psychologist, CEO of the Traumatology Institute, Founder and President of the Board at Trauma Practice. She is the author of two books on trauma, numerous courses to help train professionals in trauma mental health and the developer of the Trauma Recovery Program for Self-Guided trauma care. She works with trauma survivors and those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on post-traumatic growth and recovery.

Through her work she believes that when we share, dialogue and feel supported, it provides a powerful foundation for forward movement in our understanding and the care needed. In her own words "I have found that the most profound changes occur when a person truly feels heard and understood - I like to think of it as deeply BEARING WITNESS to life evolving. We can feel incredibly stuck when we live with our fears, stressors and troubles in isolation."

Dr.Baranowsky is the host of the Bear Psychology Show, focusing on bearing witness to Evolving Mood, Mind, Health. Her talks revolve around recovery, relationships, work and life adventures.

She is dedicated to assisting organizations and health professionals who help trauma survivors to ensure a trauma informed lens of care can grow in community health networks. With that vision in 1998, the Traumatology Institute Canada (TIC) was established. TIC has trained thousands of individuals nationally and internationally.

Dr. Baranowsky serves on the board of directors of the Academy of Traumatology and is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and is recognized by The National Center for Crisis Management. She has published in the area of Post-Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue, and therapeutic relationships (the Silencing Response).

Copyright:  Dr. Anna Baranowsky, 2020

May 30, 2020

"The most terrifying thing is to accept yourself fully" – Carl Jung

We'll start by recognizing that we are much more than the surface image we present to others while at the same time exploring why for many, we guard our interior world so very carefully, in fear that others will see us for who we really are.

It begs the question – Who and what are we really guarding from others, and why? We will discuss what happens when these facades break down, and what we can see more clearly. By breaking down barriers within ourselves we can give permission to see our vulnerabilities, our strong emotions, our deep desires and our drives.

When these deeper drivers create problems in our lives, it can create a cycle where we feel an instant dread or hate towards what lies deep inside ourselves.  What kinds of relationships do we create if we see something in others that we despise only to discover it within ourselves? This is your Shadow.

You are MORE than these barriers to YOU... Recognizing the deeper layers of who you are and the unconscious drivers in your life, allows your true personality to shine through.

From a psychological point of view the Shadow is a part of your personality (an unconscious part) that we resist recognizing or admitting to. This is the part of us that would say "not me, I didn't do it, or I hate it when others do it" whatever "it" is.  The Shadow will likely be something that someone in our life is telling us we are guilty of that we do not want to know or see.  This "it" might be perceived as positive by some, and negatively by others.

By integrating this "it" and knowing how it exists within us, can free up of much of our own inner battles.  If we wish to grow in our self-understanding, we should know how the Shadow lives within us so we can either embrace it or work with the impulse to hide it as it surfaces with a full recognition of the power it has in our responses or reactions.

In our day-to-day world, we often trade on platitudes such as "it will be Ok; don't worry; get over it".  These superficial responses often find us feeling alone and misunderstood. This is especially the case when we feel what is deeper within us pushing to the surface for the breathing space letting us face and witness our Shadow.

Opening the door to this journey to meet our Shadow may be our biggest step towards growth. While it is filled with fearful self-examinations that we may want to continually reject, we are being propelled to look beneath the surface time and time again to meet who we truly are.

Links & Resources:

Shadow Work Journal – by Jessica Cross (2015):

Shadow Work Guide – by Scott Jeffrey (2017):

Dr. Gerald May – "The Dark Night of the Soul" 2005:

Psychology Today:

Carl Jung and the Shadow – The mechanics of your dark shadow:

Jordan Peterson in integrating the shadow:

Emerald – Shadow Work Explained – Jungian Psychology:

Ernest Becker –Immortality Projects & his famous book The Denial of  Death: