Ellen  Santaniello

Ellen Santaniello

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, LMHC

Accepting new clients with a 2 - 3 week wait for daytime appointments in Providence practice (updated November 14, 2019)

Specialties & Expertise

  • Life transitions
  • Relationships
  • Sexuality
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Parenting
  • Couples counseling

Professional statement

Ellen Santaniello is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has been practicing in the Providence area since 2010. She uses Internal Family Systems, Gestalt Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and mindfulness practices in her work.

Ellen enjoys working with adults and adolescents experiencing life transitions, particularly around the transition to college and adulthood, as well as issues that arise in mid-life. She helps clients facing challenges that include anxiety, depression, current and past family issues, inner conflict, and relationship struggles. Ellen strives to create an environment that is safe, sex-positive, and welcoming for folks of all genders, sexual orientations and relationship styles.

Aside from her work as a counselor, Ellen has been a faculty member at both Rhode Island College and Rhode Island Community College. She has also been a singer and voice teacher for more than 30 years, and enjoys working with artists around the challenges unique to the creative process.

Message to clients

I think people are really brave when they decide to start working with a therapist. Often people think it’s going to be this awful, torturous, painful process, but one of the things I want to remind them is that it can also be really fun. We do a lot of laughing in this room, a lot of creative exploration, and a lot of laughing at our ourselves -- in kind, loving ways! So I just want people to know that all of our experiences are held in here, not just our misery and suffering and confusion and anger, but also our joy, our hope, our creativity, and our aliveness. Therapy, when its right, is a way to become more alive.


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

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

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

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 of hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life

Parenting - Helping parents develop and implement strategies to address challenges that arise throughout childrearing; managing stress and increasing support

Couples counseling - Addressing relationship challenges and life transitions; strengthening communication and feelings of security, desire, connection, and love

General expertise

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Ongoing sessions: $150 (50min)
  • Ongoing session fee: $240 (90min)

Therapist's note

Ellen bills directly to United Health for plans with out-of-network benefits.

Most students who have United Student Health insurance will pay only a $15-$30 copay for sessions.


Remote video therapy sessions offered? Yes

Providence practice

305 South Main Street

Providence, RI 02903

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  • Sun Please inquire about hours

Work and Education

Private practice, Licensed Psychotherapist, 2010 - Present

Voice Teacher, 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

Rhode Island Indian Council, Project Coordinator, 1988 - 1990

Salve Regina University, Master, Holistic Counseling, 2010

Longy School of Music, Master, Music and Vocal Performance, 2005

Brown University, Bachelor, Biology/Pre-Med, 1986


  • English