Find the Best OCD Therapists in Rhode Island

OCD Therapists in Providence | OCD Psychiatrists in Providence | OCD Therapists in Lincoln & East Greenwich | OCD diagnosis & treatment | OCD resources and treatment centers in Rhode Island

The following therapists and psychiatrists are some of the best OCD therapists in Rhode Island. They specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and have practices in Providence, Lincoln, and East Greenwich. OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by repetitive, unwelcome thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors that someone does to mitigate their anxiety (compulsions). The main treatment for OCD is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). In ERP, the client confronts the things things that make them anxious in a stepwise procedure with a therapist and chooses to not perform the often related compulsions until their anxiety decreases. In Rhode Island, it is possible to find therapists with extensive training in ERP who are in-network with health insurances such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Tufts, United Health, Harvard Pilgrim, Medicare, and Neighborhood Health; however, most psychiatrists do not accept insurance and typically charge fees over $300 per session. Psychiatric nurse practitioners may be able to provide medication management as an adjunct to therapy, and they tend to accept health insurances and offer lower fees than psychiatrists. Therapy sessions for OCD are usually 45 minutes - 1 hour long. Most therapists with deep expertise and training in Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD have offices in Providence. While many therapists only see adults over the age of 18, some also offer therapy services for children, adolescents, and young adults. Find obsessive compulsive disorder therapists below, as well as local resources for OCD treatment in Rhode Island.

Michael O'Mara, LMHC

Michael is a counselor in Providence, RI specializing in the treatment of anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), trauma, and life stressors. 

Michael uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness practices. CBT and ERP are particularly effective for anxiety disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder. EMDR is effective for treating trauma as well as other issues such as phobias. Motivational Interviewing helps people make healthy decisions in their lives in a way that helps them find the answers that they already have within themselves.

Elizabeth Didie, PhD

Dr. Elizabeth Didie is a psychologist in private practice in Providence, RI. Her College Hill office is centrally located to local universities, and she works with many members of the Brown and RISD communities.

Dr. Didie's practice focuses on evidence-based treatment for body dysmorphic disorder, eating disorders including bulimia and binge eating disorder, OCD, and other anxiety disorders. She also enjoys working with student athletes, and has a deep appreciation for the challenge of performing under intense mental and physical pressures. Dr. Didie's treatment orientation is rooted in skills-based modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, in order to provide her clients longterm relief from preoccupying negative thoughts and behaviors in a short course of treatment.

Aleta Johnson, LICSW

Aleta Johnson is Licensed Clinical Social Worker with offices in Providence and Barrington, Rhode Island. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, cultural and identity struggles, academic concerns, post-traumatic-stress-disorder, and relationship issues. Her areas of particular clinical interest are racial and ethnic experience and identity as it impacts mental health, and she enjoys working with individuals of color, including Asians and Asian Americans. Aleta has over 30 years of experience, 25 of which were in college mental health at Brown University's Counseling and Psychological Services.

Joseph Trunzo, PhD

Dr. Trunzo, founder of Providence Psychology Services, received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. He completed his predoctoral internship at the University of Vermont and his postdoctoral fellowship at Brown Medical School.

He has been in private practice since 2002 and has worked in the mental health field since 1989. His clinical and research interests include anxiety and mood disorders (especially OCD, panic, and bipolar disorders), stress management, coping with chronic and acute illness, and health behavior change.

Greta Mittner, LICSW

Greta Mittner is a therapist in Providence, RI with expertise in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, and behavioral disorders. She has particular expertise working with clients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and enjoys helping people navigate major life changes, both expected and unexpected. She treats children, adolescents, and adults. Greta primarily incorporates a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and mindfulness practices, in addition to other approaches.

Deborah Sepinwall, PhD

Dr. Sepinwall, a founding member of Providence Psychology Services, received her PhD from the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. She completed her predoctoral internship at Temple University and her postdoctoral fellowship at Brown Medical School. 

Dr. Sepinwall uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help people get unstuck from unhelpful ways of responding to troubling thoughts and emotions so they can move towards full and meaningful lives. She specifically treats anxiety disorders (including panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, specific phobias, and social phobia), impulse control problems (including hair pulling, nail biting, and skin picking), compulsive overeating, and compulsive spending.

Suzana Gertrudes, LICSW

Suzana Gertrudes has 15 years of experience in social work, and has been in private practice for 9 years. She has extensive experience working with various communities, including at Spanish-speaking, adolescent, and women's centers. She received her bachelor's degree in social work from Providence College, and her masters in social work from Boston College. She has also studied at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.

Rebecca Zisserson, PhD

Dr. Zisserson received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Boston University. She works with individuals with a wide range of concerns, including panic and anxiety, depression, trauma, and substance abuse.

She provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment where clients can gain self-awareness, express their emotions, and learn to identify and change behaviors that interfere with their lives.

Ivy Marwil, LICSW

Ivy received her Masters of Social Work from Michigan State University. She has been in private practice for 30 years, and has previously been an instructor for Brown University's PLME program and a consultant at multiple educational, family, and adoption services. 

Ivy sees clients of ages 15 and older, including teenagers, families, and couples. She has particular expertise in adoption-related topics, ADHD, anxiety,  Asperger syndrome, eating disorders, grief and loss of family and friends, marriage counseling, parenting-related challenges, and sexual orientation.

Aliza Krieger, PhD

Dr. Krieger graduated with a PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of Rhode Island and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Bedford VA Hospital in Psychosocial Rehabilitation.

She has experience working with people who are managing chronic and acute illness, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, anxiety, and/or struggle with interpersonal effectiveness. Dr. Krieger enjoys working with adults who want to improve their everyday life skills and get along well with family, friends and business associates.

Michael Robbins, PhD

Dr. Michael Robbins is a psychologist in private practice in Providence, RI with over 15 years of experience. He is psychodynamically trained, and uses a flexible combination of psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and supportive therapy to meet clients where they are and define therapeutic goals together.

Dr. Robbins works with clients age 16 and up, including individuals, families, and couples. With his office conveniently located on College Hill, he sees many college students and professors from neighboring universities. Dr. Robbins trained in community centers in New York City and San Francisco, where he gained experience working with people from all different backgrounds, and he particularly enjoys seeing international students and people in the LGBTQ community. Dr. Robbins has expertise in depression, anxiety disorders including OCD, and parenting issues.

Todd Schmenk, LMHC

Todd Schmenk is a mental health counselor specializing in the treatment of anxiety-related issues. His focus areas include general anxiety, panic attacks, chronic health conditions, couples counseling, and performance anxiety.

Todd's approach is integrally informed, pulling from a variety of tools including Applied Behavioral Analysis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy, supported by a strong focus in neuroscience, mindfulness and active lifestyle modification plans.

Mike Slavit, PhD

Dr. Slavit has had over 30 years of experience in the field of psychology. He has expertise in motivational issues, ADHD, relationship issues, grief, and weight management, and has authored numerous books on these topics. 

Dr. Slavit is has a Board Certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a certification that demonstrates high qualifications in cognitive and behavioral psychology. In addition to CBT, he incorporates Positive Psychology and Phenomenological approaches to help clients change behavior and thought patterns and manage difficult situations through constructive tools.

Deirdre Murphy, LICSW

Deirdre Murphy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the North Kingstown location of the group practice RICBT. In her practice, Deirdre draws from her unique background as a certified yoga teacher and experiences in a variety of outpatient settings working with diverse clientele, including teen moms, low-income youth, and international athletes.

Deirdre has expertise in ADHD, anger management, parenting, and self-harm, as well as anxiety disorders, depression, trauma, family issues, and loss and grief. Deirdre offers individual, couples, and family sessions.

Deirdre combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with mindfulness based approaches to help her clients heal holistically. She strives to help clients embrace their flaws and live life more fully, bringing compassion and a sense of humor to her work.

Jane Hesser, LICSW, MFA

Jane Hesser is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Providence, RI who provides specialized mental and emotional care to women ages 18 and up. She has particular expertise in prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety, including OCD, adjustment to motherhood, and artists' mental health. She enjoys working with women who are trying to conceive, adopt, or transition to motherhood as well as those who are navigating other challenges in their lives. Jane also enjoys seeing artists and creative professionals. She holds an MFA in Photography from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and taught art at both RISD and Brown, bringing a deep understanding of the unique pressures and forces at play for artists.

Jane appreciates the complexity of women's lives at all stages and takes an honest, holistic approach to therapy. She has devoted her career to supporting women's emotional health, and wishes to learn and share her experience as much as possible in both her teaching and clinical practice.

Ros Johnson, LICSW

Ros Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the greater Providence area with over 40 years of experience in family service, mental health, and private settings. She primarily works with young adults and college students, adults, couples, and seniors, and, as an out lesbian therapist, has always shown particular interest in the concerns of the LBTQIA+ community. 

Ros uses psychodynamic, support, solution-focused, and process-oriented approaches in her practice, and most often works with clients struggling with anxiety, depression, LGBTQIA+ and gender identity issues, loss and grief, and trauma. She also has experience with ADHD, anger management issues, couples counseling, creative blocks, dissociative disorders, binge eating disorder, OCD, and sexual abuse and assault. 


Stephanie Hartselle, MD

Dr. Stephanie Hartselle is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist and the CEO of Hartselle & Associates. She received her MD from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and completed her adult psychiatry training at New York University/ Bellevue Hospitals and her child psychiatry fellowship at Brown University where she served as chief resident. Previously, she directed the emergency psychiatry program at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Dr. Hartselle has particularly deep expertise in sleep-related issues, including the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders, and management of complex, chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses. She also has expertise in anxiety, OCD, panic, mood disorders, depression, ADHD, and psychopharmacological management.

Paul Christopher, MD

Dr. Christopher is a Brown University-trained, board-certified psychiatrist. He provides individually tailored psychotherapy and medication management to adults over eighteen. He specializes in treating job and academic stress, men's issues, life transitions, and relationship concerns. He offers clients the option of seeing him for both psychotherapy or medication management, or for one or the other only.

Laura Whiteley, MD

Dr. Laura Whiteley is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist and faculty member at Brown University's Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. She teaches psychiatry residents and trainees as the Associate Director of the General Psychiatry Training Program at Brown. She is also an National Institute of Health funded researcher.

Dr. Whiteley specializes in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, attentional issues, and college and work issues. She has particular expertise in adolescent and young adult mood disorders.


Sarah Xavier, MD

Dr. Sarah Xavier has been a physician for over 15 years, with advanced training in Adult, Child & Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry from Yale University. She has offices in both East Greenwich and Lincoln, RI. Her depth and breadth of training and positions have allowed Dr. Xavier to develop a uniquely rich perspective and an extensive treatment toolkit that she brings into her private practice. She offers the option of providing both medication management and psychotherapy together, or medication alone, in concert with a separate therapist.

Dr. Xavier recognizes that medication is not for everyone, and therefore she offers long sessions with the goal of knowing the client well. Dr. Xavier skillfully treats clients who are in crisis, professionals and executives who are functioning well and wish to further their personal and career goals, adults and adolescents experiencing major losses and difficult life transitions, as well as young children.

Dr. Xavier maintains a focus on ethics and evidence-based treatments while providing compassionate care. She places a high value on helping her clients become educated collaborators in the process of treatment. She develops carefully crafted treatment plans that are tailored to one's specific needs, fears, abilities, and motivation level.


What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by repetitive, unwelcome thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors that someone does to mitigate their anxiety (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions can cause distress and interfere with daily routine, work, social life, or general well-being. OCD typically involves both obsessions and compulsions, but it is also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions. The DSM-5 defines OCD as the presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both. Seeking treatment for OCD can help reduce unwanted thoughts and rituals by gradually building comfort and confidence facing difficult fears, thoughts, and emotions. 

What are symptoms of OCD?

OCD obsession symptoms may include repeated and unwanted thoughts or urges that interrupt and interfere with daily activities. These obsessions can cause anxiety and can be difficult to ignore. OCD compulsion symptoms may include consistent behaviors that are performed in order to reduce anxiety, get rid of obsessions and/or prevent something bad from happening. At times, the compulsions may only offer a temporary relief from anxiety.

What are some causes of OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder can occur at any age. There is no definite cause for OCD, however, genetics, biology, and the environment can all play a role. The brain may function differently or have changes in its natural chemistry. Having family members who have OCD can increase the risk of someone developing OCD. And experiencing trauma or stress can also lead to obsessions and/or compulsions.

Read more about OCD diagnosis >>

What are treatment options for obsessive compulsive disorder?

The main treatment for OCD is exposure and response prevention (ERP), a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In ERP, the client confronts the things things that make them anxious in a stepwise procedure with a therapist and chooses to not perform the often related compulsions until their anxiety decreases.

Read more about treatment options for OCD >>


How much does therapy for OCD cost in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, it is possible to find therapists with extensive training in ERP who are in-network with health insurances such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Tufts, Unite Health, Harvard Pilgrim, Medicare, and Neighborhood Health; however, most psychiatrists do not accept insurance and typically charge fees over $300 per session. Psychiatric nurse practitioners may be able to provide medication management for obsessive compulsive disorder as an adjunct to therapy, and they tend to accept health insurances and offer lower fees than psychiatrists.

Therapy sessions for OCD are usually 45min - 1h long. While many therapists only see adults over the age of 18, some also offer therapy services for children, adolescents, and young adults. Most therapists with deep expertise and training in Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD have offices in Providence.

Learn how to use out-of-network benefits >>

Learn why you may want to see an out-of-network therapist >>

Read more about OCD diagnosis, treatment, and what to look for in a therapist >>

What OCD treatment centers and research studies are available in Rhode Island?

Most specialized programs for OCD treatment and hospitals in Rhode Island are located in Providence.

Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC): Bradley Hospital’s Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) offers an Intensive Program for OCD for children and adolescents ages 5 to 18 who are experiencing changes in their daily activities due to OCD or obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders. The Intensive Program for OCD accepts major insurance plans, and will work with clients to determine the best services that is covered by their child’s health insurance plan. Treatments typically last for 8 weeks and can include either full-day programs, where sessions take place every day, Monday through Friday, or half-day programs, which take place 2 days a week. The treatment of choice is exposure and response prevention (ERP), as it strengthens one’s ability to manage anxiety by gradually facing obsessive fears, and reducing repetitive compulsions of OCD. The OCD treatment at PARC is multidisciplinary, and includes, individual therapy, psychiatric care, milieu therapy, and family therapy, so parents and family members can be involved in the child’s treatment plan. At PARC, cutting-edge research is constantly being conducted, and they offer patients the opportunity to enroll in their studies in order to help advance future knowledge and treatment of OCD.

Butler Hospital: At Butler Hospital, a variety of settings are provided for OCD treatment, including hospital, partial hospital, and outpatient clinics. One setting is the OCD Outpatient Clinic at Butler Hospital includes a specialized therapists and psychiatrists who provide a range of services, such as consultations, diagnostic evaluations, second-opinion consultations, evidence-based medication treatment, and referrals to a network of cognitive behavioral therapists. Butler Hospital also has an Intensive OCD and Anxiety Outpatient program for those who have not found symptomatic relief through medication and outpatient treatment. A provider referral form must be completed by a mental health treatment provider, and clients are encouraged to call their health insurance company to inquire about their intensive outpatient program benefits. Intensive OCD and Anxiety Outpatient programs include individual therapy that meet twice a week, daily group therapy, home-based consultations, and expert psychiatric medication consultations. Programs typically run for six weeks, and are on Mondays through Thursdays, from 3:00-6:00PM. Treatment strategies include exposure and response prevention (ERP). At Butler Hospital, there is also a team of researchers who focus on different studies of OCD treatments so that new treatment and strategies can become available for their clients.

Women And Infants Hospital Day Program: Other resources in Rhode Island include The Day Program at Women and Infants Hospital for new moms with postpartum OCD. While postpartum OCD is not as commonly spoken about than postpartum depression, both are serious conditions that can affect new mothers. New mothers may experience obsessive or intrusive thoughts about the safety of their new infant. Read more about postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder among new mothers https://iocdf.org/expert-opinions/postpartum-ocd/

What OCD group therapy resources are available in Rhode Island?

Group therapy sessions and support groups can be another great resource for those with OCD. Butler Hospital offers a support group for those with OCD that meets the first Wednesday of every month from 7:00 - 8:00pm. 

What local OCD advocacy initiatives are available? 

In addition to local treatment and support centers, there are also resources for OCD nearby in Boston, which is easily accessible and only an hour drive or train ride away. The Greater Boston Area joins together for their annual 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk located at Jamaica Pond, that raises money to help support the International OCD Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that helps support those with OCD across the globe, and is another resource for finding events and OCD treatment centers in different areas of the world.