Kristen Acciari

Kristen Acciari

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LICSW

Not accepting new clients; however, Brandi Hamlin and Amy Matos in her practice are accepting new clients



Teenagers (13 - 18)
Young adults / college students (18 - 24)

Specialties & expertise

  • Authentic living

  • Emotion regulation

  • Self-esteem and acceptance

  • Adolescent and young adult issues

  • Asperger's syndrome

  • Relationship issues

  • Anxiety

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Depression

  • Existential issues/challenges

  • Family issues

  • Life transitions

Professional statement

Kristen Acciari received her Masters of Social Work from Rhode Island College. She completed her graduate internship at The Groden Center, which is recognized internationally for its pioneering work with individuals with autism, and started her career there specializing in Asperger’s syndrome.

Kristen began her private practice in 2012 following her 5 years of experience at The Groden Center. Her treatment specialties include self-esteem and self-acceptance, authentic living, Asperger's syndrome, emotion regulation, and relationship issues. She offers individual and family therapy, with particular expertise in adolescent and young adult issues.

Kristen takes an eclectic approach to therapy, combining Existential Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, and Mindfulness Practices. A long-time practitioner of yoga, Kristen completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2014 to add another dimension to her therapeutic work. Kristen pulls from her experiences and training as appropriate to meet the client where he or she is, always with the relationship at the center of the work. 


Authentic living – Making choices from an internally, rather than externally, driven space; permission to be your most authentic self regardless of others' expectations; learning to listen to and trust intuitive and somatic (felt in the body) guidance
Asperger's syndrome – Psychoeducation around how the brain works, the positive gifts of having an Asperger's diagnosis, learning about famous people who had / have Asperger's syndrome and have contributed immensely to society; emotion regulation, particularly among children, teens, and young adults; family relationships and working as a family through any challenges; managing any care taking that is more than what the individual needs through self-advocacy, learning to ask for space to make one's own mistakes.
Adolescent & young adult issues – Addressing feelings of being "off-course" from the passions and interests that make each person so unique and are often such a critical component to a sense of personal fulfillment; especially during adolescence and young adulthood, which can be a time of exploration and self-discovery, with increased awareness around desires for personal fulfillment, happiness, sense of purpose, and direction
Emotion regulation – Addressing intense emotional experiences that can accompany a variety of life transitions and situations, and even vary based on neurological differences; managing when emotional experiences becomes overwhelming that it feels like the emotions, and not the person, are in control; practicing bringing the intensity of the experience to a more manageable level that allows the person to feel more in control through mindful movement, breath work, guided imagery, and relaxation techniques
Self-esteem and acceptance – Practicing presence with what is as a loving foundation for continued growth and personal development, allowing ourselves to be enough

General expertise

Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
Bipolar disorder – Using coping and preventive strategies to stabilize swings between elevated mood or irritability and depressive episodes
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
Existential challenges / crises – Questions around Self, purpose; finding one’s path and voice, especially when it differs from society's expectations
Family issues – Making sense of family disruptions, working on familial relationships
Life transitions –  Adjusting to college, new relationships, career transitions and direction; relationship and career challenges
Relationships issues – Romantic relationships, family relationships, and friendships


  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Brown University Student Insurance

  • Johnson & Wales University

  • Providence College

  • Tufts

  • United Health

  • RISD Student Insurance

  • URI / University of Rhode Island Student Insurance

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Initial intake session: $125/session (60min)

  • Psychotherapy sessions: $105/session (45min)

Sliding scale: A sliding scale of $65 - $105 is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy. 

Message to clients

"My guiding philosophy is that unconditional self-acceptance and authenticity are the keys to happiness and health. I see emotional discomfort as symptomatic of disconnection with your Self. Together we can work to hear and understand physical and emotional messages as manifestations of a profound and meaningful internal guidance system that is leading you to your own authenticity, happiness and fulfillment. Techniques used may include: talk therapy, experiential exercises, mindfulness practices, art, yoga, meditation, & breath work."

Treatment approaches

Existential Therapy Existential therapy is a therapy approach that both embraces human potential and recognizes human limitation. The breadth of existential theory falls into four major themes, which it sees as the root of most psychological problems: 1) Death, 2) Freedom (& Responsibility), 3) Isolation, and 4) Meaninglessness. (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)
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)
Breath work

Education and work experience

Private practice, 2012-Present
The Groden Center, Individual, family and group therapist in Asperger's Center, 2009-2012
The Groden Center, Graduate internship in Asperger's Center outpatient clinical services, 2008-2009
Perspectives Corporation, Residential facility direct care provider, 2005-2009

Salve Regina, CAGS, Holistic Studies
Rhode Island College, MSW, 2009
Bryant University, BS, Business Administration: Marketing, 2006



Client testimonials

Kristen is the sweetest, kind-hearted, open-minded, spiritually in-tune person I have ever met. I have worked with her for many years and through a very rough depression and she has helped me become a greater, stronger, more unforgivably me. She is incredibly heartfelt and has many tools and insights to help you to heal and care for yourself.
— 20-something y.o. striving to pave a new, happy life path (2016)
I recommend Kristen as a therapist because she’s direct and clear in her observations about you. She’s clear in her delivery and doesn’t dance around the obvious. I worked with her for just under a year where we explored a lot of different challenges that we discovered were self-inflicted. She help me to set boundaries, take care of myself first and not take everything so personally. Kristen directed me to literature that I consult on a weekly basis so I’m able to practice the things we did in therapy on my own. She’s a very real person, I could connect with her because we were close in age and had a lot of things in common. She didn’t impose practices on me, but rather suggested that I try them and see how it goes. She was caring but firm and would tell me exactly what I needed to hear and in a way so I would listen.
— Mid twenties wellness professional (2016)
I have been seeing Kristen for over a year. Kristen takes my progress personally, which means a lot. It is obvious that she takes her work very seriously. At the same time, she is very insightful and easy to talk to. I have seen a handful of therapists over the years, and she is by far my favorite!
— Special Education Teacher (2016)
I worked with Kristen throughout her internship and job placement at the Groden Center. Kristen is knowledgeable in many areas of the mental health field. Her commitment to client wellbeing is the main reason I refer clients to her. Kristen has the capability to combine researched based strategies while remaining true to the holistic approach. The ability to utilize yoga as a tool during therapy allows Kristen to connect to her clients in a way that most clinicians are unable to. Kristen is professional, honest and easy to work with.
— Rachel Reichert M.Ed.,BCBA, LBA (2016)
She agreed to see my daughter and has done a fabulous job considering our circumstances are difficult. She was up for that challenge and I am seeing improvements with her and her use of combining holistic and traditional therapies. She is extremely caring and in my opinion has gone above and beyond what I would’ve received for care elsewhere with a traditional only therapist.
— Single mother who walks dogs, bartended and does henna (2016)
Kristen encourages self-discovery, self-love and self-acceptance. She truly believes in the power of authenticity which made my experience unique because I learned to reflect on my experiences, and trust myself. I learned to look within but I needed therapy to learn this, and truly it has made every difference in my life.
— URI Alum' 2013 (2016)
Kristen is a therapist and a yoga instructor and has a beautiful yoga studio in her building. Her building offers other wellness practitioners and is a nice addition to the community.
— Marisa Etting, LCMHC, Private Practice (2016)
I supervised Kristen for one year while she was getting her master’s degree and continued to work with her for a year or so after that. Kristen is a wonderful therapist and is highly educated and trained.
— Melissa Coe, LICSW Clinician (2016)