Raphaella Croccia, LMFT- RPT-S 

MFT 52988 - RPT-S S52223 


    * Not accepting new clients at the moment, wait list available *


I am native of the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There I received my Bachelor's degree in Psychology in the year of 1996. I followed a rigorous psychoanalytic training while working with adults, children and families in private practice, outpatient and inpatient clinics, as well as in residential settings.


During my psychoanalytic training years I had the opportunity to work with children and adolescents who experienced trauma. These children were from the underprivileged communities, slums or "Favelas" in Rio de Janeiro. That was my first experience as a Trauma-Informed Child and Adolescent Therapist and it spoke strongly to me.


After moving to the U.S in 2001, and deciding to embrace this country as mine, I worked as a volunteer at the San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care offering emotional support to hospice patient and their families. I subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a license to practice Psychotherapy in California.


I started my career in San Diego working as a therapist in the inpatient unit of a Psychiatric hospital, while simultaneously working at a non-profit agency partnered with the Child Welfare Services (CWS). 

At this non-profit agency I worked with children who had suffered many forms of abuse and neglect and with their reconciliating parents.

I had the privilege of working for this agency for five years in several positions such as Therapist, Parenting Educator, and Clinical Supervisor to psychotherapy Interns and Trainees.


As my passion for working with children grew stronger over the past decades I decided to open a Private Practice dedicated exclusively to children and adolescents. Since the work with children differs from the traditional "talk therapy" utilized with adults I decided to learn about Play Therapy. Following additional years of specialized training in the field of Play Therapy with children and adolescents I became a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and later on a Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S).


Currently I divide my working hours between the sessions with my clients and the supervision of professionals working towards their Play Therapy and Psychology credentials.


On a personal note I love collage art, music, decorating and playing cards with my husband. I have (too) many plants, two cats and a lovely freshman at home. 


Theoretical Orientation 


Through the lenses of Attachment Theory I look at my client's developmental progress, early experiences and relationships, to understand their current challenges. 


My years of Psychoanalytic training allow me to recognize the role of underlying issues that may be affecting the children's feelings, behaviors and their healthy engagement in their current relationships.


My experience as a Play Therapist allows me to speak the children's natural language: PLAY and to access their fantasies, worries, and unique perceptions of themselves and the world., in a gentle, and efficient manner.


In my work with children I utilize various techniques and interventions that can  help clients to express their dilemmas in a non-threatening and age-appropriate way. 


While symptoms reduction is often needed to alleviate current difficulties the aim of the therapeutic work is to promote structural change, or long term results, a process that can impact positively the person's life. 

Those include interventions from the fields of Expressive Arts such as writing, drama and puppets and Art Therapy such as drawing, painting, collage and sculpting.


All learned theory is put in practice with the objective of enhancing the client's sense of well-being and the establishment of a higher level of functioning, meaning less stress and more quality of life.


It is my priority to make my clients feel safe to fully express themselves during our sessions while supporting their parents through their parenting journey.

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