Emma Cardeli, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

I am a Hispanic Clinical Psychologist who is deeply committed to providing care that is both client-centered and systems-oriented; in this regard, I aim to provide therapeutic services that are not only responsive to the strengths and needs of the individual, but are also cognizant of the ways in which an individual is impacted by the broader systems in which they’re embedded (e.g., family, school, work place, community, culture, nation). Informed by ecological systems theory, liberation and trauma psychology, and radical healing approaches, my goal is to support clients in defining and achieving their highest healing intentions and to advocate on their behalf so that the health and social service systems around them rise up to these intentions as well. Similarly, 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 am currently licensed in the state of Massachusetts but am in the process of obtaining my licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have over a decade of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families diverse in cultural background and in clinical need. I am an integrative practitioner with specialized training in cognitive behavioral, mindfulness, expressive, psychodynamic, and trauma-focused approaches. I also have experience working in a multitude of clinical settings, including outpatient 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 am a Trauma Psychologist by training; I completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline and am presently an Attending Psychologist & Research Associate at the Refugee Trauma & Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital where I provide specialized training and consultation in Trauma Systems Therapy/Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees. I am also an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School and am leading several initiatives across the globe focused on building capacity of organizations to provide trauma informed, culturally responsive care.


I have received specialized training in play and expressive therapies as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, psychodynamic therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and behavior management.  I am certified in Trauma Systems Therapy (TST); Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R); 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 Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and in the Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) model.

Specialized Services

I have experience providing individual, group, and family therapy, as well as psychological and neuropsychological assessments. Presenting concerns addressed in treatment include traumatic stress, secondary traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, disturbances in eating behaviors, anger, adjustment, grief, and loss.  I also have expertise in addressing issues related to war and conflict, gang violence, human trafficking, discrimination, and acculturative stress.

  • Individual and family therapy
  • Extended Play-Based Developmental Assessment (EPBDA, Gil)
  • Consultation in trauma-informed care/trauma-informed systems
  • Clinical supervision

Professional Presentations and Clinical Workshops

  • Cardeli, E., Mulder, L. Phan, J., Adhikari, R., Benson, M., & Ellis, B. H. (2020). Bhutanese refugee youth: The importance of assessing and addressing psychosocial needs in a school setting. Journal of School Health. doi: 10.1111/josh.12935
  • Cardeli, E., Baldwin, H., Davis, S., & Ellis, B. H. (2020). Prevention and early intervention programs for vulnerable populations. In J. G. Beck and D. Sloan, editors. Handbook of Traumatic Stress Disorders: Second Edition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
  • Lincoln, A. K., Cardeli, E., Sideridis, G., Salhi, C., Miller, A., DaFonesca, T., Issa, O. & Ellis, H. (accepted). Discrimination, marginalization, belonging and mental health among Somali immigrants in North America. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
  • Cardeli, E., Lincoln, A., Abdi, S., Sideris, G., & Ellis, B. H. (2020). Social bonds in the diaspora: The application of social control theory to Somali refugee youth in resettlement. Psychology of Violence, 10(1), 18-29. doi:10.1037/vio0000259
  • Conrad, R., Bousleiman, S., Isberg, R., Hauptman, A., & Cardeli, E. (2020). Uncontrolled experiments: Treatment of contamination OCD during a pandemic. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1), S67-S68. doi:10.1037/tra0000806
  • Skokauskas, N., Leventhal, B., Cardeli, E.L., Belfer, M., Kaasbøll J., & Cohen, J. (2020). Supporting children of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 29(8). doi: 10.1007/s00787-020-01604-6
  • Weine, S., Brahmbat, Z., Cardeli, E., Ellis, H. (2020). Rapid review to inform the rehabilitation and reintegration of child returnees from the Islamic State. Annals of Global Health, 86(1), p.64. doi:10.5334/aogh.2835
  • Cardeli, E., Bloom, M., Gillespie, S., Zayed, T., & Ellis, B. H. (2019). Exploring social-ecological factors that mobilize children into violence. Terrorism & Political Violence. 1-23. doi:10.1080/09546553.2019.1701444
  • Cardeli, E., Abdi, S., & Ellis, B. H. (2018). The psychosocial impact of war on children and families. In J. D. Osofsky and B. M. Groves, editors. Violence and trauma in the lives of children: Volume One.  Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC.
  • Le, H. N., Perry, D. F., Genovez, M., & Cardeli, E. (2013). In their own voices: Latinas’ experiences with a randomized controlled trial to prevent perinatal depression. Qualitative Health Research, 23(6), 834-846. doi:10.1177/1049732313482591
  • Tandon, M., Cardeli, E., & Luby, J. L. (2009). Internalizing disorders in early childhood: A review of depressive and anxiety disorders. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 18, 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
  • Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture

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.