ERP 093: How The “Shadow” Influences Our Growth In Life And In Relationship With Dr. Keith Witt

GUEST DR. KEITH WITT Dr. Keith Witt is a Licensed Psychologist, teacher, and author who has lived and worked in Santa Barbara, CA. for over forty years. Dr. Witt is the founder of The School of Love, at, where he offers his six Books, his six hour audio class Loving Completely, the School of Love Lecture Series, blogs, Therapist in the Wild webseries, and Integral Conversations audios and videos on health/love/relationship/sexuality/spirituality/development/psychotherapy related topics. He has given three TEDx talks, all available on his website. In this episode, Dr. Keith Witt talks with us about the “shadow’ and the interface between the known and the unknown (and the shadow and conscious awareness). He also helps us understand how we can increase our awareness, so that we can work with our shadow more constructively to expand our capacity for living and loving. (Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to gain access to the full conversation, points, and examples.) SOME OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES AND POINTS BY DR. KEITH WITT: Our nervous systems are exquisitely tuned to approval and disapproval and exquisitely tuned to being accepted and not accepted. We actually mark our own develop when we look at how our emotions, feelings, impulses, and judgments change as we grow throughout our lives. They change first at a conscious level, but then they work their way into our unconscious level. Bringing this awareness with acceptance and caring intent to that interface between you and me, between what is known and not known, accelerates development. It accelerates intimacy, if we do it between each other, and it accelerates my own intimacy with myself (my own development), if I do it internally. You can’t deny instincts. What you have to do with instincts is give them a more progressive form of expression. You can’t push them down. With couples, when you feel one of those primitive instincts coming up and you can be aware of it, if it is not in shadow and unknown – you can bring it into the light of awareness, then you can give yourself and your partner a better option. Noticing these instincts and giving ourselves a better option is one of the ways that we establish and maintain intimacy. We make up stories about each other, which could be negative or positive stories. These stories inform our feelings, thoughts, and impulses. Our negative stories tend to be routinely distorted. Awareness regulates. Modern couplehood (like marriage) is the most demanding relationship in the world. Being aware of your facial expression and tone of voice is an incredibly powerful yoga. Being safe in modern society involves trusting compassionate understanding and being suspicious of any kind of understanding that isn’t compassionate understanding. We have that capacity for violence, when we feel threatened, and the more we understand it and are aware of it, the more we can transmute that into assertive action rather than aggressive action…into creating love rather than creating divisiveness. MENTIONED: Dr. Keith Witt (website) Shadow Light: Illuminations at the Edge of Darkness (book) ERP 050: Exploring Love a Consciousness with Dr. Keith Witt (podcast episode) ERP 078: How To Honor The Darkness (podcast episode) TRANSCRIPT: Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: ERP 093: How the “Shadow” Influences Our Growth In Life And In Relationship with Dr. Keith Witt [Transcript] If you have a topic you would like me to discuss, please contact me by clicking on the “Ask Dr. Jessica Higgins” button here. Thank you so much for your interest in improving your relationship. Also, I would so appreciate your honest rating and review. Please leave a review by clicking here. Thank you! If you are interested in developing new skills to overcome relationship challenges, please consider taking the Empowered Relationship Course or doing relationship coaching work with me.  

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