M. Catherine Spooner, LCSW, RPT/S, CTS-C, has spent her entire professional career, since 1981, working with children, adolescents and their families. She has worked in a variety of capacities including therapeutic recreation with special needs children, teaching special education with children experiencing emotional and learning difficulties, residential mental health treatment programs, substance abuse treatment and outpatient psychotherapy. She was introduced to the therapeutic powers of play during her time in special education in the late 1980’s. As an outpatient psychotherapist, Catherine began specializing in the integration of play and expressive therapies into clinical practice. During this time she obtained her certification in play therapy and basic sand therapy. In 2005, she formed Phoenix Family Counseling & Play Therapy Center, PLLC, a private group psychotherapy practice that specializes in providing play and expressive therapy services to children and adolescents.
Her expertise includes children and adolescents experiencing trauma and attachment issues as well as depression, anxiety, grief & loss, behavior problems, court-involved youth, homeless populations, ADHD, foster care and adoption issues, parental separation, divorce and school issues. Her interest in traumatized children and adolescents led her to obtain her trauma certification through the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC). This trauma certification integrated the sensory aspect of trauma with a grounding in neurobiology using play and expressive therapies. In addition to providing psychotherapy services, Catherine is a seasoned speaker at national, state and local conferences and workshops. She conducts workshops using play therapy, for trauma and attachment issues and treatment and multicultural issues impacting children and adolescents.