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The Tombstone Process is based on this belief — that we love all the time — we can't stop. And when we love someone and lose them in some way, we feel the pain of that loss, and we find a way to keep that lost loved one with us by carrying something painful for them. We carry a torch for them. We memorialize them.

Memorializing those we love. It doesn't matter how the loss occurred — when someone we love dies or is separated from us; when someone turns away or no longer accepts us as we are; when we can no longer fulfill a role we've played for someone — these are all experienced as loss. Whenever there is change, we lose the world as it once was. This often happens when we are children, dependent on the loving connection we have to our parents or caretakers. If we lose this in some way, we unconsciously adopt some other way to stay connected to them. We carry something in our shadows as a way to keep them close. And in so doing, we unconsciously memorialize them.

Transforming core issues. Sometimes this thing we carry can be painful or destructive. The Tombstone Process is a way of releasing this painful thing, by returning it to the one we've carried it for, and taking on a new way of loving that can serve and support us in our lives. Whether you would like to break out of a difficult cycle in your life, change a negative way of thinking about yourself, or let go of someone no longer in your life, this process will help you exchange something painful for something that will enhance your life.

Cliff Barry and Mary Ellen Whalen (née Blandford) developed the Tombstone Process in 1990, and since then, thousands of people throughout the United States, Canada, England and Europe have used it to transform their lives.


Based on Jungian psychology, Shadow Work® is a method of achieving deep personal transformation by bringing the power of the true self out of shadow. It offers a uniquely compassionate view of personality development that seeks to enhance and balance traits in our character rather than repress them.

Our Shadows. When we are young, we hear painful messages from the world around us that some parts of our personalities are "bad" in some way. To stay close to those we love, we put these "bad" parts of ourselves into shadow. Our shadow contains not only our darker energies — our fear, anger, grief, and shame — but our "golden shadows" as well: our joy, self-esteem, wisdom, and intimacy. In putting these parts of ourselves away, we take on identities more acceptable to those around us. This is how we survived and adapted to become the beings we are today.

Archetypes as Healing Tools. Shadow Work® uses a "map" of four archetypes to identify energies in shadow and suggest tools for bringing them into conscious awareness, where we can integrate them to support our aspirations. The Tombstone Process is one of many processes available in a Shadow Work® seminar or individual coaching session that can help you choose to have more of the life you want.

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