A four-week online course
Learn what to listen for from the Kintsugi Process
Birth Story Medicine, Part I: The Kintsugi Process is a prerequisite for Birth Story Mentoring Part II. If you want to give the gifts of empathy, deep listening, and healing to someone struggling with their birth experience, you must first give it to yourself. You cannot guide another through a place you have not yet gone; you can only give another what you embody and lived deeply within yourself. For four weeks, turn your attention inward and experience the healing of Birth Story Medicine. This is why in our Part I, Kintsugi course, you begin with yourself. You begin by turning your ear inward and listening to, and tracking the story you are telling yourself about—yourself, about the medical system, and about birth in our culture.
What does “kintsugi” mean?
In the 15th century Japanese began repairing broken ceramics with gold or silver lacquer, a process they call kintsugi (pronounced kin-tsoo-gee); “kin” golden, “tsugi” repair.
In the West, a broken teapot or sculpture will be thrown away, or perhaps be repaired with invisible glue to conceal the cracks and make it look like new. But the Japanese view once-broken pottery—when the pieces are brought together with care and fused with gold or silver epoxy—as even more beautiful and valuable than the original piece. No two ceramics break in the same way, so the lines and patterns of every repair is one of a kind.
The same holds true for birth stories. No two people—even when they are in the same birth room—experience or are cracked open by a birth the same way. Like a treasured ceramic unexpectedly dropped and shattered at your feet, sometimes unforeseen events in birth suddenly shatter expectations, beliefs, dreams, confidence, and even relationships.
Your skills as a Birth Story Mentor will enable you to guide storytellers gather up the scattered pieces of their story and help them to thoughtfully consider where each fragment fits in their evolving belief system and in the larger patterns and relationships of their life. This nourishing story-mending process leads the storyteller to genuinely know that what initially broke them has become a source of compassion, and that the Medicine needed for healing is within them.
Who the Kintsugi course is for:
Every birth-related professional, midwife, lactation consultant, therapist, social worker, chaplain, and life coach—anyone who hears birth stories—can benefit from learning the BIRTH STORY MEDICINE map and listening skills.
What you will learn:
- What to listen for
- How to tune into the unspoken meta-messages and meanings
- Which of nine categories of birth stories you are listening to.
- The difference between: passive and deep listening; between mirroring what was said and genuine, empathic acknowledgement; and between comforting or cheerleading and truly nurturing compassion in the storyteller
- Responses that feed the problem versus cultivate a solution
How this course works:
- One week before each live call (including the first one), you will receive:
- Access to new written learning modules and videos in Acadle
- Access to a google group where you can ask questions, submit homework etc.
- Practice-homework assignments and suggestions for the week
- Valuable written feedback on your homework and the opportunity to further accelerate your skills and comprehension by learning from peers on the Forum.
- A weekly, 70 min live consultation call guided by your Birth Story Facilitator. You and your peers will bring questions and insights to this call, and learn from lively demonstrations, role-plays, and a solution-focused dialogue with your facilitators.
Refund Policy: You can request a refund, up to 72 hours before the course has started, minus a $20 admin fee. There are no refunds: 1. After the course begins; 2. If you drop out of the course, or 3. If you are dropped from the course for failing to show up or complete assignments. Admin fee of $20 to transfer tuition to another BSM course, transfer option expires after 6 months. In the event Birth Story Medicine cancels or cannot reschedule a course or event, tuition will be refunded in full. *All participants are expected to be present on every call, be an active participant on calls and in the forum, and turn homework in on time. Failure to do so will result in not passing that part of the course.