Spencer Nineberg, LICSW

Spencer Nineberg

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LICSW

Not accepting new clients; find other Cambridge therapists here



Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Seniors (65+)

Specialties & expertise

  • Trauma
  • Shame
  • Identity development
  • Spiritual issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment issues
  • Loss and grief
  • Relationships

Professional statement

Spencer Nineberg is a therapist in Cambridge, Massachusetts specializing in trauma, depression, anxiety, identity development, spirituality, and relationship issues. As of May 2017, she is the President of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation. Spencer is certified in Internal Family Systems and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), a powerful therapy modality for recovery from trauma.

Since founding her own practice in 1984, Spencer has dedicated herself to keeping up with the advances in evidence-based psychotherapies, especially those in the realm of trauma recovery. She combines mindfulness practices, psychodynamic therapy, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), IFS, and EMDR in her work with clients.

Spencer enjoys the emotional and intellectual challenge of her work, and is constantly evolving her approach to fit her clients' needs. She received her MSW from Smith College and worked at Massachusetts General Hospital prior to starting private practice.


Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
Identity development – Including within the unique context of one's race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, and cultural background; resolving trauma and internalized oppression related to stigma
Relationships –  Feeling unsatisfied in your partnership; communication challenges; addressing issues of power and voice; contemplation of separation; questioning one’s place in the relationship; breakups, friendships, dating
Trauma – Including dealing with past sexual assault, childhood trauma, environmental trauma (e.g. witnessing/experiencing violence), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Offers Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), a powerful therapy modality for recovery from trauma.

General expertise

Anxiety – Generalized anxiety
Attachment issues
Loss and grief – Processing the loss of a loved one, any form of grief; processing he emotional aspects of personal illness or the illness of a loved one
Spiritual Issues


Spencer is not in-network with any insurances.

Read about the benefits of seeing an out-of-network provider here.

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions: $160/session

Sliding scale: A sliding scale is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.

Therapist's note: Many PPO and POS insurance plans have "out of network benefits" that cover some of the cost. Please check with your insurance company. I can provide the paperwork necessary for reimbursement.

Message to clients

"Using a warm, interactive and practical style, I have helped many people to find solutions and healing. I work to empower clients to find their own authentic voice and internal resources in a safe, nonjudgemental setting. Drawing upon over 25 years of experience and extensive training in a number of therapy models and upon a 30 year mindfulness practice, I work collaboratively with each person to meet their needs."

Treatment approaches

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)AEDP is a psychotherapeutic approach based on the idea that deep, viscerally felt affective experiences have the inherent capacity to rapidly and comprehensively transform people. Facilitated through a relationship with an actively engaged, emotionally attuned, empathic, affirming therapist, the patient is guided to process emotions deemed too overwhelming to face. Experientially processing these previously avoided emotions activates innate self-righting mechanisms, adaptive action tendencies and other resources that support psychological well-being and optimal functioning. (learn more)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)EMDR is a form of trauma treatment that helps process distressing memories and restore the brain's natural healing abilities, reducing the memories' lasting effects and allowing the person to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. (learn more)
Internal Family SystemsIFS is a type of therapy that views the mind as a combination of relatively discrete subpersonalities each with its own viewpoint and qualities that interact with one another. IFS aims to understand how these collections of subpersonalities are organized and promote harmony among them. (learn more)
Mindfulness PracticesMindfulness practices include but are not limited to developing awareness, attention, and remembering. In mindfulness-informed therapy, clients develop tools to become aware of what is occurring within and around them, so they can begin to untangle from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions. Self-acceptance and compassion are also core elements of mindfulness-informed therapy. (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

New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, President, 2016 - Present
Private Practice, 1984 - Present
Rhode Island Group Health Association
Massachusetts General Hospital

Smith College, MSW
Cambridge University, Diploma in Criminology
University of York, BA



Professional endorsements

I have come to deeply appreciate and respect Spencer’s clinical skill and have no doubt that she is, indeed, a responsible and qualified practitioner. I regularly recommend her and directly refer clients to her, always with great confidence that they will receive excellent care. Spencer reliably demonstrates a high level of professionalism, clinical sophistication, and commitment. She integrates multiple clinical models into her work and adheres to the highest moral and ethical standards.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Trauma, anxiety, depression, dissociation
— Deborah L. Korn, Psy.D. (2017)
Spencer is an attuned, compassionate, and skillful therapist with advanced training in multiple models of psychotherapy. She has a deep commitment to helping patients to alleviate their suffering and, just as importantly, successfully access their best and most resilient selves.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for?
I would feel confident referring patients with a broad range of psychological issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, social isolation, relational issues, etc.
— Benjamin Lipton, LCSW, Faculty member of the AEDP Institute (2017)
A lifelong learner, Spencer Nineberg is an insightful clinician who has pursued on-going training throughout her career. She draws her clinical formulations from an integration of many schools of thought and has a deep understanding of her clients. She is adept at developing an effective therapeutic relationship and moving the therapy forward toward established goals.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for?
Trauma, anxiety, depression, complex grief, personality disorders and attachment wounds
— Nancy Sowell, LICSW, IFS trainer (2017)