Ellen  Santaniello

Ellen Santaniello


Licensed Mental Health Counselor, LMHC Specialties Insurance & Fees Locations
Rhode Island Waitlist Online
Updated June 15, 2022

Specialties & Expertise

  • Relationships
  • Life transitions
  • Sexuality
  • Spirituality & religion
  • Women's issues
  • Eating disorders & disordered eating

Professional statement

Ellen Santaniello is an Internal Family Systems therapist with training in somatic therapies, expanded awareness practices, tantra, Shamanic healing, and biomedicine, particularly gut health and nutrition. Poised between scientific method and ancient healing practices, and enriched by an unconventional life path, her work with clients offers new possibilities for health and healing and a psychotherapy experience that's unusually broad.

Ellen can help adults and young adults find clarity, direction and meaning in the challenges and opportunities unique to each life phase, including transitions into or out of college or careers, starting a family, beginning or ending a relationship, transitions of sexual orientation or gender identity, loss of a loved one, illness or injury, or end of life concerns. She can guide you to turn towards challenging experiences such as anxiety, depression, destructive or self harming behaviors, current and past issues in your family, trauma (including intergenerational trauma), internal conflict, and relationship struggles with the compassion and courage needed to heal and transform these experiences. In addition to her work as a psychotherapist, Ellen has been a singer, musician, and vocal coach for over 30 years, and can offer her experience as a performing artist and music creator to fellow artists around the challenges unique to the creative process.

Ellen values and strives to create an environment that is safe, body- and sex-positive, and welcoming for those of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and relationship styles.

Ellen is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has been practicing in the Providence area since 2010.

Message to clients

I believe the decision to start working with a therapist is really brave. The initial move might be fueled by a hint, or more, of desperation, but at the heart of it, I see profound bravery. And desire. A beautiful longing for more, for better, for the things that deep inside we suspect (and hope, if we dare) might actually be possible for us. Often people assume the work is going to be nothing but painful, which is a good reason to avoid it, so one of the things I want to offer is that it can also be ---- fun. You and I will do a lot of laughing together, a lot of creative exploration and productive dreaming. Yes, we will visit tender places inside, and some wounds, or maybe a lot of wounds, and these tender places will finally experience the care they've needed and longed for. And you won't have to do it alone. Not anymore. Instead, you'll be known and welcomed and loved for exactly who you are, and you'll get to know yourself, and maybe even have the experience of feeling loved by yourself. So please know -- all aspects of your being will be held in our work, not just the pain and confusion and anger, but also your immense aliveness and the joy and creativity that arise from it. Therapy, when its right, is a way to become more alive. That is my invitation to you.


Relationships - Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating

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

Sexuality - Exploring topics of sexuality, gender, and identity; coping with discrimination and oppression; navigating relationship, family, and cultural challenges

Spirituality & religion - Exploring beliefs and practices related to meaning, existence, and spiritual health and healing; enjoying a deeper felt connection with the spiritual dimension of one's life

Women's issues - Therapy tailored to common concerns among women; providing a safe and understanding space to address life challenges, stressors, and questions around identity as a woman

Eating disorders & disordered eating - Reducing unhealthy eating patterns, beliefs, and behaviors, such as restricting, purging, and binging; healing the emotional pain surrounding disordered eating


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


  • Brown University Student Health Insurance (United Healthcare)
  • RISD Student Health Insurance (United Healthcare)
  • United Healthcare
  • United Healthcare Student Health Plan

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions: $180 (55min)
  • Sliding scale: $130 - $180
  • Extended session : $250 (90min)

Additional session information

Out-of-network billing options

This provider can support you in getting reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement. Here are the out-of-network billing options they provide:

  • Super billing
  • Direct billing
Payment options
  • Cash
  • Check
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
Session frequency

Frequency of sessions this provider offers to see clients once you are an established client.

  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Every other week
  • As needed
Therapist's note

Ellen will bill directly for most insurance plans with out-of-network benefits, or provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance for reimbursement.

College students with United Student Health insurance will pay only a $15-$20 copay for sessions and there is no deductible for out of network providers. (Out of network co-pays and deductibles of other insurance plans vary widely, please check your benefits.)


Online Sessions (Rhode Island)
Accepting new clients with a 2 - 3 week wait online
Currently Available Times
  • Morning (Before 10am)
  • Daytime (10am - 1pm)
  • Afternoon (1pm - 5pm)
  • Evening (After 5pm)
  • Weekends
Regular Hours
  • 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

Years of Experience: 14 years

Private practice, Licensed Psychotherapist, 2010 - Present
Voice Teacher/Vocal Performance, 1990 - Present
Community College of Rhode Island, Faculty Member, 2011 - 2014
Anorexia and Bulimia Society of Rhode Island, Group Leader, 2011 - 2014
Rhode Island College, Voice Faculty and Ensemble Coach, 2004 - 2008

Salve Regina University, CAGS, Holistic Counseling, 2012
Salve Regina University, Master, Holistic Counseling, 2010
Longy School of Music, Master, Music and Vocal Performance, 2005
Brown University, Bachelor, Biology/Pre-Med, 1986


Rhode Island: MHC00552



Professional endorsements

"Ellen is extremely insightful with conscious and unconscious processing. She is very patient and includes mind and body when helping patients."

- Allison Torti, peer supervisor • June 2016

"She has eclectic, holistic, cutting edge training and an excellent personality that resonates with many people. She is highly intelligent and dedicated!"

- Rebecca Nancy Schoenewolf Foley, LMHC • June 2016

"Ellen is extraordinarily insightful, emotionally open, and committed to her own and others’ human development and spiritual growth. I refer clients to her for anxiety, trauma, depression, and relationship issues."

- Robert Ross, Psychologist • February 2016

"Ellen is a warm, highly engaged therapist. She brings great curiosity and openness to the work. Her musical training and coaching has given her a great deal of experience with people’s somatic, emotional, and psychological ways of being in the world - and wisdom about what might be getting in their way. She is very kind and strengths-based in her approach, but not afraid to roll up her sleeves and do a little digging around to see what might be underneath the surface. Her interest in the world around her is obvious, and her energy is infectious."

- Cary Twichell, LMHC • January 2016

Client testimonials

"Ellen is amazing. I have been in and out of therapy for over twenty years as I work on some ongoing issues. Ellen is quite literally the only therapist I’ve had that every time I leave her office, I’m turning around in my head some new insight or development. She works hard to understand her clients and has gone out of her way to provide helpful feedback to what I’m experiencing. Ellen is also not afraid to speak the truth when I’m (like all of us) lying to myself about something I’m doing/thinking/feeling. It makes her an exceptional therapist. She’s honestly amazing."
- Young professional client • June 2017
"Ellen is the realest therapist you will ever meet. What I love about her is that she actually talks to you and has a conversation with you. I have worked with Ellen for the past 5 years and every time I leave I feel so much better than when I walked in. I am forever grateful to have met her and to have her guide me through my journey of life."
- Zencare client • June 2016
"I began seeing Ellen a few years ago when I was experiencing stress and anxiety from my job and some family issues. I’ve worked with other therapists in the past, and Ellen has been the best therapist I have seen. She has a great way of getting you to realize things through analogies. Her sessions are like having an easy conversation with someone who truly gets you to think about things in a different way that guides you in helping to solve issues or make things better. She helped give me the tools I needed to bring my life back into balance. She is truly gifted and wonderful to work with."
- Former client • February 2016
"I am very thankful to have Ellen’s guidance and counseling. She helps me cope with issues in my own life, from my family to career, and I really like her methods. For example, some therapists let you set the discussion away from your problems, but I think Ellen is especially great at helping a person focus on something he or she might be avoiding to look at oneself honestly, but in a way that still feels appropriate. I have also greatly benefitted from Ellen’s couples counseling; I think she pulled my boyfriend and me out of a real rough patch. As a result, I know I can bring any problem to her."
- Young professional • February 2016
"Ellen uses helpful comparisons and encourages her patients to use their own words when defining both problems and solutions. I found these methods extremely helpful. I was forced to think critically about the situations and issues that were troubling me and left with a better understanding of WHY I was feeling a particular way. I felt empowered after every session."
- RISD alum '10 • February 2016