about shadow

Shadow Backus has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1997. All three of her degrees and many of her certificates are science-based (for example: Masters of Science in Social Work, etc.) thus, research is essential to her methods of practice. She is passionate about working with individuals to support their personal growth. She has worked in a variety of settings including schools, residential treatment, criminal justice, and disordered eating/exercise. Most of Shadow’s sessions include mindfulness, psycho-education, witnessing and multi-dimensional spiritual awareness and surrender. Her therapy includes a variety of personalized interventions drawing from Positive Psychology, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Certified Complex Trauma-Informed methods, ADHD/ADD strategies, Neuroscience data, Grief work, Commitment and Acceptance Therapy, Borderline Personality treatments, Attachment Theory, Buddhist Meditation, Domestic Violence Survival, Alternatives to Aggression programing, working with Child Abuse and Neglect and Sexual Abuse, Manipulative and Gaslighting personalities behavioral change techniques, Living with Chronic Pain, Eating and Body Image Recovery, Yoga, Bodywork, Intuitive trainings, and more.

Shadow’s ability to convey empathy and understanding while delivering directly and compassionately is among her strongest skills. You can count on her authenticity and honesty regarding your behaviors, thoughts and what it will take for you to get where you want to be in life, all while experiencing the space of peace and presence in her office. 

Shadow believes it takes tenacity to heal and grit to act in one’s own best interest. She believes we are naturally comprised of intuition and intelligence even in the face of pain, grief and fear. The ability to reframe, pause, and observe without judgement are usually the first tools taught.

She hopes her clients take away the following thoughts with them at the close of each session:

  • Life is a journey toward loving myself
  • I am brilliantly capable of taking responsibility for every aspect of my life
  • Above all else, I can experience peace in this moment

Shadow is also the author of numerous writings and books. To see more, and to view her Newsletters visit her writing site.

Shadow currently sees clients near Madison, Wisconsin at CLARITY, 2415 Parview Road, Ste 1, Middleton. Video and phone appts are also available. Schedule an appointment on the Contact Shadow page.

what clients say about shadow

Shadow validated my child when no one else would. She normalized my daughter’s behaviors, capitalized on her strengths, and advocated for her without hesitation.

Mom in Madison

I wasn’t sure about therapy and how it could possibly help. In an indirect way, she helped me see how I effect my wife and how I interpret her actions. Shadow’s respect and belief in me made the difference.

Mark J.

Shadow’s openness and sensitivity to what is important to me made me realize my value, purpose, and connection with God.

Kathrine C.

photo of clouds during daytime

See Shadow Backus’ profile on the Psychology Today site.

Find or follow me on Facebook: S.M. Backus, LLC and Shadow Backus


Find or follow me on Instagram: shadowbackusllc.


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