Holly LaSalle-Ricci, Ph.D.
Director of Mental Health Services
Dr. LaSalle-Ricci is a New York native, now serving the psychological needs of patients in Palm Beach County. She completed specialized training at Georgetown University, Georgetown University Medical Center, Catholic University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
She has treated patients in a variety of clinical settings including counseling centers, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, medical centers, and community mental health clinics. Dr. LaSalle-Ricci worked as a researcher for many years and published several papers on health psychology, psychiatric comorbidity, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and hoarding. Her specialties include OCD, trichotillomania, phobias, mood disorders, expert witness testimony and anxiety. She also taught courses in statistics and psychology at the undergraduate level.
Dr. LaSalle-Ricci is dedicated to giving back to the community. She allots appointments for pro bono patients who are unable to afford the specialized treatments she provides. She also serves on Georgetown University's Academic Career Panel, providing undergraduate students support for continuing education in psychology.
Dr. Ricci is a highly regarded psychologist renowned for her expertise in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). With years of dedicated practice, she has honed her skills in understanding and treating the complexities of OCD, offering individuals compassionate support and evidence-based therapies to help them regain control of their lives. Dr. Ricci's commitment to her patients and her deep understanding of OCD make her a trusted source of guidance for those seeking relief from the challenges of this disorder.
Specific phobias encompass a wide range of fears, including situational (e.g., airplanes, driving, enclosed spaces, school, elevators), insects/animals (e.g., snakes, spiders, dogs), blood/injury (e.g., needles, surgery, blood), and other types (e.g., choking or throwing up). The most effective treatment for phobias is exposure therapy. Dr. LaSalle-Ricci uses fear hierarchies and provides in vivo treatment to help patients overcome their fears. While some phobias may be treated in an office setting, it is more effective to treat patients in places and situations that cause fear. For example, Dr. LaSalle-Ricci flies with patients who have airplane phobia and treats fears of height on rooftops and in elevators.
With a nuanced understanding of the complexities surrounding this condition, Dr. Ricci employs a tailored and empathetic approach to guide individuals through the challenges of trichotillomania. Her expertise lies in providing therapeutic interventions that address the cognitive and behavioral issues that contribute to hair-pulling. She fosters a supportive environment for patients to overcome shame, regain control and work towards healthier coping mechanisms.