As Americans gear up for the final weeks leading up to the presidential election, an assortment of rants, insults, name calling and other forms of verbal abuse will likely continue to be a part of the political landscape, representing a change in cultural norms that we have sadly become accustom to.

And, while an attacking and defensive style is apparently appealing to some, it leaves me always thinking about the person behind the words.

In Jungian psychology, there is the notion of the shadow, described  as the characteristics which have not been approved by ourselves or by other people, characteristics which we do not like, characteristics which we do not acknowledge (and are thus “repressed”), characteristics which do not fit our image of ourselves, characteristics which are within the unconscious mind, characteristics which we hide from other people, characteristics which we would like to claim but don’t dare to claim, and characteristics which are simply unknown or unexpressed.

Consciously or unconsciously, beginning in childhood, we adopt certain characteristics because those are the ones for which are rewarded by our parents, friends, peers, teachers, employers, ourselves, and other people whose opinion matters to us. Some characteristics and their opposites include gentle and violent, forgiving and vengeful, brave and cowardly, rational and irrational, honest and deceitful, cheerful and gloomy, intelligent and dull, hard-working and lazy, confident and insecure. The traits which we reject are cast into the shadow, where they remain energized, autonomous, and ready to be expressed.

Shadow projection is an unconscious act which causes us to see our own shadow parts as though they belong to other people; as a result, we can deny those elements within ourselves in order to preserve a particular self-image — a self-image which then becomes untrue (and usually self-righteous).

Projection can take many forms, projections onto groups where an individual might project hated qualities onto people of other races, other countries, other religions, other age groups, other sexual orientations, the other gender, and so on; thus we have racism, nationalism, ageism, sexism, etc. scapegoating, where we project our shadow qualities onto another person, and then we symbolically “destroy” the person (as if to destroy the qualities themselves).

‘‘Bringing the shadow to consciousness,’’ writes one of Jung’s followers, Liliane Frey-Rohn  ‘‘is a psychological problem of the highest moral significance. It demands that the individual hold himself accountable not only for what happens to him, but also for what he/she projects.

Psychologist suggest that if one seeks help in integrating the shadow with other aspects of his/her personality, it will require: courage, humility, self-acceptance, knowledge, patience, and respect for previous defenses, a strong ego and self-esteem. The evidence of self-awareness should appear in part in different use of language towards oneself and others.

def: Language is a rule-governed behavior. It is defined as the comprehension and/or use of a spoken (i.e., listening and speaking), written (i.e., reading and writing), and/or other communication symbol system (eg: American Sign Language). Source:

Domestic Violence Begins at Home

Healthcare providers in Florida are required to take a Domestic Violence course every two years as a requirement for licensure renewal. Domestic violence occurs in many groups, including children, pregnant women, and elderly. And although victims of abuse often suffer severe physical injuries bringing them to hospitals or clinics, less visible emotional abuse may also be a part of the cycle of violence. Emotional abuse is a way to control another person by using language to criticize, embarrass, shame, blame, or otherwise manipulate another person. In general, a relationship is emotionally abusive when there is a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviors that wear down a person’s self-esteem and undermine their mental health.

In Florida, a 24 hour domestic violence hotline is available for toll-free counseling and information. The number is: 800-500-1119.

                     Improving Communication for Persons with Parkinson’s Disease  

In Parkinson’s, the loss of Dopamine, affects automatic movements, including speech production, resulting in loss of volume, clarity, and expression. Many Parkinson’s patients remain responsive to cueing (eg: “speak twice as loud.”), and so speech therapy approaches have capitalized on the benefit derived from external and internal cueing. 

How Can Speech Therapy Help?

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT® Loud) is an intensive, 16 session therapy program, directly addressing the problems of voice loudness as well as the mis-match between the patient’s faulty perception of their own voice and vocal effort.

SPEAK OUT! ® is a 12 session individual therapy program developed at the Parkinson’s Voice Project. Practice is structured in a workbook containing 26 lessons completed twice daily in and out of therapy.

Speech Vive®, is a programmable device the size of a small hearing aid and is worn in one ear. When an individual’s voice becomes too low, background noise is activated causing the person to speak louder.

Hi-VOLT® is a calibrated, voice-activated feedback tool. When used during speech therapy practice or physical therapy, it can help the user be loud enough to strengthen their voice for every day use.

What Are You Waiting For?

Parkinson’s is a sneaky disease, changing the way muscles work even before symptoms are present. Early referral to a speech-language pathologist can help individuals create a daily practice habit and keep speech and swallowing muscle working.

Contact Voice Aerobics to schedule an appointment:


My MissionTo enlist individuals in their treatment, and help them express their personality & spirit through voice. To educate  and empower. Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP *  FiTOUR® Group Exercise Instructor * Voice Aerobics® A Whole Body Approach to Voice Practice

Voice Aerobics the heART and Science of Voice Practice