The Story Behind the Bowl
A warm, spacious interior where we hold space for the healing work we’ll do together
Subtle gold heart because love is at the center of everything we do
Deep blue, unusually-shaped bowl honoring each unique individual
- Deep blue, unusually-shaped bowl honoring each unique individual
- A warm, spacious interior where we hold space for the healing work we’ll do together
- Subtle gold heart because love is at the center of everything we do
A bowl or container symbolizes the depth and potential of human relationships, which is the essence of the therapeutic relationship.
We often hear therapists talk about “holding space” but it isn’t really space we are holding — we’re “holding” things that don’t have form so we call it “space”, but it’s so much more than that — it’s our client’s emotions, dreams, fears, wishes, memories.
When those parts of us have safe and contained places to express themselves, they become clay and together, with our clients, we become sculptors — those formless experiences start to take form and we start to speak for them and sculpt them into our actual and true narrative.
I love hand-made pottery and in my office, I have several mugs that I’ve picked up from various art fairs over the years. I think of the pain that most people first come into therapy with as the hot coffee I pour in my mug — without the container I would get burned and the value of the coffee would be lost. The container makes it drinkable. I shape the experience of my coffee — by what I add to it, how hot it is and how much I drink a day.
It is understood in Kintsugi that breaking is a natural part of the pottery’s existence, and that the broken pieces are celebrated and their beauty is extolled by this sacred repair process. Precious metals such as gold or silver are melted and used to recreate the pottery.
As these metals reattach the broken pieces and bring them back together, they transform it into something new, something even more interesting and beautiful than before.
The cracks in the bowl represent the ways we are all broken — our losses and traumas, the neglect, isolation and shame that so many of us carry around. The connections we make through either a therapeutic or collegial relationship is the gold — the repair, healing and reattaching that we need to transform our narrative from a story of brokenness to a journey towards wholeness.
Right now, during the COVID-19 crisis, the bowl is more than a representation of the experience of the individual. It is a symbol of what is happening to the whole world, the collective trauma, the collective breaking we are all going through.