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Katherine Arenella

Katherine Arenella

Dr. Arenella received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Charlie Norwood VA and Medical College of Georgia where she worked with military sexual trauma, eating disorders, and as part of the comprehensive DBT team. She then completed her postdoctoral fellowship as the Michael Metz Fellow in Couples' Sexual Health at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School. There, she worked with transgender and gender diverse adults and their families, individuals and couples experiencing sexual concerns and questions, and clients struggling with compulsive sexual behavior. She also taught within the College of Continuing and Professional Studies' Human Sexuality Certificate, and provided instruction to medical students and residents at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Arenella's research and clinical interests include sexual and gender health, LGBTQ affirming practice, gynecologic cancer, and women's health and aging. She has published in International Psychogeriatrics, the Journal of Women and Aging, and The Gerontologist, and she has presented at conferences such as the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Annual Conference. She is experienced in a number of empirically supported therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Written Exposure Therapy (WET), and Sensate Focus. Her interests also include providing sexuality and gender training to healthcare providers. 

Professional Interests
  • Sexual and gender health
  • Couple and relationship issues
  • Women's health and aging
  • Intergenerational caregiving
  • Gynecologic cancer and sexual effects
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders.
Education and Certifications
  • Licensed Psychologist, MN LP6768
  • Ph.D. University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • M.A. University of Missouri, St. Louis
  • B.A. Scripps College
Scholarship and Contributions to the Field
  • Arenella, K., & Steffen, A. (2021). "Women’s sexual satisfaction in the context of midlife relationships: Examining an ecological model." Journal of Women & Aging. doi: 10.1080/08952841.2021.1967070
  • Arenella, K., & Steffen, A. (2019). "Self-reassurance and self-efficacy for controlling upsetting thoughts predict depression, anxiety and perceived stress in help-seeking family caregivers." International Psychogeriatrics. doi:10.1017/S1041610219000565 
  • Steffen, A., Gallagher-Thompson, D., Arenella, K., Au, A., Cheng, S., Crespo, M., … Losada, A. (2018). "Validating the Revised Scale for Caregiving Self-Efficacy: A cross-national review." The Gerontologist. doi: 10.1093/geront/gny004
  • Coffey, A., Leahy-Warren, P., Savage, E., Hegarty, J., Cornally, N., Day, M.R., …Arenella, K. (2015). "A systematic literature review on tackling delayed discharges in acute hospitals inclusive of hospital (re)admission avoidance." HSE, Ireland.