About Mary Catherine
I am a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner and have additional training and experience using Inner Relationship Focusing (IRF) and NeuroAffective Touch®. I am also a PA licensed massage therapist (LMT). My somatic practice is influenced by my experience as a sexual assault counselor, my years working in medical education, my training and experience in trauma informed bodywork, Martha Beck's Wayfinder life coach training, working in physical theatre and my own healing receiving the somatic modalities I professionally trained in and continue to receive. I am an active member of Somatic Experiencing® International's volunteer training team for professional therapists, bodyworkers and educators. I am an SEI approved Personal Education Session Provider for SE™. Student credit towards the SEP certificate during the Beginning and Intermediate Levels of training.
Before going into full-time private somatic practice near Philadelphia, I lived in the San Francisco Bay area where I trained in NeuroAffective Touch® and worked for over two years as a sexual assault counselor and crisis interventionist at a rape crisis center. Prior to this I lived in New York City for almost 20 years where I trained in and then offered Somatic Experiencing® while working in medical education and the performing arts. At the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine I provided individual education sessions to support student physicians in communicating more effectively with their patients. I also had the privilege of training Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in NYC for 15 years in working carefully and compassionately with survivors of sexual assault.
Like many folks drawn to somatic and creative practices, my journey to my current work was not linear. In many ways, my path unfolded years ago in a small theater in Florence, Italy where I was rigorously training as a physical theatre artist. It was there where I first learned to deeply embody and portray many states of awareness and understand the collective poetic experience of the body. This offered me opportunities to devise original theatre with international colleagues. At the same time, because of my own history, my body began to reveal somatic memories and sensations that needed my attention. I was also subsequently hurt during a live performance, due to overriding internal cues of safety (i.e. "toughing it out"). I had to make a difficult decision - stay and risk injury or return to NYC to recover from the artistic disappointment, heal my somatic symptoms and begin processing early relational misattunements. After learning about the work of Dr. Peter Levine and other teachers of trauma resolution, I decided to return to NYC and continue to invest in myself by receiving SE™ and trauma informed touch. I eventually embarked on years of somatic training and experience to help others find relief and connection through practices that I found to be deeply relational and restorative.
I am honored to help my clients shift out of stress and discomfort, access their intuition, creativity, and innate body intelligence that seeks truth, aliveness and freedom from past survival conditioning. It is my intention to safely help you become the truest expression of who you truly are.
Disclaimer: Mary Catherine Donnelly is not a licensed physician nor psychotherapist, and as such she does not diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical or mental condition or disease.
Hello and welcome.
I appreciate you taking the time to look at my page as you are considering what support is best for you.
My practice engages the body, mind and spirit to ease physical and emotional discomfort that often emerge from past emotional shocks to the heart and nervous system imbalances.