Teal Swan (born Mary Teal Bosworth; June 16, 1984) is an American spiritual influencer and author.[1] Swan and her teachings are the subject of documentaries and podcasts. Publications, including Eonline, The Guardian and the BBC have noted that some of Swan’s teaching methods on how to manage mental health issues have been found controversial by her critics,[2][3][4] a claim denied by Swan and some of her proponents.

Teal Swan
Teal Swan
Mary Teal Bosworth

(1984-06-16) June 16, 1984 (age 39)
Other namesTeal Scott
Occupation(s)Public speaker and author
Writing career

Early life

Swan was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on June 16, 1984 and was raised in Logan, Utah.[2] From an early age, she has claimed to have extrasensory abilities, including telepathy and the ability to communicate with the deceased. Swan reports that these claims contributed to her being socially ostracized and bullied in her youth. This social ostracization, in turn, led to her interactions with the mental health profession.[2]

In 2006, Barbara Snow, a therapist working with Swan, filed a police complaint alleging that Swan had endured twelve years of ritual abuse.[5][6] Such allegations by Snow were not unprecedented, aligning with a history of similar claims during the period known as the satanic panic, prevalent in the late 20th century. The era was marked by numerous publicized legal cases in the United States, including the McMartin Preschool trial, the Country Walk case involving Frank Fuster, and cases in Kern and Thurston counties, some of which have been re-examined in recent years.[7][8][9][10][11] The investigation into Swan and Snow's abuse allegations ended due to a lack of evidence, resulting in case closure.[5][6]


In 2011, she released the book The Sculptor in the Sky.[12] In Summer 2011, she held her first event at a Salt Lake City recital hall, speaking to about twenty people.[13]

In 2015, Swan was mentioned in a post by Cleveland-area columnist Regina Brett.[14]

Her teaching methods sometimes guide participants to envision their own deaths, occasionally by suicide.[15] In 2019, Lebo Diseko from BBC cited Swan's viewpoint on suicide:

In the video Swan urges those who are feeling suicidal to seek medical help, but goes on to say that in her experience, for some people, this may not help long-term. She instead suggests that suicide be seen as "our safety net or our re-set button that's always available to us". She argues that viewing it in this way enables people to set the idea aside, and instead concentrate on what they can do to make themselves feel better in the present.

She also suggests an exercise in which viewers are told to lie down on the floor and imagine their deaths in "grisly detail". Swan argues in the video that by doing so viewers will realise that there is "nowhere to go but back to life… so why leave?" She stresses in the video that killing oneself would "create a devastating ripple" for loved ones, and "it does matter if you are here or not here… You don't want to die. What you want is an end to your pain."

— Lebo Diseko[4]

In October 2020, Swan's first Young Adult novel, Hunger of the Pine, was published.[16][17]


Swan was the subject of the 2017 documentary film Open Shadow: The Story of Teal Swan.[18]

In 2018, a Gizmodo podcast, The Gateway, ran a six-part series on Teal Swan and her self-help spiritual teachings on depression and how her techniques "process past trauma in order to overcome it." The host, Jennings Brown, stated that Swan was not like a regular spiritual leader in terms both of her appearance and how she markets herself.[19] As of May 2018, her YouTube videos had been viewed 55 million times.[20]

In May 2022, Freeform released a four-part docu-series on Swan called The Deep End.[21] The producers of the documentary followed Swan for three years, detailing the rules placed on her inner circle, and insinuating controlling and manipulative behavior.[22][23] Swan disputes her characterization in the documentary, citing deceptive practices by the filmmakers and shared a petition urging the director to release the unedited footage.[22]

Personal life

Swan has one son.[24][25]

Selected books

The Completion Process: The Practice of Putting Yourself Back Together Again

Swan's work, published in August 2016 by Hay House, "The Completion Process" details a 20-step healing journey for individuals coping with trauma.[26] The book outlines a method involving the creation of a "mental sanctuary" for revisiting traumatic experiences, acknowledging and validating emotions, identifying their origins, and guiding the reader towards relief. The process concludes with a ritual symbolizing a new start.[26]

The Anatomy of Loneliness: How to Find Your Way Back to Connection

In this book, released in November 2018 by Watkins Media, Swan delves into the issue of loneliness in modern society.[27][28] It introduces a framework to analyze and address loneliness, represented by the three pillars of separation, shame, and fear.[28] Florian Morata, a book critic, notes that Swan presents a framework for understanding and combating loneliness, focusing on separation, shame, and fear.[29] Morata remarks on Swan's exploration of emotional disconnection in society, suggesting that misunderstandings and failures to address emotions contribute to this loneliness epidemic.[29]

Hunger of the Pine

Swan's first fiction novel, published by Watkins Media in October 2020, narrates the story of Aria Abbott, a homeless teenager.[30][31] Chandra Claypool, in her review, discusses how Aria, after fleeing an abusive foster home, forms an alliance with Taylor, another youth with aspirations for a better future, and together they journey to Los Angeles.[31] Claypool highlights Swan's portrayal of the homeless community, emphasizing the book's challenge to societal perceptions and urging a more empathetic understanding of homelessness.[31]

How To Love Yourself

"How To Love Yourself," an updated version of Swan's earlier work "Shadows Before Dawn," explores various methods for cultivating self-love.[32] Central to the book is the guiding question highlighted by Regina Brett of Cleveland Local News: 'What would someone who loves themselves do?' This principle serves as a key mantra throughout the book.[33] Swan explores the journey from self-loathing to self-love, aiming to guide readers towards finding self-worth and acceptance.[32]


  • Swan, Teal (2011). The Sculptor In The Sky. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-456-74723-7.
  • Swan, Teal (2015). Shadows Before Dawn. Hay House. ISBN 978-1-401-94719-4.
  • Swan, Teal (2016). The Completion Process: The Practice of Putting Yourself Back Together Again. Hay House. ISBN 978-1-401-95144-3.
  • Swan, Teal (2018). The Connection Process: A Spiritual Technique to Master the Art of Relationships. Archway. ISBN 978-1-480-86116-9.
  • Swan, Teal (2018). The Anatomy of Loneliness: How to Find Your Way Back to Connection. Watkins Media Limited. ISBN 978-1-786-78197-0.
  • Swan, Teal (2020). The Blind Spot Oracle Cards. ISBN 978-1-786-78389-9.
  • Swan, Teal (2020). Hunger of the Pine. Watkins Media Limited. ISBN 978-1-786-78447-6.
  • Swan, Teal (2021). The Inner Compass Deck: Follow your Northstar to Find your True Values. ISBN 978-1-786-78604-3.
  • Swan, Teal (2022). How to Love Yourself: Adventures in the Dominions. Watkins Media. ISBN 978-1-786-78700-2.


  1. ^ "About Teal Swan". Teal Swan. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Inside The Deep End: The Rise of Teal Swan and Her Controversial "Completion Process" Program". E! Online. June 26, 2022. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  3. ^ Sawyer, Miranda. "The week in podcasts: The Gateway; Bikram". The Guardian. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Diseko, Lebo (November 23, 2019). "The woman encouraging her followers to visualise death". BBC News.
  5. ^ a b Beres, Derek; Remski, Matthew; Walker, Julian (2023). Conspirituality: How New Age Conspiracy Theories Became a Health Threat. New York: PublicAffairs. pp. 108–111. ISBN 978-1541702981.
  6. ^ a b "Gizmodo Launches 'The Gateway,' an Investigative Podcast About a Controversial Internet Spiritual Guru". Gizmodo. May 30, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  7. ^ Kettler, Sara (January 28, 2022). "The McMartin Preschool Case: Satanic Panic and Child Sexual Abuse Allegations". A&E. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  8. ^ Collins, Glenn (December 14, 1986). "NIGHTMARE IN COUNTRY WALK". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013.
  9. ^ Isaac, Rael Jean (August 23, 2018). "Frank Fuster: Day-Care Hysteria Case Seeks Justice | National Review". National Review. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  10. ^ "Ofshe Report on the Ingram Case". web.archive.org. March 21, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  11. ^ "First charged in devil worshiping rituals convicted". KATC3. March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  12. ^ "Editor's corner: Claims of local torture cult got this editor's attention". March 27, 2011.
  13. ^ Gizmodo The Gateway, Ep. 2. "Origins"
  14. ^ "This Question Can Change Your Whole Life". Cleveland.com. January 24, 2015.
  15. ^ Brown, Jennings. "Internet Spiritual Guru Teal Swan Says She Isn't a Cult Leader But Has 'The Perfect Recipe For a Cult'". Gizmodo. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  16. ^ "Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists". Publishersweekly.com. Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020.
  17. ^ "Hunger of the Pine".
  18. ^ "The Story Of Teal Swan". Open Shadow. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  19. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (June 10, 2018). "The week in podcasts: The Gateway; Bikram". The Guardian.
  20. ^ "The Gateway: Teal Swan – Part 1 Catalyst". Gizmodo. May 29, 2018.
  21. ^ "Freeform Announces Nonfiction Slate With Three New Series" (Press release). Freeform. April 5, 2022 – via The Futon Critic.
  22. ^ a b Kaufman, Amy (June 17, 2022). "Turn on". Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ Baila, Morgan (May 11, 2022). "Teal Swan Documentary Will Usher in the Summer of Cults". Vulture.
  24. ^ "Teal Swan and her son Winter". TealSwan's website. April 30, 2022.
  25. ^ The Deep End, Ep 1
  26. ^ a b Swan, Teal (August 23, 2016). The Completion Process: The Practice of Putting Yourself Back Together Again. Hay House, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4019-5144-3.
  27. ^ Swan, Teal (November 6, 2018). The Anatomy of Loneliness: How to Find Your Way Back to Connection. Watkins Media Limited. ISBN 978-1-78678-197-0.
  28. ^ a b "BOOK REVIEW: "THE ANATOMY OF LONELINESS: How to Find Your Way Back to Connection" by Teal Swan". Media X. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  29. ^ a b Morata, Florian (December 28, 2021). "Anatomy of loneliness summary". Florian Morata. Retrieved November 23, 2023.
  30. ^ Swan, Teal (October 13, 2020). Hunger of the Pine. Watkins Media Limited. ISBN 978-1-78678-447-6.
  31. ^ a b c "Spotlight: Hunger of the Pine by Teal Swan". Where The Reader Grows. October 13, 2020.
  32. ^ a b Swan, Teal (May 10, 2022). How to Love Yourself. Watkins Media Limited. ISBN 978-1-78678-704-0.
  33. ^ Regina Brett, The Plain Dealer (January 24, 2015). "This question can change your whole life: Regina Brett". cleveland.

External links