Wabi-Sabi and Kintsugi Counselling

Do you feel like a broken bowl?

Two Japanese traditions that mirror aspects of counselling are:

Elderly person

1. Wabi-Sabi

Wabi-Sabi is the appreciation of the imperfect. We sometimes forget that we are imperfect people, that others can often remind us in unkind ways.

Wabi-Sabi helps us accept our imperfections, and see them in a new light.

Kintsugi bowl

2. Kintsugi

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, often with lacquer dusted with gold. The repaired cracks add character to the original!


The resulting imperfect object can be viewed as an improvement of the sum of its parts.

How Kintsugi is like Counselling

Counselling is a little like kintsugi, helping to mend people, and help them appreciate themselves for who they are. The breaks represent our knowledge, wisdom and experience, and the journey we have made to become the person we are. The breaks are gold to highlight their strength of character. Every kintsugi piece is unique just like ourselves.

See also