Emma Cardeli

Meet Our Team

I am a Hispanic Clinical Psychologist who is deeply committed to providing care that is holistic, client-centered, and recognizes the multitude of ways in which people can be impacted by the world around them. I strive to recognize strengths just as much as I do areas of challenge, and view treatment planning as a collaborative process with the clients and families with whom I work. I practice from a stance of compassion and authenticity, and work to help my clients connect with their feelings, strengths, values, and motivations for change in order to help them build satisfying, meaningful lives.

I am an integrative practitioner, licensed in both Virginia and Massachusetts, with specialized training in cognitive, behavioral, motivational, mindfulness, expressive, psychodynamic, and trauma-focused approaches. I work with clients diverse in cultural background and in clinical need, but specialize in providing treatment to children, adolescents, adults, and families struggling with challenges related to trauma, violence, loss, adjustment, migration, identity, hate, and social connection. My clinical experience includes prior work inoutpatient and community-based clinics, inpatient psychiatry and medical centers, juvenile justice settings, residential treatment centers, and emergency services.

I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. with a focus in Children, Families, and Cultures. I completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline and am presently an Attending Psychologist & Research Associate at the Trauma & Community Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School where I conduct research and provide specialized training and consultation in trauma-focused treatment, trauma-informed care, and multidisciplinary approaches to violence prevention.


I have received specialized training in play and expressive therapies as well as trauma-focused treatments, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, psychodynamic therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, components-based psychotherapy, and behavior management. I am certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT); Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Framework; Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY); and Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART). I also have training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and am currently working on completing my certification through Trauma Recovery/HAP.

Specialized Services

I have experience providing individual, group, and family therapy, as well as psychological, neuropsychological, and riskassessments. Presenting concerns addressed in treatment include traumatic stress, secondary traumatic stress, grief, anger, identity challenges, depression and high-risk behaviors (e.g., disordered eating, suicidal and self-injurious behaviors, aggression, problematic sexual behaviors, and alcohol/substance use). I also have expertise in addressing issues related to violence, loss, trafficking, migration, and discrimination.

In addition, I have developed a sub-specialty in working with journalists who are exposed to occupational chronic stress and trauma. I have a strong appreciation for the role of journalism in society and have received training from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma on the professional culture and occupational challenges of journalists. I have also received training from the Freedom of the Press Foundation on best practices for digital security when using telehealth technology.

The following is a list of specialized services that I provide:

  • Individual and family therapy
  • Parent Coaching
  • Extended Play-Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA, Gil)
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Consultation in trauma-informed care/trauma-informed systems
  • Consultation in Trauma Systems Therapy/Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees
  • Consultation in multidisciplinary approaches to violence prevention
  • Professional Presentations and Clinical Workshops

Selected Professional Publications

My research focuses on understanding multi-systemic factors contributing to violence perpetration and identifying effective methodologies for strengthening healthcare systems to meet the needs of underserved populations. Selected publications include:

  • Cardeli E, Davis S, Ellis, BH. Prevention and early intervention programs for vulnerable populations. In: Beck JG, Sloan D, editors. Handbook of Traumatic Stress Disorders: Second Edition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; 2022.
  • Lincoln AK, Cardeli E, Sideridis G, Salhi C, Miller A, DaFonesca T, Issa O, Ellis BH. Discrimination, marginalization, belonging and mental health among Somali immigrants in North America. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2021 November;91(2):280–293. doi:10.1037/ort0000524 14.
  • Brady JA, Lee, CS, Cardeli E, Winer J, Burke PJ. Refugee and Immigrant Core Stressors Toolkit to care for newly arrived children in the school nurse setting. J Sch Nurse. 2021 October;37(6):523-531. doi:10.1177/10598405211045688
  • Cardeli E, Mulder L, Phan J, Adhikari R, Benson M, Ellis BH. Bhutanese refugee youth: The importance of assessing and addressing psychosocial needs in a school setting. J Sch Health. 2020 July 26;90(9):731-742. doi: 10.1111/josh.12935
  • Ellis BH, Cardeli E, Bloom M, Brahmbhatt Z, Weine S. Understanding the needs of children returning from formerly ISIS-controlled territories through an emotional security theory lens: Implications for practice. Child Abuse Negl. 2020 November;109:104754. doi:10.1016 /j.chiabu.2020.104754
  • Conrad R, Bousleiman S, Isberg R, Hauptman A, Cardeli E. Uncontrolled experiments: Treatment of contamination OCD during a pandemic. Psychol Trauma. 2020 August;12(S1):S67-S68. doi:10.1037/tra0000806
  • Skokauskas N, Leventhal B, Cardeli EL, Belfer M, Kaasbøll J, Cohen J. Supporting children of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 July 18;29(8):1-2. doi: 10.1007/s00787-020-01604-6
  • Cardeli E, Abdi S, Ellis BH. The psychosocial impact of war on children and families. In: Osofsky JD, Groves BM, editors. Violence and trauma in the lives of children: Volume One. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC; 2018. p. 189-209.
  • Le HN, Perry DF, Genovez M, Cardeli E. In their own voices: Latinas’ experiences with a randomized controlled trial to prevent perinatal depression. Qual Health Res. 2013 March 28;23(6): 834-846. doi:10.1177/1049732313482591
  • Tandon M, Cardeli E, Luby JL. Internalizing disorders in early childhood: A review of depressive and anxiety disorders. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009 July 1;18(3):593-610. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2009.03.004

Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association
  • Division 56, Trauma Psychology
  • Division 9, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Teaching Experience

  • Instructor: Harvard Medical School, 2015-present. Ad-hoc lecturer, providing seminars in global mental health, trauma-informed care, and cultural humility to interns, residents, and fellows within the Harvard Medical School system.
  • Teaching Assistant: The Catholic University of America, 2013. Lab instructor in Doctoral level class focused on Projective Assessment.
Emma Cardeli

Emma Cardeli, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist


Welcome to Alexandria Place Therapy!

We offer therapeutic services in Alexandria, Virginia. Our clinicians have spent their careers working with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, loss, and adjustment difficulties. We bring expertise and experience to our work and aim to offer help in vulnerable times to all our patients by tailoring treatment to their unique needs.

Working Hours
Monday to Friday 8 am - 8 pm
Saturday 8 am - 8 pm