Maria Lentzou, MFT
Play Therapy for your Child & Parent Coaching
Play Therapy for your Child
supporting your child to be happy and thrive
Society does not always provide appropriate and well designed environments for children to thrive, and life can present unexpected situations.
As a result, kids have to cope with experiences 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.
nurturing confident parents for confident kids
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 in 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.
Inner Child Reparenting
healing past wounds to cultivate joy in the present
We all have been once, in our own way, a curious, carefree, creative, joyful child but struggles, challenges and traumas may have hidden our sparkle.
No matter your age, I can support you to reconnect and become again lovingly responsible for your inner child, to recover the sparkle of enthusiasm.
As George Bernard Shaw says, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
In our sessions we work together as a team, to heal your inner child wounds, to learn how to reparent your inner child to increase self-love and find more joy in everyday life.
My work is ideal for adults who desire to increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety and lighten up the heavy feeling of responsibilities, to keep expanding with more ease.
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 uninhibited nature of children, the ones who live out in the world, and the ones who reside inside our hearts.
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.
I am honored to support your child, and inner child, navigate with more ease the challenges of everyday life, in order to recover their joy and to enhance their cognitive, social and emotional well-being. My intention is to nurture your journey of parenthood to increase the confidence in yourself and your child.
I take a holistic approach to therapy that considers all aspects of a child's well-being, including their physical health and nutrition. Research has shown that a healthy diet is essential for supporting a child's cognitive, social, and emotional development. By collaborating with a nutritional practicioner, the school when needed, and other professionals involved in the child's care, we can help children achieve balance and wellness in all areas of their life, which can have a profound impact on their overall well-being.
Originally from Greece, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. I speak fluent English, Greek, and Spanish and I hold an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from CIIS. I have worked with children and adults for over 15 years, as a teaching artist, psycho-educator and therapist.
Maria Lentzou, MA, MFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #125237
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 Therapy4u.org ; a professional group of Integrative and Somatic Psychotherapists