Katherine Spencer, PhD, has always had a natural inclination toward talking about sex, and she hopes to do so throughout her career. In June we celebrated her graduation, and on December, 31, 2009, she will complete her postdoctoral study at PHS.
Spencer knew as a young graduate student that she wanted to study at PHS. And now after two years of hard work, her enthusiasm still shines through. Spencer believes, "Sexuality is core to who we are as individuals and it is this vulnerable center that we share with others. Sex and gender are fascinating, wonderful parts of ourselves and can be powerful entry points for growth and change. I am honored that people trust me with this vulnerable aspect of self and allow me to be part of their lives through the therapeutic relationship."
Starting in college, Spencer has been an activist for GLBT communities, women, and social justice. Throughout her postdoctoral fellowship she has worked to maintain congruency between her community perspective and her therapy. Her training at PHS has helped her to strengthen her voice and have confidence in her perspective. She has also gained skills through the breadth of her training, stating, "I am a better therapist from my experience here working with a range of families, individuals, couples, and youth."
Spencer advises future postdoctoral fellows to apply early, to remember that change is always possible, and to be open to personal growth. She also suggests to be prepared to work hard and try to find balance: "The hours are long and the work is emotionally intense, but if you are passionate about human sexuality the hard work is worth it."
After her training is complete, Spencer will remain in the Twin Cities and continue her therapy work in gender and sexuality issues. Spencer received her MA and PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her BA in women's studies and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her internship was completed at the University of Illinois-Chicago Counseling Center.
Back to PHS Newsletter