"Every single thing that you say is so incisive and in tune, mindful and brilliant that I have come up with a new name for you. I think you should call yourself The Word Surgeon. Thank you for all your help working with me on my speech Mary Catherine."
Psychiatrist / Group Leader / Educator
Founder / Director Children's Theatre, Montclair, NJ
"I booked a polarity session with Mary Catherine because I felt stuck and in my head and very tired. Through gentle touch and movement my body became truly relaxed and a peace and inner knowledge washed over me.
I experienced a true body-mind connection and felt restored and energized after only one session. I can't wait to experience it again.
I highly recommend her to anyone looking for an outstanding, knowledgeable and empathic somatic experiencing and polarity therapy practitioner and educator."
Counselor & Advocate
Dear Mary Catherine,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the incredible work you do. I hope you know how far reaching your impact is in the sexual assault forensic health care field. Our students – who have the opportunity to spend three hours learning from you, go on to provide care to the majority of NYC’s sexual assault survivors who seek care in Emergency Departments. I know that a survivor’s healing journey is often hinged on the support network they have in their lives. Thank you for the confidence you instill in our students, who in turn, instill confidence in survivors, and become one of the first links in their support network. On behalf of the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Training Institute and The NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Training Institute
The NYC Alliance Against
Certified Life Coach
"Knowledgeable, empathetic and intuitive, Mary Catherine will help you lessen anxiety and come into greater awareness of your abilities through her conscientious coaching and somatic experiencing skills."
Jen Frank Coaching
"Words cannot express the immense simplicity, softness, humility and the caring nature of Miss Mary Catherine Donnelly.
She has definitely inherited some of the traits of virgin Mary in sharing the same name. She touches the weakest point in you with such a gentle and affectionate touch, that you will be compelled to amend your weakness and take yourself to a new higher level of functioning..I was helped with my speech, mannerisms and posture required for passing my PE exam of the Osteopathic Medical School. She came as an angel who calmly through her sweet and gentle tone improved my overall caliber. She is nothing short of a perfect teacher, guide and a wonderful human being that any student can dream of. Thank you so much Miss Mary Catherine Donnelly for all your help."
Actress / Activist
"Mary Catherine helps people connect all the parts within themselves. She uses the head, heart, and body to create a wholesome, lively artistic collaboration that is real and dynamic."
Professor / Playwright
"Mary Catherine brings the goods! She helped bring my one woman show to another level. She helped me refine my characters, suggested meaningful nuances to the dialogue and helped me find ways to present characters that were identifiable through specific movement and posture. She is thorough, excited about what she does, and has a great eye!"
Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Filmmaker / Actor
"Collaborating with Mary Catherine is a very rewarding experience. She listened to my concerns and helped me and the other people I was working theatrically with through some emotionally challenging situations. I always felt appreciated working with M.C."
Quai Nystrom, LCSW
"I have co-facilitated with Mary Catherine for well over a decade and she is adept at assisting people to transform fear and uncertainty into clear, confident communications. Skilled in supporting people with both verbal and non-verbal expressions, she uses awareness of the body and the art and skill of speech to communicate with impact. Her dynamic background as an instructor, somatic experiencing practitioner, performer and writer make her a unique resource for professionals and students alike."
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Relationship Centered Therapist
Health Educator and Trainer
"I really enjoy working with Ms. Mary Catherine Donnelly. She helped me to get back my real, former personality in the patient encounters. Her help is greatly appreciated and has been a great support to me."
"Working with Ms. Mary Catherine Donnelly helped me to pass my clinical skills exam. My sessions with her improved my confidence and skills in testing situations and patient interactions in general! I would definitely recommend her services to anyone in the healthcare field looking to improve their interpersonal skills and bedside manner."
"Mary, you have a unique way in coaching and supporting people. You are gifted with the ability to extract the best from people you coach because your open personality and respect for others overrides any boundaries of race, age and cultural differences.
Your genuine desire to help people open channels of communication encourages them to listen to you and work on their personal progress based on your invaluable advice. In life, it is hard to find people who are ready to walk with others the second mile. You are among the few of those people. People like you make a difference in our world.”
"The experience was very comfortable and educational and I felt I could ask any question. Mary Catherine was very nice and helped with each and every step. The feedback was constructive and it was a very positive learning experience."
Women's Health Exam Training
Ilustrator / Designer
"Mary Catherine is highly skilled and for lack of a better word, just plain NICE. She is entirely unique and gifted and perfectly suited for the healing work that she does. Her intelligence, intuition, integrity and humor are icing on the cake. In only a very few polarity sessions with her, I have experienced a nuanced and meaningful self realization. If you have the opportunity to benefit from her expertise, do it!"
Illustrator/Designer/Creator of polkadotjunction.com
Weill Cornell Medical College
"I’m writing to let you know that the exam session was EXCELLENT. I cannot say enough about how positive my experience was. This session should set the standard for all other physical exam & clinical skills sessions that medical students participate in. I felt that I had time to think through each part of the exam to refine HOW I conducted that step to maximize the clinical information I can extract from it and to keep the patient as comfortable as possible."
"I highly recommend Mary Catherine as an instructor for the COMLEX Level 2PE exam. I wish I met her earlier to avoid going through the hurdles of passing the exam successfully. When I was preparing for the exam I was overburdened with problems in my personal life and wasn’t able to focus on the skills needed to master the exam. I was depressed and this was reflected in my facial expressions and body language. Mary Catherine guided me in the right direction to help me appear relaxed, confident and friendly.
She also acts as a life coach and somatic practitioner and helped me to think positively, minimizing my anxiety about problems in my personal life, which overshadowed my test preparation. She is professional, kind, very patient and made me feel comfortable discussing my weaker areas and always gave me verbal and written feedback in a non-judgmental way. She reviewed the videos of my “mock exam” and gave me feedback on my facial expressions, verbal articulations and non-verbal communication. She was flexible in scheduling and offered me sessions based on my needs and her evaluations.
Additionally, I was not born in the United States and English is not my first language. She really worked hard to help me improve my linguistic ability and orient me to the customs and culture of the US that played an important role in my communication during the exam. I was fortunate to be able to meet with her up until my exam. Even on exam day she called to encourage and remind me of the key points and how much progress I had made.
The clinical skills exam is not only an evaluation of your clinical knowledge but also your communication and social skills with the general patient population. It is a daylong exam and you must perform consistently well in the same manner in which you started. It is comprised of three sections and it took lot of stamina to sustain my energy and self-assurance to the end. Mary Catherine brought back my confidence and pride that I had when I entered the medical school. After passing the PE exam I felt I got my life energy back. She is really a great instructor! I am so grateful for all her help!"
"Mary Catherine Donnelly is a ‘transformer.’ Thanks to her gentle, intuitive and immensely wise direction, my one-woman show, Jay Z&Me, became more powerful and funny than I could have imagined. She helped transform words into vivid characters, thoughts into feeling and stillness into action. She brought the show alive. I would recommend her to anyone who is in search of a true ‘presence’ onstage. Her experience and instincts are singular and hugely respected by all those who work with her."
"Jay Z & ME"
Edinburgh International Fringe Festival
"Thank you for everything you did to improve my show, and my performance! Your contributions were incalculable. Truly. You are a gifted shepherd of others' dreams."
"The Fiery Sword of Justice"
Educator / Performer
"Mary Catherine Donnelly gives two hundred percent. When I first interviewed her about the possibility of directing my solo show she came fully prepared with a list of questions and thoughts. She carefully read the script and watched the footage from a reading that I had done.
She has a strong grasp of somatic experiences which enables her to offer a wealth of knowledge. She creates a safe, and nonjudgmental environment where I felt free, nurtured, and totally at ease to explore. You can count Mary Catherine to be a strong advocate of your work.
The creative process continually evolves with Mary Catherine. I felt that each rehearsal and performance grew stronger because we kept allowing it to grow so that it never felt static.
Mary Catherine offers great sensitivity, focus, vulnerability, integrity, and has a great sense of humor. Humble, honest, extremely hard working, and dedicated are some other traits that describe her. It was an honor and a pleasure to have worked with such a great talent. As one person who summed up Mary Catherine said: “Just a lovely human being.”
"The Rise of the Usher"
Manhattan International Theatre Festival
Writer / Actor
"I have had the pleasure to work with Mary Catherine on my Solo Show “The Bad German”. More specifically I had to rework it for a very different space than it originally was performed in.
We had a rather limited time frame to get the work done and she very enthusiastically jumped right in.
Even though we were under such time pressure she was able to create a super relaxed and safe space to explore new possibilities for the show without us ever falling behind.
She is a wonderful mix of script doctor, director and movement coach. Her instinct on how to dramatize prior dry passages were spot on and thanks to her guidance I was able to bring characters more fully alive than before. Each rehearsal was an incredibly fun adventure (we certainly laughed a lot) :-) but she was also able to get and take my voice and challenge me to go deeper. If you want to bring your work to the next level and be (sensitively) :-) pushed to your full potential I highly recommend you work with her. As for myself, I can’t wait to work with her again."
"The Bad German"
Writer / Educator
"Mary Catherine (MC) helped me develop my solo show "Shake The Earth" and it was really a satisfying collaboration. I don't have a great deal of experience and her guidance was very valuable. I felt like she gave 110% at every session. She has a keen intuitive sense and is a great communicator. Her guidance was worth every penny."
Armenian American Writer/Performer
"I am writing to you to let you know that I have passed my clinical skills exam. I would like to thank you very much for helping me out in this regard. I strongly believe that the practice sessions with you, going over my videos for analysis, and your advice and suggestions, played a key role in passing the exam. I can not thank you enough for going through all of that, and giving me as many practice sessions as possible within that short period of time that I had before my exam."