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The 5th Annual Expressive Therapies Summit

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Friday, November 7 • 10:00am - 5:15pm
5-Element Theory: Applying Ancient Wisdom to Clinical Practice

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ROOM 211

The 5-Element Theory is an ancient Chinese phenomenological model based on the cycles and interrelationships of the five earthly elements: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Used in traditional Asiatic medicine in diagnostic and treatment protocols, its symbolics can be used in the modern therapeutic context to embody complex dynamics in our environment and ourselves. This all-day Master Class will introduce the theoretical underpinnings of the 5-Element Theory, as well as review case examples that support its basic concepts. By expanding on various psychotherapeutic ideas such as attunement, embodied empathic resonance, and interpersonal psychobiological synchrony, this ancient theory can be applied in the clinical arts practice to promote socioemotional well-being. Participants will also learn the value of the 5-Element Theory in understanding transference and countertransference, making it a helpful tool for art therapists of all modalities.


Mitchell Kossak, PhD, REAT, LMHC

Associate Professor, Lesley University
Mitchell Kossak, PhD, REAT, LMHC, is the former division director for Expressive Therapies at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. He continues to be an associate professor He has worked as an expressive arts therapist since 1983 and has been a licensed clinical counselor, since 1994. Mitchell has written about and presented his research on attunement, improvisation, and embodied states of consciousness at conferences nationally and... Read More →

Friday November 7, 2014 10:00am - 5:15pm
Pratt Institute 144 W 14th St, New York, NY