Licensed Mental Health Counselor, LMHC
Accepting new clients for daytime appointments
Teenagers (13 - 18)
Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Specialties & expertise
Rita Mercante is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Midtown East, Manhattan with expertise in mood and anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and borderline personality disorder (BPD). She works closely with her clients to help them develop sustainable coping skills, de-escalate distressing emotions, and become more mindful of the present moment. She is passionate about supporting clients as they manage the emotional impact of navigating major life transitions.
Rita is committed to empowering her clients to overcome self-doubt while cultivating compassion for themselves. Her approach is skills- and evidence-based, rooted in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Rita welcomes young adults, adults, and parents to her practice, where she is excited to help them explore their emotions and work toward practical goals. Her office is located two blocks from the Lexington Avenue 53rd Street subway station.
Anxiety – Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)
Depression – Providing support and promoting healing through hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life
Bipolar disorder – Developing coping and preventive strategies to stabilize extreme mood swings, including manic and depressive episodes; increasing effective strategies to regulate emotions and maintain a healthy daily routine
Personality disorders – Support reducing emotional suffering and addressing relationship challenges
Mindfulness – Bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment
Anger management – Addressing sudden outbursts of anger or sustained resentment; developing healthy anger expression and outlets
Compulsive behaviors – Coping with overwhelming urges and impulses, such as hair pulling or skin picking; developing alternative ways to reduce stress and alleviate suffering
Life transitions – Coping with difficult or impactful life changes, such as moving to a new area, relationship transitions, child rearing, or career changes; learning self-care to better manage resulting stress
Self harm – Building skills and supports to cope with emotional pain, suffering, and numbness; increasing positive meaningful life experiences
Self-esteem – Cultivating self-compassion, assertiveness, and confidence; developing ways to reduce suffering, anxiety, social withdrawal, and self-neglect
Trauma – Coping and healing after threatening or scary events, such as witnessing accidents or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse
Initial session: $150 (60min)
Ongoing sessions: $150/session (50min)
Sliding scale: A sliding scale of $95 - $150 is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.
Message to clients
"Coming in for therapy is giving yourself a priceless gift. Sitting in the presence of someone you can trust, in a safe, nonjudgmental environment can help to uncover many aspects of yourself that may be interfering with living your best life. Being able to share your deepest though and feelings will allow healing, recovery and growth."
Treatment approachesCognitive 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)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that often used to treat disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and particularly chronic borderline personality disorder. It teaches skills such as mindfulness, pain tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation. (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)
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)
Psychoanalytic TherapyPsychoanalytic therapy tends to look at experiences from early childhood to see if these events have affected the individual’s life, or potentially contributed to current concerns. This form of therapy is considered a long-term choice and can continue for weeks, months or even years depending on the depth of the concern being explored. Psychoanalytic therapy aims to make deep-seated changes in personality and emotional development. (learn more)
Education and work experience
Private Practice, 2010 - Present
Zucker Hillside Hospital-Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Department, Psychotherapist and DBT Therapist, 2001 - Present
Adelphi University Derner Institute of Advamced Psychological Studies, MA, Mental Health Counseling