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Silhouetted image of a man and woman helping a child jump, capturing a moment of familial support and joy, symbolizing the nurturing essence of therapy.

Nurturing Holistic Healing
Confidence ~ Growth ~ Wholeness

Playtherapy for Your Child

Play Therapy for your Child

supporting your child to be happy, well-nourished and thrive

Young girl joyfully singing while playing a pink guitar, illustrating the creative and expressive aspects of play therapy for children.

Society does not always provide ideal environments for children to thrive, and life can sometimes present unexpected challenges.

As a result, children may struggle to cope with experiences that are difficult to understand, leading to BIG feelings that affect their behavior and social life. Challenges such as the birth of a sibling, divorce, moving, or a death in the family can further impact their well-being at home or school.

In my therapy sessions, I help your child process these big feelings, regulate their behaviors, and express their unique creative voice through play. Additionally, I integrate insights from nutritional therapy, recognizing the crucial role of diet and nutrition in emotional and cognitive development.

My goal is to facilitate not only their emotional and cognitive growth but also to help them gain better social skills and navigate challenging transitions more effectively. Furthermore, I guide parents and children in reconsidering food choices, understanding how proper nutrition can support overall improvement in well-being.

Some signs that your child might benefit from therapy include: 

~ Irritability or mood swings

~ Defiance, such as refusing to follow rules or talking back

~ Increased physical or verbal conflicts

~ Sadness, isolation, or withdrawal from activities they once enjoyed

~ Sleeping and eating disturbances

~ Difficulty focusing on school work

~ Regression to earlier developmental stages, like bedwetting

~ Increased fears, worries, or avoidances

~ Excessive clinging or difficulty separating from a parent or caretaker

~ Challenges with transitions

~ Repetitive behaviors impacting daily life

​​In my sessions, I use a relational, dynamic, and deep play therapy approach. Art and play are natural ways for children to communicate, express themselves, regulate emotions, learn, and cope with their inner and outer realities. This approach is complemented by nutritional guidance to support their overall health and well-being.

 

I meet weekly with your child and collaborate as needed with parents and significant others, fostering a supportive environment for holistic growth, emotional well-being, and nutritional health.

Parent Coaching

Parent Coaching

nurturing confident parents for confident kids

Family of four holding hands, captured in a warm, yellowish hue, symbolizing unity and connection, reflective of the goals in parent coaching.

In our sessions, my goal is to help you understand and positively transform your intense child's behavior. We collaborate as a team to better manage your parenting challenges. This approach involves offering alternative perspectives on family situations, uncovering strategies to shift behavior and family dynamics, and supporting you in achieving your parenting goals.

Incorporating a nutritional perspective, we will also explore how diet and nutrition can impact your child's emotional and behavioral health, providing guidance for making healthier choices that support overall well-being.

I can assist you in creating a better relationship with your children by addressing common issues such as power struggles, meltdowns, separation anxiety, anger, and discipline. These sessions are designed not just to address immediate concerns but also to foster deeper understanding, empathy, and connection between you and your child.

Parent coaching sessions can be conducted while I meet weekly with your child or as a standalone service. Together we aim to create a harmonious and nurturing family environment conducive to the growth and well-being of both you and your children.

Inner Child Reparenting

 Inner Child Reparenting

healing past wounds to cultivate joy in the present

Close-up of a woman's legs playfully splashing in the sea, symbolizing joy and the rejuvenation of the inner child, key elements in inner child reparenting.

We all have been, in our own unique way, a curious, carefree, creative, and joyful child. However, struggles, challenges, and traumas may have dimmed that inner sparkle.

 

No matter your age, I am here to support you in reconnecting with and becoming lovingly responsible for your inner child, to rekindle the sparkle of enthusiasm and joy within you. As George Bernard Shaw insightfully said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

In our sessions, we work together to heal your inner child wounds and learn how to reparent your inner self. This is a journey of increasing self-love and finding more joy in everyday life, integrating the principles of Authentic Movement Soul Freedom. We focus on both emotional nurturing—embracing your true self, understanding and caring for your emotional needs—and physical nurturing, including the crucial role of nutrition in overall well-being.

My approach is ideal for adults seeking to increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and lighten the burden of responsibilities. By embracing a holistic methodology that incorporates play therapy, emotional and physical nurturing, and Authentic Movement, we aim to expand your life with more ease, self-compassion, and joy.

Four boys in a forest joyfully jumping to catch a ball, capturing a moment of play and natural exploration, reflective of the playful and explorative spirit in therapy philosophy.
My Philoshopy
My Philosophy

I am a relentless advocate for the emotional well-being of our children, whose fundamental rights include the freedom to imagine and play. I am captivated by the curious, authentic, and uninhibited nature of children – those who live out in the world and those residing within our hearts.

I trust in our inherent capacity for creativity and believe in the power of play, expressive arts, and Authentic Movement to help our children thrive. These practices are also vital in healing our inner child wounds, allowing us to rediscover the sparkle of enthusiasm in our lives.

Close-up of Maria Lentzou smiling warmly, embodying the compassionate and nurturing approach central to her therapy philosophy.

I am honored to support both your child and inner child, guiding them to navigate life's challenges with greater ease, recover their joy, and enhance their cognitive, social, and emotional well-being

 

My intention is to nurture your journey through parenthood, increasing confidence in both yourself and your child. This involves embracing a holistic approach to therapy that considers all aspects of a child’s well-being, including emotional, mental, and physical health, with a particular focus on the importance of nutrition.

Research has consistently shown that a healthy diet is essential in supporting a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. Collaborating with nutritional practitioners, schools, and other professionals involved in a child’s care allows us to create a comprehensive support system. This approach helps children achieve balance and wellness in all life areas, profoundly impacting their overall well-being.

Originally from Greece, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. Fluent in English, Greek, and Spanish, I hold an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from CIIS. With over 15 years of experience working with children and adults as a teaching artist, psycho-educator, and therapist, I bring a unique blend of skills to my practice. This includes the creation of 'MarlaGran', a bilingual interactive creative kit designed to foster children's social-emotional growth, enhancing their ability to express, understand, and manage emotions effectively.

Maria Lentzou, LMFT, NTP

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #125237

Nutritional Therapy Practitioner

Founder of Authentic Movement Soul Freedom

Affiliate with 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 CAMFT ; the California Association of Marriage and Family therapists.

Logo of The Child Therapy Institute, representing Maria Lentzou's affiliation with a renowned child therapy organization.
Psychology Today's 'Verified' badge, denoting Maria Lentzou's verified professional profile on their platform.
Logo of CAMFT, highlighting Maria Lentzou's membership in the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Resources

igniting imagination & awakening creativity to flourish

Resources

A Creative Kit for Children's

Social-Emotional Growth

MarlaGran's

Bilingual Adventure

Explore 'MarlaGran', a uniquely crafted creative kit for kids, featuring a 60-page illustrated book and interactive tools available in both English and Spanish. Designed as an ideal resource, it fosters children's social-emotional growth, echoing my emphasis on holistic child development and nurturing parenting approaches. 'MarlaGran' is more than just a kit; it's a bridge to deeper understanding and connection, supporting children in expressing their emotions, enhancing creativity, and developing empathy – key aspects of their emotional and social development.

Written testimonial by children expressing their enjoyment and engagement with MarlaGran's story..
Contact
contact maria
Cozy sitting area in Maria Lentzou's therapy office, featuring a soothing painting of two birds in flight, creating a welcoming and serene atmosphere.

Please contact me with any questions,

to schedule a free 20 min.

phone consultation,

or to set up your initial session.

I look forward to meeting you!

3195 California Street, #D

San Francisco, CA 94115

+1 - 415 - 862 - 1656

maria.am.mft@gmail.com

Bookcases displaying a sandtray collection and dollhouse in Maria Lentzou's therapy office, reflecting the creative and therapeutic tools used in sessions.
Icon version of the Authentic Movement Soul Freedom logo, symbolizing the core essence of Maria Lentzou's wellness practice.

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