Cathy Appel

BA, Sarah Lawrence College, MFA, Vermont College, MFA, Warren Wilson College, MSW and MS, Hunter College. Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R), Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT). A former ballet dancer, Cathy trained at the American Ballet Theatre School and then with Leon Fokine as a trainee of the Harkness Ballet Company before performing with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company, where she had the opportunity to dance in ballets such as Sleeping Beauty and Symphony in C. She later attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she was introduced to modern dance and formed her own company. Cathy performed original work and in a reconstruction of Doris Humphrey's Day on Earth with Dance Junction and with her own company until the mid 80s. Influenced by work of Meredith Monk ’64 to explore interdisciplinary performance that resonates within the body as it reflects and interacts with the imaginal, external and archetypal world, she went on to study Body-Mind Centering and Authentic Movement. As part of her exploration of verbal and nonverbal expression, and to broaden her creative work, she earned MFAs in Writing from Vermont College and Warren Wilson College, culminating in her thesis, Recognizing the Dance. She has published poems in journals, textbooks and anthologies. As her focus shifted to the relationship between dance and healing, she pursued an MSW and an MS in dance/movement therapy from Hunter College.Cathy founded the Creative and Movement Arts Psychotherapy Program at the International Center for the Disabled, which she directed for 20 years before leaving to return to Sarah Lawrence College in 2012 to start the College’s Dance/Movement Therapy Program.

Cathy was Senior Editor and author of two chapters in the textbook, Dance Movement Therapy: A Healing Art (2005, 2nd Rev. ed.), edited by F. Levy. In 2015, she co-authored the chapter, “Artistic Approaches I,” with Bardin, S., Chieh-Hua, H., Connor, M., & Fontanesi, C., in C. Lammer, Bewegende Gesichter – Moving Faces (2015). Vienna, Löcker. Cathy has taught and led workshops nationally and internationally, and presented papers at the Université de Rennes II, France (2014), and at the Faculté Libre de Médecine, l’Université Catholique de Lille, France (2012).

Cathy was an original member of the Credentials Committee for the American Dance Therapy Association (2007-2009) and of the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board (2009-2010). She was also co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy (2003-2007), and serves on their Editorial Board (2007-present). SLC, 2009--

Current graduate courses

Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT I

Fall

This is the first in a four-part series of process-oriented seminars, which function as a laboratory for the study of dance/movement therapy methods and theory. In this course, we combine didactic, experiential and collaborative learning to examine the historical, cultural and clinical aspects of DMT. Students will learn about DMT pioneers, their theoretical contributions and the relationship of DMT to the origins and development of psychology. They will also be introduced to foundational movement-based techniques intrinsic to the practice of DMT as they begin to develop a common conceptual and kinesthetic framework rooted in developmental and integrative movement.

Faculty

Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT II

Spring

This is the second part of a four-semester process-oriented course that functions as a laboratory in which to study the methods and theory of DMT. It will combine didactic, experiential and collaborative learning as it builds on the first semester to synthesize dance/movement therapy practice with knowledge of human development, for application in various clinical circumstances. Students will learn techniques of practice specific to clinical populations, such as children, adolescents, the physically ill and/or those coping with aging, physical disabilities, mental illness, addiction disorders, or are survivors of physical and/or emotional trauma.

Faculty

Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT III

Fall

This course is the third in a series of four on the methods and theory of dance/movement therapy for clinical practice. Our focus will be on the experience of embodiment and on broadening and deepening the students’ practice of dance/movement therapy as we examine cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic perspectives on dance and healing.

Faculty

Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT IV

Spring

This course will examine clinical applications of expressive arts modalities, such as art, music, poetry, and drama for the purpose of understanding their relationship to DMT and how they can be used in conjunction with DMT to enhance and support treatment interventions. We will also examine the use of the artistic elements of dance such as choreography and performance to support a variety of mental and physical health goals. The course will have several visiting faculty with expertise in the arts and the creative arts therapies.

Faculty

Group Work Theory and Practice I

Fall

In this course, students will learn clinical skills and roles needed for the effective practice of group work as dance/movement therapists in varied clinical settings. We will examine theoretical constructs of group work that include Yalom’s Interpersonal approach, Shulman’s Interactional approach, Falck’s Membership Perspective and Steinberg’s model of Mutual-Aid. Students will be expected to identify the central ideas and methods of group work and recognize its emotional, cognitive and behavioral applications as well as behavior that disrupts the work of group process, demonstrate an understanding of the effects of transference and countertransference, discuss group work theory and techniques used to facilitate problem-solving and specific skill building to reduce psychiatric symptoms, and group characteristics including multiculturalism, diversity, dynamics, and stages of development and interventions.

Faculty

Previous courses

Graduate Seminar III: Methods and Theory of Dance/Movement Therapy

Fall

This course is the third in a series of four on the methods and theory of dance/movement therapy for clinical practice. Our focus will be on the experience of embodiment and on broadening and deepening the students’ practice of dance/movement therapy as we examine cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic perspectives on dance and healing.

Faculty

Graduate Seminar in Methods and Theory of DMT II - Dance

Spring

This course builds on the work in Graduate Seminar in Methods & Theory of DMT I to synthesize the practice of DMT with knowledge of human development. We will explore various clinical circumstances and develop a basic understanding of treatment planning. Students will be exposed to techniques of practice specific to clinical populations such as children, adolescents, physically ill and/or disabled, mentally ill, and survivors of physical and/or emotional trauma and addiction disorders.

Faculty

Graduate Seminar IV: Methods and Theory of Dance/Movement Therapy

Spring

This course will examine clinical applications of expressive arts modalities such as art, music, poetry, and drama for the purpose of understanding their relationship to DMT and how they can be used in conjunction with DMT as a treatment intervention. We will also analyze the use of artistic components of dance, such as choreography and performance, to support a variety of mental and physical health goals. The course will be co-taught by several guest faculty with expertise in play, music, drama, poetry and dance; faculty members will assign their own readings.

Faculty

Group Work Theory and Practice I - Graduate

Fall

In this course, students will learn basic theories and concepts of interventions with small groups. We will explore theories such as Irving Yalom’s interpersonal approach, as well as clinical roles and skills needed for the effective practice of group work in varied clinical settings.

Faculty

Movement Observation of Children Fieldwork

Students will spend two or three hours per week at the Early Childhood Center. These fieldwork hours are not counted toward the clinical internship requirement of 700 hours.

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