The Kintsugi Programme

Trauma Treatment at The Cabin

The human mind is a problem-solving organ – it cannot help but do what it does. When we look at our own pain, we initially cannot help but judge it, anticipate it, reason with it, and try to get it to go away.

It is very likely you have already tried that. And if it produced everything you wanted, you would not have journeyed here to join The Cabin’s Kintsugi Programme.

You are looking for a new way forward.

You have found one with The Cabin.

Art portrait of woman covered in clay

The Kintsugi programme from The Cabin will show you how to take an alternative path. What you will find within this programme are an intelligent mix of bespoke therapies that together comprise a whole approach.

The Kintsugi Programme takes the view that your life is not a problem to be solved. A life is to be lived, with the past exactly as it has been but with a future as broad as your most deeply held values.

Moving in that direction requires learning how to let go of some kinds of problem-solving. It means learning how to feel feelings as feelings, and thinking thoughts as thoughts. The Kintsugi Programme from The Cabin is a full immersion programme, because it takes fully immersive work to learn an alternative path.

Mere understanding is not enough. Minds cannot fully grasp how to solve problems in a non-judgmental way because solving problems planfully and judgmentally is what minds do.

The Kintsugi Programme allows us a new way forward when some of our most trusted skills are no longer very effective. It offers suggestions for what to do when little we can think of is very likely to be helpful. It gently points towards exciting alternatives when seemingly nothing we can do will do.

Why Undertake the Kintsugi Programme?

There is strong scientific evidence bases for the combined therapies that The Kintsugi Programme delivers in the areas of trauma, pain, anxiety, and depression – areas most participants of this programme will likely know something about in personal terms.

Each of them are independently established as stand-alone treatments and have rightly grown rapidly to become first-line treatments. They are brought together collectively only by The Cabin though to make up your Kintsugi Programme.

The body of research-based evidence for the combined therapies used on The Kintsugi Programme is solid evidence for us to be able to offer the best first-line treatments available to those who may benefit, especially those who need a fresh approach.

You are in a unique position. If you are willing to be guided by your own pain, and our expertise, we can support you to learn a new way forward. At The Cabin, we believe that is part of why fate and happenstance have brought you to The Kintsugi Programme.

The Kintsugi Therapy Programme

The Kintsugi Programme is an approach to psychotherapy that relies on a combination of neuroscience, somatic, cognitive behavioural, values clarification, and mindfulness therapies. This Kintsugi Programme will assist you to observe and describe your deepest inner experiences, taking a new look at what you are doing in response to your trauma – what is working for you and what is not.

Using this approach, we will ask you to let go of strategies that might be keeping you from having your most valued life. The Cabin bases their psychotherapeutic approach on the assumption that as we try to suppress or escape pain, we often generate more suffering in our lives. The ‘solution’ we sometimes cling to for dear life, such as “I must not feel pain,” becomes part of the problem.

Getting unstuck then involves looking at things from a fresh perspective. In order to do that, The Kintsugi Programme relies on counterintuitive and sometimes surprising strategies. All these concepts will be explained fully through the unique post traumatic growth programme we have designed that we call The Kintsugi Programme.

Your Kintsugi Programme will show you how to reclaim your experience while also helping you to understand that you are not just what has happened to you. You are not your traumatic memories, your thoughts, or your feelings. Instead, you are the person who holds all of these things. You may not have created your problems, and you certainly did not choose to experience trauma. Yet, in order to take hold of your life, you will have to deal with these problems.

Although there will likely be some pain that accompanies self-awareness, you will also gain a tremendous amount of freedom to choose where to go from here.

Kintsugi painting a plate in art therapy
The Cabin promises to help you to:
  • Be fully awake and present in your life from now on – embracing, rather than fighting against, your trauma history, memories, fears, sadness and grief
  • Discover freedom in choosing new and meaningful directions for your life
  • Be able to “walk the talk” when it comes to shaping your life in the way you desire

As you will come to learn, trauma is a primary, chronic, and progressive disorder that responds best to a broad-spectrum of psychological treatments. Here at The Cabin, we use a range of mainstream evidenced-based western therapies augmented by a unique eastern treatment model that does not exist anywhere else in the world. The Kintsugi Programme at The Cabin is designed to treat every aspect of the problems that prompted you to begin your journey to find us.

Rest assured that this programme is designed and audited by psychologists with many years of experience in treating trauma and delivering trauma-informed care across a range of clinical settings. All therapy at The Cabin is delivered by licensed and accredited professional Masters-level staff who are qualified and highly trained to deliver these treatments.

What Does it Include?

The Kintsugi Programme is inspired by the Japanese tradition of Wabi Sabi, which embraces the flawed or imperfect and celebrates the beauty of imperfection and living simply. The Kintsugi Programme is designed to remind us that imperfection is both inevitable and beautiful and that living simply is living with beauty and grace.

There are times when life unfolds in a very different way than we would have liked or imagined, when we have no control and are forced to face the imperfection of a situation. We are experiencing one of those times right now in the aftermath of COVID-19: a situation that no one expected and that has turned our lives upside down.

To deal with and learn to live with the imperfections of life, The Cabin has brought together five mainstream therapies to help deal with such adversities.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), typically pronounced as the word “act”, is a form of psychotherapy and a branch of clinical behaviour analysis. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behaviour-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. The objective of ACT is not elimination of difficult feelings; rather, it is to be present with what life brings and to “move towards valued behaviour”.

Acceptance and commitment therapy invites people to open up to unpleasant feelings, and learn not to overreact to them, and not avoid situations where they are invoked. Its therapeutic effect aims to be a positive spiral where feeling better (not in the sense of having “better” feelings, but in the sense of being better at feeling) leads to a better understanding of the truth. In ACT, ‘truth’ is measured through the concept of ‘workability’, or what works to take another step towards what matters (e.g., values, meaning).

Kintsugi Art Psychotherapy facilitates bringing our subconscious into the conscious thus allowing us to become the master of our mind and therefore our destiny. Practical knowledge, speaking and understanding are functions of the left side of our brain which is considered the ‘conscious’ side.

Emotional and visual memory together with creativity are functions of the right side of the brain which is considered the ‘subconscious’ side. Many of the challenges we are presently facing in life have their origins in adverse emotional events that occurred deep in our past.

We can perhaps remember what happened during these events, but often we cannot feel the emotions related to them because they are stored in our subconscious mind, from where they exert great influence on our lives today.

To succeed in our recovery, we need to process the invisible core issues which are the source of much of the pain and difficulty in our current lives. Not being able to access our unconscious mind leaves us feeling stuck and powerless to move forward.

Kintsugi Art Psychotherapy does not require any artistic skills but through the creative process itself, under the guidance of a trained specialist, hidden areas of our subconscious emotional memory, are released.

This allows a profound and powerful communication to take place between our unconscious and our conscious mind whereby we can finally access the key emotions that are behind the unhelpful, beliefs, thought patterns, emotional states and behaviours that are bothering us, and resolve them.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma, anxiety disorders and phobias. EMDR is a form of psychotherapy in which the person being treated is asked to recall an image while the therapist generates one type of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping.

EMDR is heavily evidence-based and is included in several guidelines for the treatment of developmental trauma, complex trauma, and post-traumatic stress (PTS).

The objective of the neurofeedback programme for PTS, Developmental and Complex Trauma is the same as that for psychotherapy or EMDR – to process the trauma so it no longer affects you in the same way. The difference is that neurofeedback offers a way to do this without having to talk about uncomfortable feelings or reliving them. Neurofeedback is particularly suitable for Developmental Trauma or C-PTS with protocols to both process the trauma (whether consciously remembered or not), and improve brain regulation to address the long-term symptoms of trauma, such as hyper-vigilance and anxiety.

At The Cabin our psychologists have extensive experience working with adults and young people with Developmental and Complex Trauma. We understand the value of neurofeedback as a central treatment in promoting our clients’ personal transformations and in helping them to move forward by use of their brain’s own ability to change.

Kintsugi Yoga is an additional method of delivering treatment for both complex trauma and PTS (post-traumatic stress). At The Cabin, all clients accessing trauma care undertake a programme of physical exercises specifically designed to cause neurogenic vibrations of the body, allowing the individual to reduce stress, unload tension and decrease intensity of symptoms.

The use of somatic movement in the treatment of trauma has been proved to be efficient in cases of so-called shock trauma generated by different accidents and acute experiences and complex trauma which are defined by chronic or lifetime exposure to extreme stressors.

At The Cabin Kintsugi Yoga is delivered in conjunction with Kintsugi Art Psychotherapy, EMDR and Dynamic Neurofeedback as a core treatment. Kintsugi Yoga can continue to be performed by a client accessing treatment by themselves.

Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) is a modern evidence based psychological treatment that is a first line treatment for trauma. TF-CBT focuses on examining the way negative thinking affects the way we feel and behave and subsequently go on to form beliefs about the world, our perception of events, our relationship to them and how we then act. Therefore, conditions like trauma which create mental and emotional disturbance can be treated by uncovering negative thought processes and then learning strategies and techniques to both reframe these events and think more rationally and positively about them.

The Kintsugi Programme gives you the tools and the drive to heal, again and again. Our bodies and minds have an innate drive to repair, and this forces us to keep going, and to recognise that this repair is as important as the break itself. When we designed and wrote this programme, we held this as a central tenet of our therapeutic approach. We believe that this foundation of healing will serve you well.

We Are All Kintsugi

The Kintsugi Programme from The Cabin has been specifically designed to demonstrate your resilience and tenacity. As you grow through the challenges of your life experiences, you can make changes to ensure you survive, thrive and flourish. Admiring the beauty of a finalised piece of kintsugi art as a central part of your therapy is to remember that you too can be broken and repaired in a stronger and more beautiful way; and that you can gain from your experience, however awful and painful that may have been.

It is important that the method of repair used in The Kintsugi Model is gold — strong, but beautiful at the same time, and most importantly, noticeable. The precious nature of the gold used to fuse pieces together during your treatment signifies the strength, confidence, and value you should put into repairing your own breaks.

The Kintsugi Model is intrinsically linked to a unique care plan that we use at The Cabin. This care plan tracks your progress as you grow in strength and resilience, charting your journey back to the life you deserve. Just like scars on our bodies, the golden joinery of The Kintsugi Programme also allows you not to forget what led you to this point. It also demonstrates clearly what you have done to move forward.

One of the key points about The Kintsugi Programme is that instead of attempting to disguise or minimize damage, every effort is made to celebrate the breaks and the bonds, to draw the eye to what was broken — and how eventually it was mended.

The purpose of The Kintsugi Programme is to help you develop resilience and strength. To provide you with the tools to overcome adversity and to not be frightened of it. At The Cabin we use the philosophy of Kintsugi to provide practical applications for the problems you may have been facing in your life. Everyone faces suffering, but it is the way in which you overcome your troubles, and heal your emotional wounds, that is key.

We use Kintsugi as a metaphor for healing ourselves. A means of embracing our own flaws and imperfections. In doing so this teaches us that sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we create something that is even more unique, resilient, and beautiful. The Kintsugi Programme teaches those of us who have scars that we only become more powerful because of them.

Your deepest pain, your biggest fears, all the struggles you have been through, may feel as if they have changed you forever. Whilst our history is the summary of our life experiences, from which we learn and grow, we know it is human to make mistakes, to suffer losses and experience pain. The Kintsugi Programme asks us to acknowledge and unite with our joy and sadness – to wear our scars proudly.

A central purpose of The Cabin’s Kintsugi Programme requires us to look deep inside of our hearts, because it will be full of these golden cracks, where the light, the grace, the humility comes in. Because whilst none of us are perfect, we recognise that we are all Kintsugi.

The sooner you or your loved one gets treatment for trauma and/or a co-occurring disorder, the higher the chances of a successful recovery. Contact us today for a no-obligations, free consultation to see how we can help.


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