COMPANION

Deborah Caplan

Deborah Caplan (†2000), US physical therapist and teacher of the Alexander Technique who pioneered the Alexander Technique specifically for back problems.

Life

Deborah Caplan was the daughter of the novelist and essayist Waldo Frank and of Alexander Technique teacher Alma Frank, who trained with F. M. Alexander. Around the age of 9 or 10 Deborah joined Alexander’s Little School for children in the US. Deborah was a dancer with the Pearl Primus and Jean Erdman companies. She obtained a M.A. from Hunter College and a master’s degree in physical therapy from New York University. In 1956 she joined the department of physical therapy at the Rusk Institute, New York. In 1964 she started a private practice, specialising in back problems. She worked at ACAT and in 1997 founded the Debora Caplan/Alma Frank Scholarship Fund to benefit potential ACAT students.[1]

Writings

Her book, Back Trouble – A new approach to prevention and recovery based on the Alexander Technique (1987) was well-received and reprinted many times.[2] Other wrtings include:

  • ‘Postural management of scoliosis in the adolescent and adult – Based on the Alexander Technique’ is an 8-page booklet.[3]
  • ‘Dealing with back pain and other physical problems’ by Debroah Caplan.[4]
  • ‘The Alexander Technique: Education for the Aching Back’.[5]
  • ‘Skeletal appreciations inspired by Alexander’.[6]
  • ‘Some issues regarding pain’.[7]
  • ‘Working with medical profession’.[8]
  • ‘An Alexander Journal through Everyday Life’ (1998) is a case history of working with a young woman with dystonia.[9]
  • Her papers and workshops at the International Congresses are:
  • The article ‘Before! During! After!’ reports on her classes at the 3rd International Congress in 1991.[10]
  • ‘Alexander Technique and its application to back problems’ at the 3rd International Congress.[11]
  • ‘Our dancing motor units’ at the 1991 3rd International Congress.[12]
  • ‘Back to basics’ at the 5th International Congress.[13]

She also wrote numerous articles for medical journals; but the above list only include articles that involve the Alexander Technique:

Interview

‘Interview: Debora Caplan’ by Mona Sulzman covers Caplan’s history with the Technique, on writing her book Back Trouble, and her experiences of teaching privately and at ACAT.[14]

Video

A workshop Caplan gave at the 1st International Congress in 1986 was filmed.[15] She made a video with Jane Kosminsky in 1998, ‘The Alexander Technique – Solutions for Back Trouble’.[16] She also appears in the video ‘For Dancers’ (2006).[17]

Obituraries and Tributes

  • ‘For Debby’ by Jane Kosminsky.[18]
  • ‘In Memory of Debbie Caplan’ by Misha Magidow.[19]
  • ‘In memoriam: Deborah Caplan’ by Ralph Caplan.[20]
  • ‘Eulogy for Debby’ by Jane Kosminsky.[21]
  • ‘Deborah Caplan’ (no author).[22]
  • ‘Deborah Caplan’ by Misha Magidov.[23]

Deborah Caplan †8 October 2000

References

[1] Obituray, unsigned, in AmSAT News no. 50, Winter 2001, p. 8.
[2] Back Trouble – A new approach to prevention and recovery based on the Alexander Technique by Deborah Caplan (Triad Publishing Co., 1987).
[3] ‘Postural management of scoliosis in the adolescent and adult – Based on the Alexander Technique’ by Deborah Caplan, booklet, (The American Center for the Alexander Technique, AmSAT Books, 1980).
[4] Direction vol. 1, no. 5 edited by Jeremy Chance (Fyncot Pty Ltd., 1989), pp. 175–78.
[5] ‘The Alexander Technique: Education for the Aching Back’ by Deborah Caplan in The Alexandrian. Source missing.
[6] ‘Skeletal appreciations inspired by Alexander’ by Deborah Caplan in The Alexandrian. Source missing.
[7] ‘Some issues regarding pain’ by Deborah Caplan in NASTAT News no. – (NASTAT, 1994?), source missing.
[8] ‘Working with medical profession’ by Deborah Caplan in NASTAT News no. 27 (NASTAT, Winter 1995), pp. 30–31.
[9] ‘An Alexander Journal through Everyday Life’ by Deborah Caplan, NASTAT News issue no. 42, Fall 1998, pp. 14-17.
[10] ‘Before! During! After!’ by Deborah Caplan, NASTAT News issue no. 13, Autumn 1991, p. 22.
[11] ‘Alexander Technique and its application to back problems’ by Deborah Caplan in The Congress Papers 1991, A Spirit of Learning Together edited by Jeremy Chance (Direction, 1992), pp. 73–77.
[12] ‘Our dancing motor units’ by Deborah Caplan in The Congress Papers 1994, The Meaning of Change, 125 Years On, edited by David Garlick (Direction, 1996), pp. 14–16.
[13] ‘Back to basics’ by Deborah Caplan in The Congress Papers 1996, Back to Basics edited by Shmuel Nelken (Shmuel Nelken, 1999), pp. 125–27.
[14] ‘Interview: Debora Caplan’ by Mona Sulzman in The Alexander Review vol. 4, no. 1 (Centerline Press, 1990), pp. 85–95.
[15] The Alexander Technique, A Worldwide Perspective, The First International Congress 1986 edited by Michael Frederick (David Reed Media, 2011).
[16] The Alexander Technique – Solutions for back trouble (Wellspring Media, 2000 [1998]) by Deborah Caplan and Jane Kosminsky.
[17] For Dancers, The Alexander Technique by teacher Jane Kosminsky (The Balance of Well-Being, 2006).
[18] ‘For Debby’ by Jane Kosminsky in AmSAT News no. 50, Winter 2001, pp. 8-9.
[19] ‘In Memory of Debbie Caplan’ by Misha Magidow in AmSAT News no. 51, Spring 2001, p. 17.
[20] ‘In memoriam: Deborah Caplan’ by Ralph Caplan in Exchange – The Journal of Alexander Technique International, vol. 9, no. 2, (Cambridge, USA, 1 May 2001), p. 5.
[21] ‘Eulogy for Debby’ by Jane Kosminsky in Exchange – The Journal of Alexander Technique International, vol. 9, no. 2, (Cambridge, USA, 1 May 2001), p. 6.
[22] ‘Deborah Caplan’ (no author) in STATNews vol. 6, no. 3 edited by Ann James (STAT, January 2001), p. 8.
[23] ‘Deborah Caplan’ by Misha Magidov in STATNews vol. 6, no. 3 edited by Ann James (STAT, January 2001), p. 8.