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Focus Seminars

As psychotherapists our implicit communication with our clients (or “scene partners”) is arguably even more pivotal than what we say. But our discourse rarely addresses how we use ourselves to engage our clients nonverbally moment-to-moment. No matter what kind of therapist we are, our most essential instrument for therapeutic engagement is our selves—our bodies, voices, faces, thoughts, feelings, and imaginations. And the quality of our clinical work depends on how well we prepare, use, and take care of our instruments. Utilizing his background as both a trained actor and a therapist, Mark O’Connell will show you how to use your instrument with awareness, intention, and versatility, even when you’re just listening to your clients quietly. Videos, case examples, and exercises will be used to inspire you to trust yourself as a clinician, to maximize your use of your implicit communication with clients, and to take care of your instrument at the same time.

Mark O’Connell, LCSW-R, MFA

Mark O’Connell, LCSW-R, MFA is a psychotherapist in New York City and author of the book The Performing Art of Therapy: Acting Insights and Techniques for Clinicians. His wide ranging articles have been published in various clinical journals and popular sources, and he writes the Psychology Today blog Quite Queerly. For more information about Mark’s workshops on using the therapist’s “instrument,” visit: And for more information about Mark’s psychotherapy practice visit:

  • Sunday, October 29

  • 11:00am – 1:30pm (EDT)

  • National Institute for the Psychotherapies — 71 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10010

  • Presented by Mark O’Connell, LCSW-R, MFA

  • NIPPA Focus Seminars do not offer CE hours.
  • NIP candidates: Free
  • NIPPA members: $10.00
  • General Admission: $20.00All participants must complete online registration.