Maria Lentzou, MFT
I love life deeply and I am passionate about helping people see beauty everywhere and especially within themselves. I want you to fall in love with yourself again or for the first time.
Originally from Greece, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and an interdisciplinary performing artist. I hold an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from CIIS and I specialized in Authentic Movement at the Center for Practice and Training in Authentic Movement with Karin Fleischer in Buenos Aires.
"Rediscover who you are and let your Intuition be your guide. Expressing the uniqueness of your soul is a gift to this world. Let’s find it together!"
To play is our instinctual nature; to play, is to be curious, and this inherent capacity has no age limit. By playing we discover ourselves and the world, we explore and create relationships, we learn and grow.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
For me making art or 'making special' refers to any action that involves an embodied presence in the here & now, a playful attitude, and a letting go of my rational thinking to enter the world of mystery.
By 'making special' we express ourselves , we experience and transform the world, and we are transformed.
Terra is the Latin name for Earth. Its use here reflects our relationship to nature and to our bodies; to the matter that has limits and forms; to the world that we see, hear, touch, smell, taste, perceive.
I celebrate our being in flesh and this tangible way to share with others. It's a blessing and a passage to the mystery, the numinous that has no limits nor forms.
Pista in Spanish means sign, track or path. Life provides us with 'pist@s' to recognize and achieve the longings of our souls. These 'pist@s' may appear meaningless to our egos and societal structures but they are totally meaningful for the journey of our souls. I am here to help you listen to the 'pist@s' that guide your soul to a plentiful life.
When we move from within, we play, or create, we can step into the
all-time-in-between-space where connection happens, and healing is possible.
My whole life has been a ceaseless journey, not only because I have lived in 3 continents, 5 countries, 7 cities, and 20 houses, but also because I am a constant soul seeker. I love journeying within, and dive into the depths of my soul, to bring light into my shadow and discover uncomfortable quirks and hidden gems that make for a plentiful life.
However my journey hasn't always been easy...
While becoming a licensed psychologist in Greece (2004) I struggled with bulimia, depression, body hatred, insecurities, and extremely low self esteem. Feeling confused, disconnected, alienated and lonely, I felt I had no choice but to “run away” from my homeland.
There was no satisfying space to take care of my wounds, and I was unwilling to fit in any box that familial and societal norms suggested. Every moment we are flooded with messages, what we should do, how we should be and behave, how we are expected to feel or not feel, how we are supposed to look. I needed to find my own voice and truth.
I want to understand and accept who I am, including both my flaws and strengths.
I want to discover and validate my worth as an identified woman.
I want to have a respectful relationship with myself, my body and others.
I want to find peace and a loving home within myself and my body.
Looking for healing I traveled to Buenos Aires (2005), where I discovered the discipline of Authentic Movement (2008) at The Center for Practice and Training in Authentic Movement.
Fearful and rigid at the beginning, I progressively softened and gained trust into the unknown of this practice in which no one tells me what to do and finally I can just be.
For 4 consecutive years I am a mover, weekly and in intensives, for my own healing journey, and everything starts to transmute. I slowly connect with my body, I listen to my needs, I respect my wounds, I trust my intuition, I gain confidence. My creativity awakes, first in private and soon in my social life I facilitate workshops on self-development through storytelling and art-making, for children and adults.
The whole process is a rebirth but soon I have to leave the womb again, only now not running from my pain, but moving toward myself.
In 2012, I moved to Peru to work as a psychotherapist at the rehabilitation center Takiwasi where I continued my inner journey, and spiritual growth, with the support of medicinal plants. Here is where I discovered how important it is to integrate a spiritual dimension into any psychotherapeutic approach in order to find healing.
Finally, I landed in San Francisco (2014) to complete my MA in Expressive Arts Therapy (2017) at CIIS
and to integrate my multiple facets in one identity, the one I define as a play-art-terra-pist@
In my new home I am an interdisciplinary performance artist and writer working on my project 'MarlaGran', an interactive bilingual book for children. I have my private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with kids and adults, and I am founder of the Authentic Movement SF, where I facilitate individual sessions, groups, workshops, and retreats in the practice of Authentic Movement.
Through my everyday life, my work, and my art:
I inspire women to deepen self-love through self-validation and acceptance.
I create space for kids, women, and men to discover and express their own unique creative voice and fulfill their desires.
I coach adults to become responsible for their inner child and be respectful to our children
so that we all become co-creators of a more loving world.
Now, I am committed to creating a community of movers, so that we can dive together to discover the symbols of our psyches that guide the endless journey of our souls.
The wisdom of our souls is rooted in our bodies, waiting to emerge, because now the world needs the power of our true gifts more than ever.
And deep inside of us we always know what we really want to live a meaningful life.
"To be what we are,
and to become what we are capable of becoming,
is the only end of life."