Shame as Shadow's Tenacious Gatekeeper
Connie Crosby, L.C.S.W.
February 6, 1999
Understanding the effects of shame upon an individual's psychological development, including its influence upon one's shadow material, has been an abiding focus of Ms. Crosby's studies for many years.
Shame is an archetypal affect that has a purpose in our psyches. It has the hidden power to either beat up, burn, freeze or heal our process. Shame stands at shadow's gate bearing the potential to bar our entry or move us through and transform. When we are able to bear the pain of exploring our shaming experiences, we often see shame's function as a "messenger" from the Self.
"Every psychic process has a value quality attached to it, namely its feeling-tone. It is through the 'affect' that the subject becomes involved and so comes to feel the whole weight of reality." (C.G. Jung) Instead of seeking to rid ourselves of shame, individuation may be furthered by its heat.
Connie Crosby is a certified Jungian psychoanalyst, and a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. Since 1981 she has been in private practice in North Hollywood, CA.