Hiroko Saeki, MA, LMFT, RDT
Mental Health | Drama Therapy
Kintsugi—The Art of Embracing the Wounded Self
Kintsugi is a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery pieces using lacquer and gold powders. "Kin" means "gold," and "tsugi" means "to connect" or "to join." Although I am not a specialist in this form of art, Kintsugi has been one of my favorite metaphors for human experiences.
Have you ever felt completely shattered and broken... or that you are so damaged, worthless, and "unfixable"? Some events in our lives can leave us feeling hopeless and helpless, and we might not know how to feel whole again.
The art of Kintsugi shows us how we can find beauty in our wounded self or in what we might see as our "imperfections." With Kintsugi, breakages become part of the history of the piece and what makes the piece uniquely beautiful. Pottery pieces repaired with Kintsugi are valuable because of the whole history and because of the repair. We don't have to throw away a cherished piece of pottery when it breaks—we can integrate those breakages to create a beautiful whole again.
I understand it can be difficult to see our wounds as part of something beautiful when the wounds feel very raw. It might take some time for you to even want to look at your wounds. We can start slow. The process of psychotherapy might help you talk about those wounds and find new meanings to your experiences.