Cathy Appel

Director, Dance/Movement Therapy Program

BA, Sarah Lawrence College, MFA, Vermont College, MFA, Warren Wilson College, MSW and MS, Hunter College. Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R). 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. 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. She performed original work and in a reconstruction of Doris Humphrey's Day on Earth with Dance Junction and with her own modern dance company until the mid 80s. Influenced by the 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. During her final social work internship year at the International Center for the Disabled (1991-1992), she was asked to start a creative arts psychotherapy program. She has worked at ICD in the Behavioral Medicine Department since graduating from Hunter, developing and serving as clinical coordinator of the Creative and Movement Arts Psychotherapy Program. During her tenure at ICD, she provided thousands of clinical service hours in a comprehensive care outpatient facility offering long- and short-term mental health treatment.

Cathy has taught workshops and classes at the School of Visual Arts, Goddard College, NYU and SLC, and for organizations such as the Red Cross, the MS Society and Montefiore Hospital. She was Senior Editor and author of two chapters in the Second Revised Edition (2005) of the dance therapy textbook, Dance Movement Therapy: A Healing Art (F. Levy Ed.), co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy (2003-2007), a member of the Credentials Committee for the American Dance Therapy Association  (2007-2009) and of the Dance/Movement Therapy Certification Board (2009-2010).

Courses taught in Dance/Movement Therapy Program