by Robert Rickover
Deborah Caplan (1931-2000) was an Alexander Technique teacher and physical therapist. She was the daughter of the novelist and essayist Waldo Frank and of Alexander Technique teacher Alma Frank, who trained with F. M. Alexander. She received her Alexander certification in 1953 from Alma Frank, and her MA in Physical Therapy from New York University in 1956. She also studied with F.M. Alexander. In 1964, she became a founding member of the American Center for the Alexander Technique (ACAT) where she was a senior faculty member for many years. She was affiliated with New York University Medical Center for eight years, and lectured extensively to physical therapists throughout the U.S, on Alexander technique. She was the author of the book, Back Trouble: A New Approach to Prevention and Recovery (Triad, 1987). She also produced a video based on this book, Solutions for Back Trouble.
A couple of videos showing Deborah Caplan teaching in 1989 and 1990 have recently become available on YouTube and I thought it might be nice to bring together as much of the information as I could locate about this influential teacher. I’m sure there is more material out there that I’ll be glad to add whatever you send me – please use the Contact tab above.
I only met Deborah once, when visiting New York in the early 1980s, shortly after I became an Alexander teacher. I had a lesson with her and found her to be very welcoming and encouraging. The only other time I saw her was at the International Congress in Stony Brook in 1986 where she gave an presentation.
Here are the 2 new videos (the sound quality is sub-par, but they do give a pretty good idea of how she taught):
Deborah teaching a first lesson (1990):
Deborah teaching in a group (1989, perhaps on a training course?):
Here’s a short excerpt from her DVD:
Here’s an article Deborah wrote: The Alexander Technique: Education for the Aching Back
Here’s Deborah’s book: