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Vital Essence Psychotherapy is a fully licensed mental health clinic that provides therapy for children, teenagers, and adolescents in Rhode Island struggling with anxiety, depression, self image, suicidal ideation, cutting, low self esteem, and life changes and adjustments.

Located at 1 Richmond Square in Providence, RI

Online Appointments Also Available 

Vital Essence Psychotherapy provides psychotherapeutic treatment for children and adolescents in Rhode Island that struggle with anxiety, suicidal ideation, or self-injurious behavior, but that do not meet criteria for inpatient hospital admission.

Vital Essence Psychotherapy also provides family therapy for families of all ages. As a social worker led clinic, each client is viewed as part of a dynamic, psychosocial whole, and often view seeing families all together as a necessary part of successful treatment.

A lack of connection to meaning can be understood as the cause of many mental health challenges and unwanted behaviors.

We discover together your inherent values through a process of psychotherapy. Through this discovery we make connections between what you are doing, thinking, and feeling and why you are doing, thinking or feeling those things. The aim is that these connections will spark either a Change Process or improve Psychological Flexibility.


Some of the Presentations Served:

Adolescents with social anxiety 

Adolescents engaged in self harm, such as cutting

Adolescents with suicidal ideation

Children struggling with bullying

Adolescents experiencing adjustment challenges

Adolescents uncertain of what is distressing them

Children and adolescents with obsessive or compulsive behaviors


More About The Clinic and Treatment Modality 

The therapy used is deeply client centered. Modeled  primarily on the Relational Frame Theory of Steven Hayes and Dermot Barnes-Holmes, who developed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, as well as Interdividual Psychology based on the Theory of Mimetic Desire developed by psychiatrist Jean-Michel Oughlarian and sociologist Rene Girard.


The approach is geared toward getting to know you in an authentic way. Not having a clear sense of self is a huge factor in childhood and adolescent psychological distress. 


All people, but especially adolescents and teenagers, struggle to put names to their feelings and make important life changes. In Inherent Values Therapy, we look to resolve a primary dislocation at the psychological core: not having a reason to be, yet being, and not being able to find a reason for why things are the way they are, yet not being able to change anything. 

The therapy provided is rooted in a desire for a life that makes sense for you. Inherent Values Therapy is framed by the ethical and philosophical ideas of instrumental valueintrinsic value, and inherent value. It builds upon other contributions to the fields of sociology and psychotherapy including Rene Girard's theory of Mimetic Desire (re-examining our desires), the Erik Erikson Life Stages model of human development (advocating for our human needs), Steven Hayes' Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (emphasis on claiming our values), Aaron Beck's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (locating cognitive distortions) and Marsha Linehan's Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (behavior chain analysis).

What is an Instrumental Value?


An instrument is anything that has a clear aim or purpose.

The Instrumental Value of a hammer is that it can DO something specific, it can greatly increase the applied force on an object, when swung. Because of this one thing a hammer can do, it can in turn do all kinds of things. But the hammer itself doesn't have any intrinsic value because all the value it has it given to it by others who are using it.

What is an Intrinsic Value?

Something intrinsic is natural occurring and essential.

An Intrinsic Value needn't do anything other than simply exist for it to have value to you. The intrinsic value of a hammer is nothing. But imagine it brings you pleasure to think about all the possibilities of things it could do. Now it has some intrinsic value, because you inherently value things that can do things that are helpful to you.

What is an Inherent Value?

An Inherent Value is naturally occurring and essential but also permanent, it cannot change into something else. No matter what, in the case of the hammer, you will always value things that can be helpful to you. By tracking and knowing our inherent values, we can build a more stable and resilient sense of self.


An inherent value is something that will, when given cause to reflect and connect with it, always bring meaning into your life, for no reason other than it simply being there

Feeling our life has meaning is the inherent value of our intrinsic values. We want to unlock this inherent value through focused talk therapy that instrumentalizes your intrinsic values by reflecting upon them, connecting to them and seeing how they manifest your life. 

The instrumental value or aim of an intrinsic value is that it can cause you to have a meaningful life anywhere that value can be recognized. These are the inherent values of our intrinsic selves, those values that are part and parcel to our authentic sense of being.


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