Clinical Assistant Professor
Areas of Expertise: Trauma, human-animal bond, health equity
Katherine Compitus is a Clinical Assistant Professor at NYU Silver School of Social Work. She is a Colombian-American doctor of clinical social work, licensed bilingual clinical social worker, and biopsychologist. Her research focuses on trauma studies, specifically within the human-animal bond, with a focus on the disproportionate systemic oppression of people of color. This includes an examination of multiple aspects of society, including social policy, mental health services, crisis intervention and the social determinants of health. Dr. Compitus is the author of the Zooeyia blog on PsychologyToday.com where she discusses crisis intervention in the human-animal bond and she is the author of The Human-Animal Bond and Clinical Social Work Practice (Springer, 2021).
Dr. Compitus has worked extensively in clinical social work and is passionate about promoting health equity for people of color. She worked for several years in the psychiatric emergency room of Garnet Hospital, has provided bilingual family therapy in a school setting through Andrus, and was a social work manager at Montefiore Medical Group in the Bronx, where she co-managed 60 social workers at 23 sites. She is trained in multiple modalities including Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, CBT and DBT and is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Certified Family Trauma Therapist. Dr. Compitus is the founder and chairman of Surrey Hills Sanctuary, a non-profit organization providing veterinary social work services in New York State. Her work with animals includes providing animal-assisted therapy to adolescent and adult trauma survivors, as well as fundraising for people with pets who are in crisis. She also designed the curriculum and currently teaches NYU Silver’s Human-Animal Bond course, which includes a thorough examination of the dehumanization of people of color by oppressive institutions.
Dr. Compitus earned both her DSW and MSW from New York University. She also holds an MSEd and an MA in Biopsychology. Dr. Compitus has been an educator, working with children and families in the NYC area, for over 20 years. She previously taught elementary and early childhood education courses at CUNY BMCC and was an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University and Fordham University.
The Process of Integrating Animal-Assisted Therapy into Clinical Social Work Practice
Compitus, K., Mar 2021, In : Clinical Social Work Journal. 49, 1.
The Human-Animal Bond in Clinical Social Work Practice
Compitus, K., 2021. New York: Springer 112 p.
The Importance of Pets During a Global Pandemic: See Spot Play
Compitus, K., 2021, Shared Trauma, Shared Resilience During a Pandemic: Social Work in the Time of COVID-19. Tosone, Carol (ed.).New York: Springer, p. 213 218 p.
Traumatic pet loss and the integration of attachment-based animal assisted therapy
Compitus, K., Jun 2019, In : Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. 29, 2, p. 119-131 13 p.