Katie Spencer, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Katie Spencer

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-625-1500

Office Address:
University of Minnesota
180 West Bank Office Bldg
1300 S Second St
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Assistant Professor, Program in Human Sexuality (PHS)

Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Program in Human Sexuality (PHS)

Fellowship, University of Minnesota (Human Sexuality)

PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia


Katie Spencer, PhD is an assistant professor, licensed psychologist, Co-Director of the National Center for Gender Spectrum Health, and Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at the Program in Human Sexuality. Her primary clinical practice is working with transgender and gender non-conforming, adolescents, and adults, women’s sexuality and sexual health, and LGBT sexuality and well-being. Dr. Spencer has written, presented and published scholarship on transgender sexuality, queer femininities, and gender affirmative approaches to transgender healthcare. She provides training and education of therapists and medical providers in sexual health and transgender health care competency. She is developing a curriculum of pleasure based sexuality for people on the transfeminine spectrum and working, with her colleagues, to revise existing measures of gendered experience to improve congruence with transaffirmative philosophies. She is the founder and chair of the Minnesota Transgender Health Insurance Taskforce and often provides consultation and advocacy on insurance and policy issues in transgender health. Dr. Spencer and her colleague, Dr. Dianne Berg are the authors of the Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach (GALA™) of Psychotherapy and Education that is the theoretical framework for the clinical-research program of the Gender Health Services at PHS. Dr. Spencer received her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and she was a postdoctoral fellow in human sexuality at PHS. She is passionate about social justice and feminist approaches to academic scholarship and clinical practice.

Pronouns: she/her/hers.


transgender and gender non-conforming adolescents and adults, women’s sexuality and sexual health, LGBT sexuality and well-being


Research Funding Grants

  • 2015-17, U of M Office of the Vice President, "Group Differences and Minority Stress in a Clinical Transgender Population"


Bradford, N.J., Dewitt, J., Decker, J., Berg, D.R., Spencer, K.G., & Ross, M.W. (online first). Sex education and transgender youth: “Trust means material by and for queer and trans people.” Sex Education, online ahead of print June 5, 2018. doi:10.1080/14681811.2018.1478808 

Rider, G. N., Vencill, J. A., Berg, D. R., Becker-Warner, R., Candelario-Perez, L., & Spencer, K. G. (in press). The Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach (GALA™): A model for competent clinical care with genderqueer and nonbinary clients. [Special Issue]. International Journal of Transgenderism, accepted for publication June 1, 1018.

Bradford, N. J., Rider, G. N., Catalpa, J., Morrow, Q. J., Berg, D. R., Spencer, K. G., & McGuire, J. (online first). Creating gender: A thematic analysis of genderqueer narratives. [Special Issue]. International Journal of Transgenderism, online ahead of print May 25, 2018. doi:10.1080/15532739.2018.1474516 

Spencer, K. (2017). Femininity. In K. Nadal (Ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender (pp. 546 - 548). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Spencer, K. (2017). Femme. In K. Nadal (Ed.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender (pp. 570 - 571). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Spencer K.G., Iantaffi, A., & Bockting, W. (2017). Treating sexual problems in transgender clients. In Z.D. Peterson (Ed.), The Wiley Handbook of Sex Therapy (pp. 291-305). Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Spencer, K. G., & Vencill, J. A. (2017). Body beyond: A pleasure-based, sex positive group therapy curriculum for transfeminine adults. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4(4), 392-402. doi:10.1037/sgd0000248

Gonzalez, C.A. & Spencer, K. (2015). Femininity. In P Whelehan & A. Bolin (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality (pp. 369 - 426). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781118896877.wbiehs150




Center for Sexual Health