Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Specialties & expertise
College mental health
Graduate medical education
Dr. Emily Spurrell is a seasoned psychologist in Providence, Rhode Island with deep expertise in eating disorders, college mental health, infertility, transition to parenthood, and physician mental health. Dr. Spurrell sees many members of the Brown University community, including undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Spurrell utilizes an eclectic approach, drawing upon her over 20 years of experience in private practice to tailor her style to each individual's needs. She incorporates both skill-based modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and insight-oriented approaches such as psychodynamic therapy. Dr. Spurrell values a team-based approach and works collaboratively with each client’s healthcare team to ensure progress and overall well-being.
Dr. Spurrell received her BA from Brown University, her PhD from Yale University, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess through Harvard Medical School. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Spurrell is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior through Brown University's Alpert Medical School and a Consulting Psychologist to the OB/GYN Residency Program at Women & Infants' Hospital. She is dedicated to the mental wellness of health professionals and runs support groups for medical school student and residents.
Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
Couples counseling – Improving communication and problem solving skills with couples from all gender and sexual identities
Eating disorders – Including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, purging, calorie counting, body image concerns
Infertility counseling – Experience working with infertility, pregnancy loss, perinatal psychology (mental health issues while pregnant), and peripartum / postpartum depression
Parenting – Helping parents with their own issues within the context of supporting children
Academic issues – Adjusting to college; managing developmental and emotional challenges in school; balancing schoolwork and personal life
Adoption and foster care – Sees clients across the stages of adoption, including pre-adoption and years after adoption; supporting parents going through through the child welfare system or international adoption agencies; working with children who are in foster care or who are preparing to be adopted
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
Existential challenges / crises – Questioning purpose, spirituality, existence; finding one’s path and voice, especially when it differs from society's expectations
Brown University Student Insurance
Ongoing sessions: $220/session (50 min)
Sliding scale: A sliding scale is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.
Therapist's note: Dr. Spurrell can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.
Message to clients
"I view therapy as a collaborative process. Much like an editor for a writer, a coach for an athlete, or a director for an actor, I respect that you bring your knowledge of yourself and I bring knowledge from years of listening and assisting others. I aim to create a private and safe place to sort through dilemmas, struggles, challenging feelings and experiences."
Treatment approachesCognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)In cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a therapist in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. (learn more)
Family SystemsFamily systems theory views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. Family system therapy may be used to address conflict stemming from the family unit by working on a client's ability to maintain individuality while maintaining emotional contact with the group. (learn more)
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the genesis and maintenance of psychological distress. The targets of IPT are symptom resolution, improved interpersonal functioning, and increased social support. (learn more)
Psychodynamic TherapyThe aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness - helping individuals unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, and that the defenses we develop to ensure these difficult memories do not surface from our unconscious often do more harm than good. (learn more)
Education and work experience
Private Practice, 1997 - Present
Brown University, Warren Alpert Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Assistant Clinical Professor, 1999 - Present
Brown University, Warren Alpert Medical School, Women & Infants' Hospital, OB/GYN Residency Program, Consulting Psychologist, 2001 - Present
Women & Infants' Hospital, Fellowship in Mental Health, Faculty
Women & Infants' Hospital, GYN Oncology Fellowship Program, Clinical Educator, 2017 - Present
Women & Infants' Hospital, Division of Reproduction and Infertility, Staff Psychologist, 2001 - 2015
Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, Assistant Clinical Director, 1993 - 1995
Butler Hospital, Eating Disorders Therapist and Research Psychologist, 1997 - 2000
Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1995 - 1997
Yale University, PhD, 1996
Yale University, M. Phil, 1993
Yale University, MA, 1992
Brown University, BA, 1988