Dr. Denise DeSesa-Smith
Browne Hall (Suite 100)
Senior Staff, Licensed Psychologist (Part-Time)
Dr. Denise DeSesa-Smith is a licensed psychologist in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and Staff member at RIC’s Counseling Center with over 20 years of counseling experience working in multiple college counseling centers, community mental health centers, hospitals, and private practice. Denise feels a deep appreciation for an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and wishes. She believes that within the framework of a safe and trusting therapy/counseling relationship, students can gain the understanding and skills needed to make desired changes in their lives.
Regardless of what brings a student to counseling – a desire for a deeper understanding of self, alleviation of symptoms, help responding to an internal or interpersonal conflict, or anything else, Denise believes that good therapy facilitates an individual’s inherent capacity for growth and resilience. Her clients describe her as warm, open, easy to talk with, and respectful. She enjoys working with college students, especially Rhode Island College students, and with clients from a broad range of cultural and identity backgrounds. Her professional areas of interest include, but are not limited to, relationship issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, stress management including health psychology and mind-body medicine, identity development, and spirituality. Outside of work, Denise is a lifelong music and theater buff. She also enjoys kayaking, hiking, cooking, and reading good books. But what she most enjoys is spending time with family and friends. During her personal time she likes to apply new approaches to her meditation practice.