We often speak of the individual shadow yet, as some religious traditions emphasize, the couple becomes as "one flesh." Assuming some lived reality of this belief, that must mean couples must have shadows as it (the couple) individuates as a couple. Is that even possible or is this an understanding that shows where MFT theories and depth understandings part company? An individuating couple? Is there a family shadow? And if there is, how does one approach such a shadow in therapy, assuming that the couple/family is there due to the shadow wanting to be recognized? Would like to hear your thoughts.
Hi Ed: I so relate to your ideas. Depression, from a clinical sense, has always been viewed as an "individualized" issue, i.e. within the skull of a single individual. Why can't we view depression and other psychological influences from the vantage point of the nature and quality of our relationship to our own psyche; especially the shadow, anima/animus, and the Self? In their most positive and developed aspect, the anima / animus are the embodiments of our soul, or spirit. When our relationship to our soul is cooperative and loving, the soul serves as a guide to the Self, the spiritual core of the personality. When we are disconnected from our soul -- or at odds with it in some way -- I wonder if what we experience is what shamans have called a “loss of soul.” Loss of soul is often manifested in modern society by depression or an addiction. Does this make sense to anyone else??