Deborah  Sepinwall

Deborah Sepinwall

Psychologist, PhD

Deborah is out-of-office for the month of August but will be accepting clients with a short wait upon her return (updated August 03, 2020)

Offers Online Sessions

Specialties & Expertise

  • Hair pulling/trichotillomania
  • Skin picking/excoriation disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Social anxiety
  • Worry/Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Health anxiety
  • Procrastination
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Coronavirus anxiety

Professional statement

Dr. Sepinwall, a founding psychologist of Providence Psychology Services, received her PhD from the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Temple University in Philadelphia and her post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Sepinwall has been in private practice for 15 years. She is expertly trained in empirically validated therapies that include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She regularly attends professional seminars and conferences to remain current in and advance her areas of expertise.

Dr. Sepinwall treats anxiety disorders (including panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia); body focused repetitive behaviors (including hair pulling, nail biting, and skin picking); maladaptive coping behaviors (including compulsive overeating, compulsive spending); as well as perfectionism, relationship concerns, shame, self-esteem, and imposter syndrome. She has worked with hundreds of patients struggling with these conditions and brings their collective wisdom to the work. This helps the individual client to feel more understood and to learn from the strategies that others with similar struggles have found beneficial.

Dr. Sepinwall has specific expertise in treating anxiety related to health concerns. This area of expertise is no more relevant than with the current unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on mental health. If you are grappling with anxiety, uncertainty, worry, catastrophic thinking or related issues pertaining to the coronavirus, please reach out to Dr. Sepinwall for help.

Message to clients

The fundamental objective of therapy is to change the things that we do that get in the way of the things that we want to do and the kind of people that we want to be. In therapy, I introduce you to and help you develop the skills and tools that will allow you to live your life more fully and more authentically. You will grow your awareness of troublesome thinking patterns so that you can challenge and relate differently to your thoughts. You will become prepared to respond to your triggers with skillfulness so that you no longer engage in the same old behavior and encounter the same old feelings (regret, shame, anxiety, etc.) as a result. You will approach fear-based stimuli so as to become more comfortable in uncomfortable situations. You will learn how to make room for your uncomfortable emotions, urges, and physical anxiety symptoms rather than trying to get rid of them or resist them, which usually only makes them worse and makes your life smaller. You will learn how to manage conflict in important relationships while preserving (and if needed, identifying) your own boundaries. And, you will learn how to engage with yourself from a place of compassion and understanding instead of judgment and criticism. We will do all of this as partners sharing in curiosity and collaboration, as well as in a commitment to ease the pain that comes with being human and to live with greater ease.
I work with students at the college, graduate, and medical school levels as well as adults in the work force. My caseload is divided roughly equally between these two groups. These individuals struggle with any of the following conditions: (1) hair pulling, skin picking or a related body focused repetitive behavior; (2) OCD and other anxiety conditions such as health anxiety, panic, phobias, worry, and social anxiety; and (3) shame, self-criticism/self-judgment, self-doubt, imposter syndrome, procrastination, and perfectionism. In addition, interpersonal problems (romantic relationships, roommates, etc.), concerns or indecisiveness about the future (job, academic success), and family issues (struggling with an over-bearing parent, or with concerns about one’s children, or with one’s adequacy as a parent, and the like) often become part of the conversation and invite therapeutic intervention. My style is active and conversational. I assign homework as needed to help you gain practical, concrete and skill-based strategies that you can incorporate immediately to experience improvement.


Hair pulling/trichotillomania - Assists clients in overcoming trichotillomania

Skin picking/excoriation disorder - Assists clients in overcoming skin picking/excoriation disorder

Panic attacks - Addressing panic attacks from public speaking or general random episodes; learning ways to prepare for and prevent/reduce occurrences

Social anxiety - Works with clients with social anxiety

Worry/Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - Helps clients overcome excessive worry and anxiety

Health anxiety - Assists clients in dealing with anxiety pertaining to their health

Procrastination - Works with clients struggling with procrastination

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) - Reducing unwanted intrusive thoughts and rituals by gradually building comfort and confidence facing difficult fears, thoughts, and emotions

Coronavirus anxiety - Working with clients to manage and reduce anxiety related to health concerns, such as COVID-19


  • Adults (24+)
  • Young adults (18-24)


  • Brown University Student Health Insurance (United Healthcare)

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Ongoing sessions: $175 (45min)
  • Initial session: $200 (60min)


Remote video therapy sessions offered? Yes

Providence practice

Providence Psychology

245 Waterman Street

Suite 202

Providence, RI 02906


  • Mon Please inquire about hours
  • Tue Please inquire about hours
  • Wed Please inquire about hours
  • Thu Please inquire about hours
  • Fri Please inquire about hours
  • Sat Please inquire about hours
  • Sun Please inquire about hours

Work and Education

Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Postdoctoral fellowship

Temple University, Predoctoral internship

University of Vermont, PhD in Clinical Psychology

McGill University, BA, Psychology



Client testimonials

"Dr. Sepinwall is an extremely knowledgeable, dedicated, and caring psychologist and person. I came to her with a variety of issues while I was a student at Brown — I was going through many transitions and questioning a lot of things in my life. I was also struggling with OCD, depression and stress management. Dr. Sepinwall was great at helping me unravel and gain insight into the cognitive errors I was making and how these were impacting my decisions and behavior. She also helped motivate me to want to get better, which had been a challenge for me in the past."

- Brown University alum • February 2015

"I started seeing Dr. Sepinwall for skin picking and hair pulling compulsions, though having worked with her for 4 years our sessions evolved and became more focused on general anxiety and depression. Dr. Sepinwall is an incredibly skilled practitioner. She is passionate about her work and has a range of methods that she utilized for each stage of my development with her. She is a truly caring and empathetic person and her ability to connect and relate to me made continue working with her for years."

- Brown University alum • February 2015

"Dr. Sepinwall helped me identify which of my beliefs about myself were holding me back and reminded me when I was acting on those beliefs. She helped me reframe how I think about “good” and “bad” behavior, as well as “success.” She encouraged me to approach my daily life with more mindfulness."

- Brown University alum • February 2015