Matt Licata presents

Embracing the Shadow
and the Path of Light

A 9-Session Course for Psychological Growth, Emotional Healing and Spiritual Transformation

Buried inside the shadow are the lost pieces of the soul, which shine with the light of a billion suns. By bringing more discernment, mercy, and compassion to our engagement with our spiritual beliefs and practices, we open a portal for the lost ones to return.

– Matt Licata, PhD 

Your Invitation

Dear friend,

In this nine session, self-guided home study course, I explore the nature of the “shadow” and how embracing and integrating the shadow is essential on any contemporary path of embodied healing and spiritual transformation. 

In the words of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung – in his text on Alchemical Studies – “enlightenment is not imagining figures of light, but making the darkness conscious.” 

The reality is that we cannot fully heal, transform, and reimagine our lives if there are parts of ourselves, unfelt feelings, and unmetabolized “pieces of soul” which remain outside our conscious awareness. This material, in its entirety, forms and shapes what is sometimes referred to as our “unlived lives” and is rich with data and information. 

The path of embracing the shadow is not a path of “darkness,” but one of love and unfolding light, which liberates core life energy, heals our body and nervous system, opens our heart, and helps us to feel more intimate, connected, and alive.

The course is presented in nine, 90-minute sessions, containing guided meditations and exercises, talks and lectures, and my responses to questions from participants who took the course live in its original offering. 

When you register, you will receive access to streaming video, downloadable audio MP3s, and all written transcripts, as well as a series of bonus meditations and exercises to help you integrate course material. Each session begins with a grounding and opening meditation.


Matt Licata

P.S.  ***PLEASE NOTE: Embracing the Shadow and the Path of Light is taken from a course taught live as part of the Befriending Yourself online community, between December 2020 and February 2021. If you were a part of that original module, you already have access to all of this content and would not need to register for this course. 

Please understand that the course was originally presented to a live online group, and that you will hear a small number of references to events of the time, the Befriending Yourself community, and other items that may not be directly related to course content. As working with and integrating the shadow is as old as human history, despite these very brief mentions, the material taught in the course is timeless and always relevant


The path of embracing and integrating the shadow is not one of darkness, but of light; of unfolding light, light upon light, where we open into and live from the full-spectrum. The freedom, intimacy, and connection that we long for will never be found in eradication of the unwanted, but only in a radical attunement to the information and the love it carries.

– Matt Licata, PhD

What’s Inside the Course:

Session 1

 What the Shadow is and Why Shadow Work is Essential

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • What is meant by the shadow and why including shadow work is essential on any authentic path of transformation and healing
  • The root metaphor of “re-embodiment” and how all healing is “embodied healing”
  • Bringing the light of consciousness to the shadow and how this can liberate trapped, frozen, and stuck energy in the soul
  • The experience we all have of “the unlived life,” the nature of “integration,” and the importance of a trauma-sensitive approach to shadow work

Session 2

Unfolding a Secret Medicine

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • Why the shadow is not “bad” or “wrong” but that which is hidden and why we keep certain material and experience outside of our conscious awareness
  • Spiritual bypassing and the subtle ways we can use our relationship with our meditation and healing practices to avoid our deeper wounding
  • An exercise designed to evoke a piece of shadow material through completing certain sentences and facilitating access to unconscious parts of ourselves
  • The definition of trauma and how we can become more aware of the ways it can affect our perception, our ability to experience and regulate emotion, our capacity to “be in our bodies,” and our ability to feel safe and connected

Session 3

The Shadow as an Invitation into Wholeness

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • The core archetypal processes of birth, death, crucifixion, resurrection, transfiguration, and transmutation, and how they are related to our experience of wholeness
  • A guided exercise on connecting with the unlived life and opening to what it is that wants to be birthed in us.
  • Why it can be difficult it can be for many of us to allow ourselves to have and assert a need, including the need for both contact as well as for space-boundary
  • The very human experiences of rage, desire, and anxiety, and how these can fall into and be liberated from the shadow

Session 4

Shadow, Ego, and Persona

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • A fresh understanding of the ideas of ego and persona and the three primary voices of the inner landscape
  • Jung’s understanding of the shadow and light and how his observations can support our inquiry and meditation 
  • A guided imaginal exercise where we meet the “Other” in a forest and have a dialogue with an inner figure
  • The very difficult experiences of trauma and anxiety in context of working with the shadow

Session 5

The Alchemical Process of Projection and How the Soul Draws us Nearer to Itself

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • How projection is misunderstood and how recognizing and withdrawing projection is an essential part of shadow integration and healing more generally
  • Matt’s work with a client around the phobia that so many of us have around having needs and allowing others to matter to us
  • An exercise to recognize qualities that you’ve projected onto another and the journey of withdrawing the protection as an act of love
  • The necessary balance between safety and exploration in healing, the importance of a trauma-sensitive approach to our practices, and how the foundation for all inner work is the felt sense of safety

Session 6

The Purifying Role of Grief, Projection, and the “Positive Shadow”

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • The interpersonal work of asserting our own boundaries and needs, and privileging our own autonomy and integrity, and also the inner, intrapsychic work of tending the projection
  • How it is not only negative material that ends up in the shadow, but at times “positive” material such as our basic capacity to feel joy, to be happy, to be creative, and to be able to play and feel excitement 
  • An exercise to integrate “the positive shadow,” to open us to parts of ourselves which we had to push out of awareness at an earlier time in our lives that may be of a more “positive” or desirable nature
  • Dreams, the potential overuse of the word “trauma,” more on “enactments,” whether or not all of our struggle and suffering “comes from the past,” and how we can drive ourselves crazy by “doing inner work” all the time

Session 7

Recollecting the Pieces of the Unlived Life and the Temple of Close Personal Relationships

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • The common dynamic where many of us as young children were put into the role of caretaking an attachment figure and were not able to tend to our own needs for unstructured play, and for the development of a cohesive sense of self
  • “Close personal relationships” and the two archetypes of abandonment and fusion, and the importance of secure attachment and healthy differentiation, where we honor our separateness as well as our connection
  • An experiential exercise where we explore what might be “unlived” within us
  • The different types of grief, the importance of the body’s “story” or the somatic narrative, the nature of spiritual burning, and what he means by “image” and “imagination” 

Session 8

Trauma and the Shadow, and How Our Wounding Serves an Initiatory Function

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • The relationship between trauma and the shadow, using images, language, and lenses of neurobiology, psychology, and meditative practice
  • How it is possible to re-process or “update” the neural networks which hold our trauma and attachment wounding
  • An imaginal exercise where we take a boat to a seemingly deserted island, a symbol of the shadow, where unacceptable and marginalized pieces of the body, psyche, and soul are sent off the “mainland” of our ordinary awareness
  • The similarities between excitement and anxiety, how we need to drop down below concepts of anxiety and depression to reach the life that is there, longing and the unlived life, and the use of the term “consciousness” from spiritual and psychological traditions

Session 9

Shadow Work as a Path of Love

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • How shadow work is not a path of darkness but one of light, and of love 
  • Matt’s personal experience of recognizing and withdrawing a projection and recollecting positive qualities which had found their way into the shadow
  • Spiritual bypassing, the ways we can use our relationship with our spiritual beliefs and practices to come closer to our wounding and our trauma, and also in ways to avoid pain, feeling, the body, and relationships 
  • The importance of working with our anxiety around death, the MBTI and personality typology, and whether or not we need to “go into the past” to heal

As long there is an earthy human body and an open sensitive nervous system, and as long as there are the ancestors and the intergenerational transmission of our sacred wounds around love… As long as we have a tender beating heart which is connected with others and the moon and the stars… As long as there is light, there will also be shadow. The shadow is the portal or the doorway to the turning of light.

– Matt Licata, PhD

Meet Your Teacher

Matt Licata, PhD.

Matt Licata, PhD is a depth psychotherapist, writer, and independent scholar based in Boulder, Colorado. For the last 25 years, he has been involved in the rich and creative dialogue between depth psychological and meditative approaches to personal growth, emotional healing, and spiritual transformation.

He is the author of the newly released A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times (Sounds True, 2020), and also The Path is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You.

When You Join the Program, Here is What You’ll Receive

1) A 9-Session Online Training with Matt Licata

You will receive immediate access to 9 video trainings with Matt Licata which will include guided practices and experiential exercises, as well as answers to common questions along your journey. The purpose of these sessions is to help you understand and apply what it truly means to embrace your shadow and heal on a psychological, emotional, and spiritual level. 

2) Full Video, Audio & Transcript Downloads for Lifetime Access

You will be able to watch the videos as many times as you would like as well as download video, audio, and written transcripts of every session. All course content will be available for immediate access and you can work through the course at a pace that is right for you.


3) A Private Member Portal [Website or Mobile Phone Accessible]

All of the video, audio and written transcripts will be available in a private member portal for easy access. You can watch, listen, and access all course materials on your desktop computer, iPad, or through a mobile app which you’ll be able to access anywhere.

Plus You’ll Receive These Special Bonuses:


Meditations for Befriending Yourself

[5 Audio Guided Meditations]

On this set of 5 guided meditations for Befriending Yourself, Matt invites you into the inner sanctuary of your immediate, embodied experience. Through mindful presence, self-compassion, and working within the imaginal world, you can use these meditations as part of a daily practice or anytime you’re wanting to connect deeper to yourself and open to the inner world, with curiosity, kindness, and awareness. 


The Power of Self-Compassion:
Poetic Guidance in Transitional Times

[E-Book by Matt Licata]

As a final added bonus, you will receive a copy of Matt’s e-book on the importance of meeting yourself with compassion, especially during challenging times. This powerful set of writings and poetry will help you to slow down, find your center, and approach yourself with more gentleness, curiosity, and kindness. 


Trauma and the Wounded Healer

[Video Session with Matt Licata]

In this video, Matt Licata explores an embodied, contemporary, trauma-sensitive path of spirituality and healing through the archetype of the wounded healer.  Many of us interested in things like spirituality, yoga, and meditation have been wounded in our lives – physically, emotionally, or at a deeper soul level. How can we come to see our wounding not as an obstacle to our path, but as the very path itself?

Here is What You’ll Receive

Matt Licata presents:

Embracing the Shadow & the Path of Light

A 9-Session Course for Psychological Growth, Emotional Healing and Spiritual Transformation

What You’ll receive…


1) 9 Sessions with Matt Licata, PhD

2) Lifetime Access to all Course Videos, Audios, and Written Transcripts

3) A Private Member Portal

BONUS: 5 Guided Meditations for
Befriending Yourself

BONUS: The Power of Self-Compassion: Poetic Guidance in Transitional Times E-Book

BONUS: Trauma and the Wounded Healer Video Webinar

Total Value: $497+

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Our Promise and 100% Guarantee

We’ve been hard at work for several months putting this all together, and if you’re still reading and leaning in with excitement, we think this is for you!

AND… we want to make it so easy to say yes and tap into these teachings that have transformed each one of us at such a core level that we’re inviting you to try them out for 7 days. If you don’t feel like you’re getting what you paid for, or you just don’t enjoy this path… we’ll refund your payment within the 1st 7 days.

Praise for Matt’s work and new book 

A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times

“A Healing Space is a brilliant weave of Jungian and Eastern contemplative wisdom. In this powerful new offering, Matt Licata guides us to a place of sacred refuge, where we can meet even our greatest moments of confusion and suffering with compassion and grace.”

 Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness 

Matt Licata pinpoints a space within us where healing, awakening, and a vibrant reckoning of who we actually are can be realized. The wisdom hidden deep within our darkest experiences comes from not turning away from these, but by directly tending to them with gentleness, love, and compassion. This book depicts a way of genuine freedom.”

  Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Compassion

“In A Healing Space, Matt Licata serves as a compassionate and insightful guide to the transformative task we all must face: how to forge our pain and sorrow into remedies of Spirit that can illuminate our way. With the soft clarity of a magnifying glass, Matt brings into view the many things that inhabit our nature, though they are seldom easily seen. Stay in conversation with this book and you will be a better friend to yourself, those you travel with, and to life itself”

  Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Soul and Drinking from the River of Light

“Weaving the wisdom of reflective practices, the insights from Carl Jung and the alchemists, and the relational truths of attachment research and psychotherapy practice, Matt Licata offers us a beautiful tapestry of truths to transform trauma into healing and strength. Adversity can constrain us, but with this wonderful book, we can find the perspectives and courage to embrace the reality of life’s innate uncertainty to guide us on a journey of growth and discovery—moving from post-traumatic imprisonment to liberation.”

  Dan Siegel, MD, clinical professor at UCLA School of Medicine, director of Mindsight Institute, and author of Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence and Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation 

“If you are looking for a book to be a companion to you during this extraordinary time, it’s this one. A Healing Space is a robust guidebook into the inner territory of yourself, assisting you in the exploration of deep and rich personal and life questions that lead, always, to wondrous realizations and growth. What a treasure to find in these times of great change.”

  Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Intimate Conversations with the Divine

“Tender, profound, and deeply useful, this book is gem. Remarkably, Matt Licata weaves together self-compassion, depth psychology, and radical acceptance into a beautiful, passionate, soaring exploration of all that it means to be human.”

 Rick Hanson, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Neurodharma: New Science, Ancient Wisdom and Seven Practices of the Highest Happiness 

“A Healing Space is a beautiful, insightful, and moving contemplation of the journey of healing we all undertake as human beings. It illuminates how self-compassion—holding our own pain with love—transforms our experience in a profound way so that we can learn the lessons life offers us moment by moment.”

 Kristin Neff, PhD, associate professor, University of Texas, and author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

“A Healing Space is a beautifully written book exploring how walking through the darkness ultimately brings blessings, wisdom, and beauty to your life, and moves you onto a path of evolution that you simply cannot perceive during difficult times. Matt Licata is a perfect guide as evidenced through his life experience and work as psychotherapist. This book is so timely and filled with helpful tools to guide you from the darkness into your own divine light.

 Sandra Ingerman, MA, award-winning author of twelve books, including Walking in Light and The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the sessions live or prerecorded?

All of the sessions are pre-recorded and uploaded to a private membership site for easy access. You will be able to watch the videos at a time that is convenient for you, as well as download video, audio MP3s, and written transcripts.

How can I get support?

We are here to support you along the way with any questions you may have about accessing the course.

*For support please email:


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