Elaine M. Spencer

Elaine M. Spencer



About me

Welcome. With nearly 20 years’ experience as an Integrative Psychotherapist, and specializing in attachment needs (relationships), human development and trauma, I offer warmth and understanding for you to explore yourself and your relationships.

My approach to therapy is supported by my own personal development, which I have engaged in since my late teens. My passionate approach to my own development enables me to approach my work with integrity, flexibility and resilience.

Having studied extensively throughout my adult life in the human sciences, I offer an in-depth understanding of our developmental and relational needs. All my training in counselling and psychotherapy fall under the umbrella of Humanistic philosophy. As an Integrative Psychotherapist, I work using a developmental-relational approach that brings together Humanistic Psychology, child development and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (an approach based upon attachment theory for work with children and their caregivers). I have also specialized in trauma and its effects, and use the trauma therapeutic model where appropriate.

Working in this way enables an understanding of how past experiences shape how we are today, while also focusing on here and now experiencing. The relationship that I offer is key and I strive to provide a space for you that is warm and safe. As a trusting relationship develops between us, we can explore together issues that may previously have prevented you from finding more fulfilling ways of relating with yourself and others. I am available to you with no preconceptions, judgments or agenda. The foundation of my rationale in practice, incorporates the core conditions as a way of being – acceptance, empathy, positive regard and congruence.

The rationale for my work evolves from the understanding that we are all relational beings with attachment needs throughout life. Our development throughout childhood depends on our attachment needs being met. Patterns of relating to ourselves and others, are set in our formative years, but will evolve in healthy ways given the right environment and with new understandings.

I work with individuals, couples and children with their families/careivers.

The relationship between us during our work together is the foundation of the work that we do, and as such, it is vital that you feel comfortable with me before we begin. We begin with a mutual assessment session where you have an opportunity to see whether you feel that I am the right therapist for you, and I feel that I have something to offer. During this session, if we decide to do so, we make a contract that is based on your needs and what you want to achieve. We may contract for shorter or longer term work.

Individuals come to see me for a variety of reasons. Some people simply find that their lives are not going the way they want and need some time to take stock and review. Others are experiencing difficulties due to a recent event that is hard to process, or have historical events such as a loss, childhood trauma or sexual abuse.

People who have experienced sexual violence may find that the trauma has led to dissociation and/or PTSD, and the trauma model will safely set the pace of the process.

With couples and families, attachment theory will be at the heart of our work. We all have attachment needs throughout our lives, and difficulties in relationships are both understandable and resolvable in this light.

Children brought to see me by their caregivers, may have suffered some sort of separation, loss or another trauma. Alternatively, they may be experiencing unexplained anxiety or behavioural difficulty. Working with the family enables the caregivers to gain understandings and skills to help their child between sessions.

My aim is to promote self-awareness, an improved relationship with yourself, and with others. Self-awareness is developed through the opportunity of being with yourself during sessions, and sometimes I may provide developmental, emotional, physiological, trauma or attachment theory information to achieve this goal and/or to normalize experiences.

Training, qualifications & experience


Throughout my career, I have worked in private practice.

For more than 10 years I worked for Nottinghamshire post adoption social services team.

For over 5 years I worked for SV2 (formally rape crisis Derbyshire)

Also, for over 5 years, I have worked for Derwent Rural Counselling Service, providing IAPT short term counselling.


BA Hons Sociology

Postgraduate Diploma Humanistic Person-Centred Psychotherapy

Certificate Counselling issues with Young People

Dan Hughes – Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy – Levels 1, 2 & 3. Brain Bases Parenting: From Mistrust to Trust.

Theraplay – Levels Introductory & Intermediate, Theraplay in Adoption & Theraplay & Teens

Positive Outcomes for Dissociation – Trauma & The Body: Somatisation & Dissociation. Relational Trauma. Trauma, Dissociation & Recovery. Child Sexual Abuse: Hope for Healing. Trauma, Dissociation & Abuse Masterclass

Certificate Solution Focused Youth Counselling

Safeguarding training attended annually

I am a registered member of the BACP and adhere to their code of ethics and professional practice standards. I am fully insured and hold enhanced DBS certificate.

Member organisations


Accredited register membership


Individuals £50 per session

Couples & Families £55 per session

Maps & Directions

Tansley, DE4

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None

Types of client

Young people