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Raphaella Croccia

IY Group Leader and SoulCollage® Facilitator
MFT 52988 - RPT-S S52223 

  * Currently Not Accepting New Clients *


Zuzu Angel - Rapha's cat 

“In the therapy hour—once the child has established confidence in the therapist and has accepted the therapist even as she has accepted him he shares his inner world with her and, by the sharing, extends the horizons of both their worlds.”                                                                                    Virginia M. Axline

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Credentials and certifications

LMFT credential refers to Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and indicates a licensed mental health professional who has earned a Master's degree in Psychology and holds a practicing license as a Psychotherapist in California. 

RPT-S credential refers to Registered Play Therapist Supervisor by The Association for Play Therapy. It indicates a professional with specialized training and practice in Play Therapy, as a modality of psychological treatment and who is an authorized clinical supervisor by the Association of Play Therapy. 

IY Group Leader refers to a professional that has been trained in the Incredible Years® evidence based parenting programs, developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, M.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., designed to promote children’s academic, social  and emotional skills and reduce conduct problems.  


SoulCollage® is a Jungian-based process created by Seena Frost where participannts utilize their intuition and imagination to make individual collage cards to honor different aspects of themselves. A SoulCollage® facilitator has been trained to utilize this process therapeutically with clients, as well as to facilitate SoulCollage® groups and workshops. 

Additional certifications

EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing level 1 and TF-CBT -Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Clinical experience

I am native of the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where 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 settings. During my psychoanalytic training years I had the opportunity to work with children and adolescents who experienced various types of trauma who lived in the underprivileged communities, slums or "Favelas" of Rio de Janeiro. That was my first experience as a Trauma-Informed therapist and it spoke strongly to me. 


After moving to the U.S in 2001, and embracing this country as mine, I first worked as a volunteer at the San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care with terminal patients and their families. I subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology and a license to practice Psychotherapy in California. I started my career working simultaneously at a locked ward of a psychiatric hospital and at a non-profit agency partnered with the Child Welfare Services (CWS).


At the hospital I worked with patients suffering from various psychiatric disorders that were admitted due to being a danger to someone or themselves. At the 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 became interested in "speaking the children's natural language", PLAY. After completing 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).


Nowadays I spend my working hours between the care of my clients, two Play Therapy offices, clinical trainings and the supervision of professionals working towards their Play Therapy and Psychotherapy credentials. Some of my main areas of interest and expertise are childhood anxiety and parenting education.


Theoretical Orientation

Through the lenses of Attachment Theory I look at my client's developmental progress, early experiences and relationships, to better 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 of the world in a gentle and efficient manner. 

In my work with children I utilize various techniques and interventions to help clients to express their dilemmas in a comfortable and age-appropriate way. While symptoms reduction is often needed to alleviate current difficulties the intention of the therapeutic work is to promote structural change, or long term results, a process that can impact positively the person's life.


Research shows that many kinds of interventions can positively impact the therapeutic process of a client. Some of these interventions aim to facilitate interpersonal growth and the resolution of arrests, conflicts and traumas. I utilize a wide repertoire of interventions with my clients, many of these derive from the fields of Expressive Arts (writing, drama and puppets), Art Therapy (drawing, painting, collage and sculpting and Play Therapy.

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

On a personal note

I divide my time between my work, my family, my beloved cats Zuzu and Miko, and my collages. Whenever I have a chance I grab my scissors and start cutting and putting images together. If you get to work with me you will see what I mean and we will certainly do collages together!

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Rapha's Play Therapy office 

Play area

Rapha's Office 


Art table and meeting area 



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