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Expressive Arts Florida Institute

Expressive Arts Florida Institute provides comprehensive training in Expressive Arts, and a wide variety of creative life enrichment workshops and classes, both in our Sarasota, Florida studio and online. We are: Kathleen Horne, MA, LMHC, REACE, REAT Tamara Teeter Knapp, MA, NCC, MHC Intern, K-12 Art Teacher, , REACE Victoria Domenichello-Anderson, MA, REACE

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About this course

Embodied Empathy and Expressive Arts

with Mitchell Kossak, PhD, LMHC, REAT

Tuesday October 19, 6-8:30 pm

Online via Zoom


This workshop will be recorded and the recording will be posted in the forum after the workshop, for viewing only by those who have registered for the workshop. To ensure confidentiality of participants, the recording will be paused during sharing.

The word empathy was originally derived from the German word ‘einfuhlung’, and earlier from the Greek ‘empatheia’, both referring to the physical and emotional connection when viewing a painting or sculpture.  As we view a piece of art or when we witness a dance, listen to a musical expression or spoken word piece, our mind translates this into a sensory embodied response, and we are ‘moved’.  When we engage in the arts, we enter into a deep and intimate relational encounter with the materials, sounds, colors, shapes or the space we are moving within, as well as the interactions between individuals in a dyadic or group situation. Engagement in this way can lead to flow states that help to form an embodied resonance response that is directly linked to the sense of embodied empathy.  This flow state has been called ‘limbic resonance’ or the capacity for sharing deep emotional states including what is called ‘empathic harmony’.

In this workshop we will work with breath, sound, rhythms, movement and imagery to explore embodied empathy, with self, with others, in communities and in a larger metaphysical realm.  

                                                                          The perfect balance of therapeutic information mixed with  a full mind, body, spirit engagement.                                                                                          A participant in Mitchell's 2020 Professional Development Workshop

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn the roots and history of how empathy has been applied in aesthetics and psychology to achieve states of health and well-being

  • Participants will understand the neurobiological functions of embodied empathy.

  • Participants will learn how to apply the concepts of embodied empathy to expressive arts practice.

A big galactic wow is what this course deserves. The instructor's passion, experience, and education shine through in his practice. He inspires and soothes all at once, as though he himself is a balanced accumulation of the elements. I would gladly study under him on a daily basis as I am truly moved and transformed. Thank you for feeding my soul.  A participant in Mitchell Kossak’s 2020 Professional Development Workshop

Mitchell Kossak Ph.D., LMHC, REAT is a Professor and former director in the Expressive Therapies program at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a licensed clinical counselor and registered expressive arts therapist and has presented his work and research on rhythmic attunement, improvisation, psychospiritual and community-based approaches to working with trauma at conferences nationally and internationally. He is the past President for the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and recipient of the Shining Star, lifetime achievement award in 2017. He is the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Applied Arts and Health and author of Attunement in Expressive Arts Therapy: Toward an Understanding of Embodied Empathy.  In 2019 he helped to create Voces Arts and Healing, to work with asylum seekers in Juarez Mexico. He is also a professional musician, performing for the past 35 years in the Boston

Mitchell Kossak is a gifted musician and expressive-arts facilitator who brings a strong sense of embodiment to his work. In this expressive-movement experience, I felt the grounding energy of earth, the flowing currents of water, and the excitement of fire as my inner rhythms all came into alignment. I left the experience feeling more open, relaxed, and inspired. - Theresa Foster  

Our Online Professional Development Series is designed for Expressive Arts students and practitioners (therapists, educators, facilitators, coaches, consultants). Through a live online format, we bring you renowned professionals in the field, from around the world, to enhance your training and expertise. Each presentation will be a combination of didactic and experiential learning. We are a Florida CEU provider for LMHC, LCSW, LMFT. You will receive a Certificate of Completion to submit to your own CE Board or certifying organization.

Cancellation and Refund Policy for Live Online Events and WorkshopsRefunds must be requested in writing (email) no later than 5 days prior to the workshop date. If supplies were sent to you, you will be refunded the workshop cost minus the supply fee. After the 5 day deadline there will be no refunds unless your space is filled by another participant.  There will be no refunds for "no shows”. In case of a family or medical emergency EAFI will do its best to either refund the workshop fee or credit it towards a later date. EAFI is not responsible for participant’s technology, internet, internet platform or computer issues. Participants are responsible for the necessary internet connections/platforms needed to participate in online workshops or events.