Katherine M. Spencer, LCSW

About Me

My name is Katherine Spencer and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist (EFT), and an approved Emotionally Focused Therapy Supervisor Candidate (approved by the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy).

I have worked with individuals and couples in my practice for 15 years. I have extensive training in different methods of couple therapy, including EFT, Harville Hendrix’s Imago Model, Ellen Bader’s Developmental Model and Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy.  With individuals, I use a psychodynamic approach, which means that we explore how your learned ways of adapting and coping in the past play out today in your daily life.

The model of couples therapy I most admire and use exclusively is called EFT, or Emotionally Focused Therapy. This model, originated by Dr. Sue Johnson, offers a comprehensive theory of adult love and attachment, and a process for healing a couple’s bond when it is stressed. EFT theory tells us that relationship distress is the result of our  perceiving a threat to our needs for closeness and security. Partners want to know, “Do I matter?” and “Will you be there for me?” And when we fear the answer to one of these questions may be “No,” it can cause us to feel isolated and alone, and sometimes as though we are fighting for survival itself.

EFT is not a model that just changes communication; it works at a deeper level to help the couple develop a needed sense of trust and security. Please read the section called About EFT to understand it better.

I also have worked with the Diocese of Rockville Centre and with my local parish church in marriage preparation programs for over 15 years. The marriage preparation programs include an instrument called FOCCUS and a group experience called Pre-Cana. I have also taught courses and workshops in communication, problem solving and marriage enrichment.

In addition to participating with these programs, I am also a certified trainer for the FOCCUS instrument, certified by FOCCUS Inc., which means I train married couples how to become facilitators so they, too, can work with engaged couples using the FOCCUS instrument.

My experience also includes working with hospice and issues of loss and the trauma of  illness. I worked with foster children for many years, and know the effects of child abuse and neglect. Finally, as a former RN, I have knowledge of physical conditions and how they can impact our psychological well-being.

I graduated with an MS in counseling from LIU in 1993 and an MSW from Fordham University in 1999. After many years of work in an outpatient clinic, I now have a private practice in Sea Cliff, New York.