About Kiersten

A passion for social justice and human creativity are at the heart of my practice of psychotherapy. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in British Literature and Women’s Studies and a Masters in Social Work from Smith College. I have practiced individual, family, and group psychotherapy in hospitals, homes, prisons, schools, and residential programs. In 2008, I opened my private practice and began specializing in identity development.

By drawing out the different aspects of identity in therapy, I help clients understand themselves and chart their own unique course to a healthier future.  My work in identity development comes from a number of schools of therapy including the models developed by C. G. Jung, Carol S. Pearson, Richard C. Schwartz, and Jay Earley. To learn more about the archetypes I use, you can visit my book website here.

Some of my other focus areas include:

Play and Art Therapy with Children — I practice several methods to help children who are struggling emotionally and behaviorally. In the play room at my office, I use painting, drawing, dramatic play, and reflecting on feelings cards and child drawings in order to help children increase self-awareness, improve mood and behavior, and relate better to parents, teachers, caregivers, and peers.  I also use games that improve communication, verbal skills, and problem-solving skills.

Sexual Abuse Evaluation/Treatment — As a clinician for Bradley Hospital and Day One, Rhode Island’s Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center, I gained specialized experience in sexual abuse evaluation and treatment.  I am currently a Linked Provider with Day One and prioritize referrals from them in order to help address physical and sexual abuse issues in the community.

Wellness Coaching — If you are uninsured, you may be eligible for Wellness Coaching.  With this service, I help individuals develop and carry out personalized wellness plans.  Wellness plans involve setting, achieving, and maintaining goals for improved physical and mental health.  I provide this service in half-hour increments for a sliding scale fee.

Family Therapy  — Family therapy comes in all shapes and sizes, including extended family and even friends.  Meetings with family can provide a safe space to discuss issues and help change unhealthy dynamics.

Grief and Loss Recovery for Children and Adults — I have helped clients to recover from severe loss (suicide of a family member, the death of a spouse, parent, child, or friend) as well as from more subtle forms of grief, such as recurrent sadness over a failed marriage or emotional distress in dealing with illness or disability.

Reactive Attachment Issues — Reactive attachment refers to a cluster of behavioral and emotional symptoms that are believed to relate to an individual’s lack of normal bonding and attachment in the earliest years of life. I have worked with many clients at all stages of life who are struggling with reactive attachment issues, and have a background in providing therapy to foster and adoptive children as they recover from early trauma and attachment issues.

New Media Therapy — I specialize in helping children and families address concerns about the appropriate and educational use of all kinds of new media, including online networks, video and online games, email and chatting, and blogs. I also offer web-based contact with clients and families in order to provide psychoeducational material and other support.

Cognitive Approaches and Behavioral Training — From feedback on journaling, to coaching on using deep breathing for anxiety and depression, to helping you learn how to “boss back” to your obsessive or anxious thoughts, I am skilled in helping you develop your unique plan for improving your mood and behavior.  I also help clients set goals for lifestyle changes with exercise and nutrition that will help improve mood and behavior.

Part of my goal as a clinical social worker is to provide mental health news and information to as many people as possible. To that end, I write posts on a wide range of mental health issues here on my private practice blog.

I also publish a public advocacy and community-building blog called Kmareka.com (started in 2002) with my colleague and friend Nancy Green, RN.

Referrals can be made by calling (401) 744-8933. I am a provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Neighborhood Health Plan, and United Health.