All therapists are performers. No matter what our theoretical orientations, clients are more influenced by us than our methods. Like the actor, the therapist’s technique is less about what we do and more about how we do it. When we approach psychotherapy as a performing art, we can maximize empathy, creativity, joy and self care in our work, and inspire clients to do the same in their lives. In this talk we will discuss the ways in which we use your instruments—our selves—and how the art of acting can help us to engage our clients authentically, moment-to-moment, even when we’re just listening.

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Mark O’Connell, LCSW-R, MFA,is a NYC-based psychotherapist in private practice, a writer and an actor. He’s the author of the books The Performing Art of Therapy: Acting Insights and Techniques for Clinicians, and Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay and Other Nontraditional Twenty-First Century Weddings. His clinical writing has been published in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association among others, and his articles about identity, expression and mental health have appeared in popular sources such as Psychology Today, Psychotherapy Networker and The Huffington Post.

For more information about Mark's practice, writing and workshops visit: and