Marie Donabella, PhD - Therapist in Providence, RI

Marie Donabella

Psychologist, PhD

Not accepting new clients; find available Providence therapists here



Young adults / college students (18 - 24)


Mon: Closed
Tue: Closed
Wed: 8:00am-3:00pm
Thu: 8:00am-3:00pm
Fri: 8:00am-3:00pm
Sat: 8:00am-3:00pm
Sun: Closed

Specialties & expertise

  • Performance anxiety

  • Athletic performance and injury

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • LGBTQ and gender identity issues

  • Transgender topics

  • Mind-body connection

  • Stress reduction

Professional statement

Dr. Donabella is a psychologist with Ph.Ds in Clinical Psychology and Medical Sciences. She has worked in her private practice since 2002 alongside her research on stress, anxiety, and health. In the past, she has published many articles and given many presentations exploring the mind-body connection, relating stress and health.

Dr. Donabella has expertise in athletic performance, anxiety, depression, and LGBTQ and sexuality related concerns. She also helps those recovering from athletic injury, teaches stress management, and coaches individuals with health and wellness concerns. She works with young adults, college students, and adults.

Dr. Donabella's approach is based on many therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, existential therapy, integrative therapy, mindfulness practices, and psychodynamic therapy. Her therapy is informed by her research and personal experience as an athlete. She also works with her 4 year old Goldendoodle, Clementine, who has passed the initial stages of training and testing for her official Therapy Dogs International certification. Clementine will take her final exam for this certification this upcoming summer!


Performance anxiety – Improving performance and mental toughness with techniques that increase confidence, focus and resilience in the face of adversity, pain, and challenge
Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
LGBTQ and gender identity issues – Includes coming out, relating to others, identifying and communicating needs, relationships, and family issues

General expertise

Transgender topics – Provides therapeutic support before, during, and after transition


  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Brown University Student Health Insurance

  • Consolidated Health

  • First Health

  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

  • Johnson & Wales University (United Health)

  • Providence College (United Health)

  • Tufts

  • United Health

  • RISD Student Insurance (United Health)

  • URI / University of Rhode Island Student Insurance (United Health)

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Initial session: $175/session

  • Continuing sessions: $100/session (45min)

Therapist's note: Dr. Donabella can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.

Message to clients

"I believe that therapy should create a safe and conducive environment for exploration and change, be affirming and empathic, facilitate learning and self-discovery, and provide feedback about unhealthy life patterns. My areas of expertise include: sports/athletic performance anxiety, recovery from athletic injury, general stress and anxiety management, life transitions, health and wellness. In addition to my clinical practice, I teach and perform research on stress, anxiety and health. I have published over 30 articles in the areas of high blood pressure, stress and women's health, and have given over 50 presentations about my research.

I am a triathlete and black belt in Tae Kwon Do, with an interest in Zen philosophy. Thus, balance, mindfulness, and focus are important aspects of how I view mental health.

My background gives me a unique perspective of the mind-body connection. I can help you learn ways to: improve athletic performance, lower your stress levels, feel less overwhelmed, make it through a difficult life transition, be healthy, and attain balance in your life."

Treatment approaches

Cognitive 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)
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)
Integrative Therapy
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

Private Practice, 2003 - Present
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Assistant Professor, 2003 - 2007
Syracuse University, Visiting Assistant Professor & Therapist, 2002 - 2003
SUNY Upstate Medical University, Psychology Intern, 2001 - 2002

Syracuse University, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, 2002
South Florida College of Medicine, Ph.D. in Medical Sciences, 1989



Professional endorsements

Marie is a highly skilled and experienced therapist with exceptionally developed relational skills allowing her to connect with her clients authentically and in the most genuine human way. In doing so, she creates a safe space for her clients to be able to do their healing work. She has long been a preferred referral source for me. Client feedback is consistent. Clients find her very effective, kind, and practical in her clinical approach.
— Thomas Fronczak (2017)
Marie is highly educated and is a seasoned clinician who is very effective in supporting clients in treatment. I highly recommend her for individual therapy.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Sports/athletic endeavors, trauma, depression, anxiety, transgender topics
— Cecilia Dietzler, LICSW (2017)