may your child be happy and thrive
Play Therapy & Parent Coaching
Play Therapy for your child
Society does not always provide appropriate and well designed environments for children to thrive.
As a result, kids have to cope with many situations that are hard for them to make sense of. In their effort to do so, BIG feelings arise that affect their behavior and their social life.
In addition, children can struggle in home or at school as a response to challenging transitions such as the birth of a sibling, divorce, a move or a death in the family etc.
What I do is to help your child process their big feelings, regulate their behaviors, and express their unique creative voice.
My goal is to facilitate their emotional and cognitive development, to help them gain better social skills,
and to support them in challenging transitions.
Some other reasons why your child might benefit from therapy are listed below:
irritability in the child’s mood
defiance, i.e. refusing to follow the rules, “talking back”
an increase in physical or verbal fighting at home or at school
sadness and isolation
a lack of interest in things they used to enjoy
sleeping and eating problems
problems focusing on their school work
regression to an earlier developmental stage, i.e. bedwetting etc.
an increase in fears and worries
avoidance of specific places, people or things
excessive clinging and difficulty separating from a parent or caretaker
difficulty with transitions such as going from home to school, leaving play dates etc.
repetitive behaviors that severely impact the child or family
I use a relational, dynamic, and deep play therapy approach; making art and play is the inherent way of kids to communicate, express, regulate, learn and cope with their inner and outer reality.
I meet weekly with your child, and I collaborate as needed with parents and significant others.
In our sessions, my desire is to help you understand your intense child's behavior and learn what to do to help it improve dramatically.
We work together as a team , to better manage your parenting challenges by offering alternative perspectives around family situations, uncovering strategies to shift behavior and family dynamics and support you into achieving your parenting goals.
I can assist you create a better relationship with your children by addressing power struggles, meltdowns, separation anxiety, anger and discipline.
Parent coaching sessions can happen while I meet weekly with your child or independently.
Play Therapy for your inner child
We all have been once, in our own way, a curious, creative, joyful child but struggles, challenges and traumas may have hidden our sparkle.
In our sessions we work together, with expressive tools and assigned activities, to heal your inner child wounds.
No matter your age, I can support you to reconnect and become again lovingly responsible of your inner child, and to recover the sparkle of enthusiasm in your life.
As George Bernard Shaw says, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
I am a relentless advocate for the emotional wellbeing of our children, whose first and foremost right is to imagine and to play. I love the curious, authentic, and inhibited nature of children, the ones who live out in the world, and the ones who reside inside our hearts, and I always wonder: What happens to our sparkle as we grow up?
No matter the answer, I trust our inherent capacity to be creative and I believe in the power of play and the expressive arts to help our children thrive, and to heal our inner child wounds so as to recover the sparkle of enthusiasm in our lives.
Through their play, children taught me how to understand and appreciate their world that is different from the adults’ world. Now, I am honored to support your child, and inner child, navigate with more ease the challenges of the adults’ reality, in order to recover their joy and to enhance their cognitive, social and emotional well-being.
I speak fluent English, Greek, and Spanish, I hold an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from CIIS, and I have been working with children and adults for over 20 years.
Maria Lentzou, MA, AMFT
Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #101671
Supervised by Kathy Buys LMFT #34173
Practicing through the auspices of the Child Therapy Institute,
a nonprofit organization providing affordable psychotherapy
and school based services to children and adults throughout
the San Francisco Bay Area.
Member of Therapy4u.org ; a professional group of Integrative
and Somatic Psychotherapists