Kintsugi is a centuries old tradition from Japan in which broken ceramics are mended with gold. It dates from the 15th century of ancient Japan.
Basically the Kintsugi process is simple. When something breaks one will put the broken ceramic piece back together with the Kintsugi technique using gold dust. The object becomes whole again and is even more special.
I have found the Kintsugi technique useful when dealing with my trauma based clients. Using the Kintsugi Technique below has been beneficial for clients to re-frame their cracks from trauma.
Many of our clients come to us feeling broken and fractured. They are looking for our help in putting the pieces together again and becoming whole once more. Some even say they want to be their old selves again.
In showing our trauma clients the Kintsugi Trauma Technique we can teach them that broken and mended can look very different, sometimes even better than before.
In looking at the ancient Kintsugi mended pots they are so much more beautiful and unique than they probably were before. What if our trauma clients looked at their trauma as a gift? What could they learn from their trauma? How could they use the trauma to make them a better person, with more beauty from the cracks?
It is all in the perspective of Kintsugi. One can either fill the cracks with ugly things such as drugs, hate, violence, etc. One can also make a better choice and add beautiful fillers to the trauma cracks.
The Universe is constantly testing us, breaking us, challenging us to grow up, learn, and lead a better life. It wants us to grow from our life traumas. The question is this: What will you fill your cracks with? Will it be something of beauty or something ugly?
The choice is yours.
Try This Kintsugi Trauma Technique Yourself:
Buy some type of ceramic pot or vase. Put it in a plastic bag and hit it with a rolling pin. This will help it to crack in large pieces. Get some glue and gold metallic paint (or any color you prefer). Using a paintbrush mix the glue with the paint. Paint the mixture on the cracks of the bowl and put it back together again. Add some glitter to it if you like.
Keep this Kintsugi Trauma Bowl, or Vase, on your desk. The next time your brain wants to reminisce on the cracks you have from trauma look at this beautiful piece you have mended. See the uniqueness of this creation.
Visualize yourself with cracks filled with gold and any other beautiful color. Remember you are more beautiful with your cracks.
I'm looking at my Kintsugi Trauma bowl at this very moment and it gives me a feeling of joy and fulfillment.
Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.
*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed mental health professional immediately.
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Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.
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