320 1/2 Bloor Street West | Unit 4 | Toronto | ON | M5S 1W5
Doing psychotherapy, “going to therapy,” is about working with our conscious and unconscious awarenesses of how we may have been impacted by the people and the world around us. We do this by sharing with a therapist the stories, narratives, and moments of our lives— past, present, and future.
We use words to do this. Words can be both sound and symbol: there is an immediacy to them. Our words quickly and effectively fill in the gaps between the pieces of things, fill in for things, stick things together. Language is our most obvious way to link with others.
However, we also communicate with our silences, with the spaces between our words. We speak with our laughter and our tears; with our eyes and how they meet, or not; with our breath, our movements, and our body language.
In psychotherapy, we tell our stories in all of these ways, as we try to make our own sense out of being human in this world. And, over time, something elemental can be reclaimed. Parts of us can emerge in new ways. The ways we see and feel about ourselves gradually change. The way we live does, too.
During our conversations, my role as your therapist will be to be present with you, no matter what comes up for you. I strive to be curious, steadfast, non-judgemental, and kind.
As your trust develops, you may go deeper into your “stories,” your history. These are your way of expressing who you are and how you feel. You may begin to identify patterns, habits of being, and relating; to trace the threads that connect you to your life.
The work will be led by you. I will listen, and there may be questions along the way. An important thing to remember is that I am trained to listen carefully. I listen for what you are trying to tell me even when you are at your most quiet; even when you are silent.
I listen and witness so that I can support you in your work to better understand, and find faith in, yourself.
The goal is not to try to get back to being the same as we were before we broke or were broken; not to “recover”. It is to feel our way together toward a place where you can gently and hopefully be able to know better how lovable you are, how intelligent you are, how strong you are; and to recognize yourself as a resourceful, creative, and wise human being.
If you google kintsugi and psychotherapy together, the search will yield more than 5 million hits. The metaphor clearly resonates for many people, and I wanted to go a little deeper into why it resonates for me, and why I personally chose to name my practice Kintsugi Psychotherapy.
Kintsugi and psychotherapy are words in different languages with different meanings. Kintsugi means “gold joinery” and is the ancient Japanese art of using resin and gold dust to join pottery fragments together. Psychotherapy has its origins in ancient Greek: psyche meaning “soul, breath, mind” and therapeia meaning “healing”; and is the process by which a person’s distress is addressed through conversation and relationship with a psychotherapist.
There are a few different kintsugi techniques: the crack technique uses the gold dust and resin (or lacquer) to re-attach broken pieces; the piece method is used when a ceramic fragment is missing and the space it would have occupied is filled instead with the gold/lacquer compound; the joint call method uses a similarly shaped but non-matching fragment in place of a missing piece.
Similarly in psychotherapy: sometimes pieces of ourselves are gathered up and reattached; sometimes we replace what’s missing with what we have now; and sometimes we fill in the spaces with something new.
Through the practice and process of kintsugi and psychotherapy, a realignment becomes possible, and we are turned toward the paradox of something new that has been there all along.
I see clients for both in-person sessions at my office near downtown Toronto and for telephone work. If you’d like to book a consultation, please contact me by email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll have up to half an hour for this initial conversation, and there is no charge. It’s an opportunity for us to briefly talk, to see if working together might be a good fit for both of us.
If you would like more information or to schedule an initial consultation, please contact me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you, and to our conversation.