The Adolescent Shadow

The Adolescent Shadow is the repressed complex of unresolved developmental issues and psychological woundings of adolescence.  Our culture and psychologies cannot adequately address the needs of our youth until we, as adults, embrace and heal our own Adolescent Shadows.

While western psychology has focused primarily on dealing with early childhood developmental issues and traumas and their effects on adults, not enough attention has been paid to how adolescent development and trauma during the adolescent years can negatively impact adulthood.  New scientific discoveries about teenage brain development show that adolescence may be as important a time as early childhood for adult psychological health and functioning.

Our lack of attention to the developing teenage mind, combined with (and contributing to) the widespread disrespect of youth in our culture, has created a society consisting of many adults who are fixated in their teens. This can be so even if we have completed our childhood developmental tasks and healings.  Too many of us are not high-functioning adults in the areas vital to developmental growth as teens. We are unhealthy about our sexuality; are terrified or incapable of intimacy; have lost touch with our sense of meaning or purpose; feel politically impotent or apathetic; or are overly invested in materialism at the expense of creativity and spirit.  By working through the issues of identity integration, we can become healthy and empowered adults capable of creating a better world.


For Transpersonal Therapy focusing on Shadow work, contact Renee: 510-387-0341


The Adolescent Shadow is often activated when doing family therapy with teenagers or their families (or by raising teenagers of your own). Besides learning to recognize when this happens and what to do, participants in this one-day workshop will be introduced to specific therapeutic skills for working with teenagers and families, including:

¨      How doing therapy with teens differs from doing therapy with  adults or with children

¨      Relationship building with teen clients

¨      Setting limits with teens

¨      Boundary issues

¨      Interpersonal self-disclosure

¨      The necessity of authenticity and presence

¨      Apologizing

¨      Family therapy with teens and the importance of advocacy

¨      The Adolescent Shadow in dreams

¨      Implications of the new research on the teenage brain

We will examine the primary task of adolescence in a new way: exploring identity integration as sexual, intimate, ideological/political, and spiritual beings.  With imagery, lecture, discussion, and experiential exercises, participants will begin discovering their own Adolescent Shadow issues.

Please contact Renee to schedule a training or individual consultation: 510-387-0341