Life Coaching and Shadow Work: Become The Person You Were Meant To Be

Welcome! My name’s Rod Boothroyd, and I’m an experienced Life Coach and Shadow Work facilitator.

I’ve been working in this field for about twenty years now. My knowledge and way of working is rooted in several different traditions of personal growth and development.

My website will explain some of the theory and ideas behind how I work. And you can get my contact details here.

How Does Coaching & Shadow Work Help?

I work towards personal transformation with my coaching clients. Much of my work is about exploring your “Shadow”, the unconscious part of you which stops you making the changes you wish to make. This is what is often called shadow work, or perhaps “archetypal coaching”.

Together, we can get in touch with the limiting beliefs and unhelpful behaviour patterns which hold you back. And more importantly, we can change them into something more positive! Shadow work takes you much further than some other styles of coaching, especially when combined with the skills and approaches of counselling or therapy. (I originally trained as a therapist with the Manchester Institute of Psychotherapy.)

Traditionally, life coaching is seen as a way of bringing about behavioural change directed to a specific outcome. But superficial changes to your behaviour will never produce long lasting results. It’s simply impossible, because the drivers of your behaviour remain unchanged.

My style of coaching goes much deeper: it brings about change at a fundamental level. This is what is known as shadow work or “emotional process work”.

I believe that to be an effective and powerful shadow work facilitator you need a grounding in psychotherapy. Only then can you safely explore the deepest issues which lie in the shadow, in the unconscious mind. (You can read about my training and experience in shadow work facilitation here.)  

This approach to coaching empowers you to explore and change the deep seated beliefs you hold about yourself into something more functional, productive and useful for you. In short, your blocks, limitations, and unhelpful behaviours will be replaced by ways of being in the world which allow you to move rapidly towards your goals.

Of course, you’ll have a confidential space in which you can talk about what’s happening for you, and in which I can offer reflections, feedback and support. This one to one work can take place either on Zoom or in my office in Frome, Somerset. 

We’ll look at your vision, goals, desires, hopes and expectations. We’ll work together as I support you on your path to achieving the success you desire, and we’ll walk that path together for as long as you wish.

This is the essence of coaching – an objective voice offering feedback and reflections which help you evolve your own thinking and make changes where needed. And yes, I will bring the right “tools” for change out of the bag at the right time!

For me, those tools involve working with your archetypes. (The concept of archetypes is explained a little further down this page.)

Among other approaches to your work, we will be exploring your archetypes and building them up so they truly serve you in getting what you want. We will also be balancing the different energies within you so you feel truly powerful in every part of your life.

And we will also ensure areas of low energy are made stronger, so you have the personal power and potency to make permanent changes wherever you want in life.

Why Use Archetypes In Life Coaching? 

Because this method of coaching produces profound change more quickly and more powerfully than any other approach I have come across in twenty years’ of work in the field of personal development.

So let’s consider the idea of life coaching using the archetypes, an approach often known as shadow work, by starting at the very beginning.

What Are Archetypes?

Archetypes are simply a part of your personality which represent different qualities in you: leadership, action, thinking, feeling, and so on.

These archetypal parts show up with various strengths and weaknesses in everyone.

And by exploring your archetypes, we can work together to enhance areas where there are weaknesses, and reduce energy in areas which are too prominent, and produce a balanced whole.

And there is much more we can do, if you choose to work with me as your coach, support and guide.

As your coach, I can show you how to heal the areas of your personality where you were  emotionally “wounded” during your early years.

We can examine any area that needs attention, including abuse of any kind, abandonment, lack of love, low self-esteem issues, feeling not “good enough”, not wanted, unlovable, relationship issues, lack of personal power, weak boundaries, inability to stand up for yourself, anxiety, feelings of shame or “being bad”, and more. Much more.

For example, if you’re “inflated” in any area we can deal with that too – excess anger, fear, sadness, shame, and so on can all be addressed and balanced by using this archetypal approach.

All these areas of your personality can be effectively held, supported, and healed. That includes the after-effects of experiences such as being sent away to boarding school, adoption, abuse, oppression, and so on.

All of these things are massive blocks to achieving success in adult life. And there’s absolutely no reason why you should put up with them any longer. 

In fact, now is the time to become the man or woman you were always meant to be. This is the promise of this work: it is truly transformational.

The Archetypes & Shadow Work

It was Carl Jung (1875-1961) who brought an understanding of our psychological archetypes into the field of depth psychology, and so into life coaching in the present day.

This understanding can lead to deep personal insights into our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. 

Jung believed that we all instinctively understand the idea of certain archetypes. When someone mentions a warrior, for example, we can all think of an image of a warrior. We think of courage and discipline, a focus on goals and, above all, the ability to get things done in the world.

We all have a warrior in us, at least as a potential energy. Ask yourself, “Do I feel courageous and competitive? Do I get things done?” If so, then the Warrior in you is strong.

The Warrior is one of the four main human archetypes in the Jungian framework. The others are the Sovereign (the leader), the Magician (the thinker), and the Lover (the part of you which looks after feelings, intimacy and connection with others). These are the 4 key psychological archetypal energies which we will talk about in my approach to life coaching. 

Ask yourself “Do I feel the world is there to be shaped by me?” If so, the Sovereign’s energy of purpose, leadership and mission may be strong in you. 

Or are you a caring type, moving through life and responding to the needs of others as you encounter them? Then the Lover is strong in you.

Would you say that thinking, reasoning, finding solutions and intuition are your greatest strengths? Then the Magician archetype is strong in you.

You can find my book Warrior Magician Lover King: A Guide to the Male Archetypes Updated for the 21st Century on sale here (UK and Europe sales)  and also here (USA and rest of the world sales).

By exploring these parts, using the descriptive label of “Archetypes” as shorthand for each of them, we can gain great clarity about what makes us the way we are.

And the more clarity we can gain about ourselves, the more we are able to differentiate the energies we have inside of us – and be aware of when they conflict or do not serve us.

Each of us has our own personal configuration of these key archetypes, and their strength or weakness characterises our individual personality. Inflated or deflated archetypal energies manifest as an imbalance and distort our personality.

Working with a therapist or coach who is highly trained and experienced in using appropriate techniques to balance and heal your archetypes gives you unlimited scope for personal growth.

What Makes Us What We Are

All of us are naturally called upon to manifest different energies as our lives change.

When you have a child, for example, you may feel very loving, protective and caring towards your baby. There is a surge in your Lover energy

Or when you encounter something you simply have to do, you might take action without a second thought to get what you want. That’s the Warrior being called forth in you. 

And all of us have a purpose in life, whether we know it or not. This purpose is underpinned by the vision of the King or Queen. The thinking and reasoning energy of our Magician helps us work out how to convert vision into reality. 

These energies change with circumstances. Or at least, they should do! When one or more energies are low or missing or blocked, problems can arise. That’s where the help of a skilled “archetypal life coach” can be helpful in straightening things out. 

Shadow Work Can Guide and Support You

Many of us adapted our personality in ways which ensured our survival from childhood onwards. Many of us found ways to gain a sense of belonging and acceptance.

However, these adaptive traits can hold us back. If, for example, you were in some way rejected or neglected as a child, your sensitive Lover archetype would not enjoy the trust and openness of a  secure childhood. If the people who were supposedly caring for you were inadequate, dangerous or not present, you may have taken your emotional well-being into your own hands. Instead of becoming open and trusting, you may have become wary, independent, detached or discerning.

Now, as an adult, maybe you continue to hold back from fully investing yourself in your relationships, you remain somewhat detached. So perhaps what leads you to coaching or counselling is the desire to bring some balance into your life because the distance you keep between yourself and others no longer serves you.

Or perhaps your leadership skills were never encouraged, and you lack the edge needed to lead a team successfully. Maybe you were shamed for being a bright child, a good thinker, and now you freeze under pressure.

There are millions of possible reasons for people to come into any kind of therapy, including shadow work or life coaching, but they are all geared to a couple of outcomes: greater self-determination and greater expression of who you really are.

In other words, coaching using shadow work is a process of rediscovering the person you were always meant to be, of finding your inner strengths and resolving your weaknesses. It’s about reclaiming your power and potency in every area of life. 

One of the gifts of seeing such your psychological energies through the lens of the main human archetypes is that you can fully understand what drives you, for better or worse.

You can shine a clear light on your gifts – whether or not you choose to bring them to the world – and also see where your patterns might be entrenched and holding you back. More importantly, you can learn how to bring potency and presence to areas where you are weak. 

The Benefits Of This Approach In Coaching

I coach men and women with this approach because it brings into clear focus the different elements of our personality in a clear and simple way.

And because it is clear and simple, working on these elements becomes much, much easier. Right from the start you can see exactly how these various parts of yourself interact with the world and the people around you. Areas which need to be developed are very obvious. Areas which are too strong and need to be reduced in prominence are also clear.

Most important of all, perhaps, we all have a natural understanding of these archetypes. In fact, Carl Jung suggested that these archetypes are an inherent part of our universal consciousness.

The idea of King or Queen as your Inner Leader, Magician as Chief Thinker, Lover as Controller of Connection and Intimacy, and Warrior as the part of you in charge of Doing Things makes sense to us all.

I will guide you as you explore each Archetype and discover its strengths and weaknesses, and I will work with you to facilitate change in each area.

Together, we will overcome your limiting beliefs, change your unhelpful behaviour patterns, and develop new and better ways of being in the world – all of which will rapidly move you on a path to becoming the man or woman you want to be. The man or woman you were born to be. The man or woman you were always going to be before the world got in the way…

As we explore your unconscious Shadows, our shadow work together will enable you to overcome unhelpful and  destructive ways of thinking and feeling, and empower the areas where you need more energy and focus.

It will also effectively change or eliminate the limiting beliefs you hold about yourself and those unhelpful behaviours whose origin lies in your past.

This Style of Coaching Is True Shadow Work

We will look at each of your archetypes, the Warrior, the Magician, the Sovereign and the Lover, to discover how they interact and which of them are dominant or lacking in your life.

With my guidance and facilitation, you’ll be empowered to explore your unconscious limiting beliefs and unhelpful behaviour patterns. You’ll explore and understand the ways of being and the emotions which no longer have a place in your life. We will begin to change these old patterns and beliefs as soon as we start working together, and explore more productive ways of being in the world.

The Warrior Archetype

Think of your Warrior archetype as the part of you that goes out into the world and get things done. We can strengthen your ability to take action in the world by examining what holds this part of you back from its fullest expression.

The Magician Archetype

Your Magician is the part of you responsible for creative, logical, rational and intuitive thinking. We can look at why you freeze under pressure, or your mind goes blank. We can look at why you have developed ways of thinking and being in the world that don’t serve you in your Adult life, and find ways to loosen or remove their power in your life today.

The Lover Archetype

We’ll also spend time looking at the sensitive part of you, your Lover archetype, where grief and loss can be held. We will find ways to enable you to express your feelings around these losses, shed tears and mourn whatever you need to let go of.

We can explore why you “numb out” or stop feeling. Our work together will give you the ability to feel your emotions and express them in a healthy, mature way.

The King or Queen Archetype

And perhaps more than anything else, we will work on your Sovereign archetype to build up and embody your strength and power in the world today. Think of your Sovereign, your King or Queen, as the Leader in your life. This power is present in you, perhaps waiting to be brought fully online in a balanced way.

We’ll examine how your Sovereign can be empowered, so that it features more prominently in your life, enabling you to lead your kingdom (be that your business, your family, your own mind, or any other domain) in a wise, powerful and fair way, for the benefit of all concerned.

As we do this, you will re-establish good communication between your Sovereign archetype, your Warrior, your Magician, and your Lover.

Your Sovereign archetype needs to be in control of your inner and outer Kingdoms and Queendoms, issuing orders to your Warrior to get things done, asking your Magician for options and ideas, and holding your delicate and sensitive Lover with compassion and grace.

Many people find that one or more areas of their personality are somehow “bounded off” and separated from the others. We can examine how these divisions and disconnections arose, and use simple, powerful processes to reconnect the flow of energies between your archetypes.

You will find the energy of your unconscious then flows easily between the archetypes and allows you to freely and fully access whatever energy you need at a particular time in your life.

An especially important aspect of this work is to eliminate your self-limiting beliefs. This will free up your ability to access your full power and potential so you can bring it to the world. At present you may have no idea of the power and magnificence which lies in your shadow. What you discover there may truly astound you!

Children pick up many messages about themselves from the way parents, caregivers, and other people around them behave towards them. Unfortunately, many of these messages can be quite negative. These become the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves as adults.

These limiting beliefs, implanted into our unconscious by well-meaning but misguided parents and caregivers, can be very damaging.

When you find your ability to impact the world is limited, or you feel powerless, insignificant, small, inadequate or not good enough (or any variation of those things) then your limiting beliefs are controlling you. We can work together to eliminate these and replace them with something much more constructive – beliefs which enable you to get what you want in your life right here, right now.

For example, if you feel that love is challenging, perhaps believing you have never really been loved, or there’s something wrong your ability to love, we can examine that part of your personality together and find out why you came to believe these things about yourself. And then we can work on your Lover archetype to change it so that you see yourself as fully lovable and able to love fully.

If you have a low self worth or low self-confidence in any area of life, we can work to build your Sovereign energy. 

If you have issues around boundaries, we can strengthen your Warrior so that you know exactly what’s needed, where you stand, what’s permissible, and what’s not.

And so it goes on. This work is adaptable to any issues you bring. 

If you wish to make an appointment, or to discuss possibilities, please call me now on 07788 502902. If I am not available I will call you back as soon as possible.

Please note this type of coaching work is probably not right for people who have serious emotional disturbances of one kind or another, or people who have recently been or are still in psychiatric care. 

A system of coaching which really does bring about lasting behavioural change – fast!