Therapy can be beneficial to many people. It could be for someone who deals with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or ADHD to someone who struggles with situational problems, relationship challenges, irritability, or needing coping skills to stressful or anxiety provoking situations.
If you are a parent struggling with how to navigate the challenging situations with your child or teens, or would like to improve the relationship with them, parenting sessions can support the path.
Marika works with all ages (preschoolers, school age children, teens, and adults). In general, younger children engage in play therapy (in-person sessions). If your child wishes to engage in talk therapy, online therapy sessions is a great option. Marika also offers parenting therapy sessions, and it is a great way for parents to assist their children.
Children use toys and play activities as a way to explore the world and to express their emotions and needs. Play therapy is informed by developmental neurobiology that discovered it promotes optimal brain development of children.
For children, play is serious and purposeful activity through which they work to resolve inner conflicts, anxieties and fears that underlie problem behaviors. Play as a form of therapy differs greatly from regular play in that it is a structured and strategic method of therapy that is theoretically sound and conducted by a trained professional.
In play therapy, Marika strives to create a trusting and safe relationship with the child and provide an accepting, respectful and free healing space.
In typical therapy, we express ourselves in words and body language which allows us to communicate thoughts and emotions in a safe environment.
The limitation of “talk-therapy” is that the inner experience shrinks as it passes through the analytical left-brain and is formulated into words. Verbal language makes it easier for us to communicate and understand each other, but it also tends to label experiences rather than to describe them, which leads to only partial expression of the issue leaving much in the shadows of the unconscious.
Sand play offers a different and deeper form of communication. A type of communication where a person can connect with the totality of their being, the True Self.
Sand play is the language of our own inner being that stimulates fantasy, imagination and growth. The images (miniature toys) in sand play provide a medium for that which cannot be spoken.
Many emotional disturbances, or negative patterns of behavior that are in the way of fully experiencing life and social relationships, originate from some sort of trauma or multiple traumatic events. When we do not adequately process these traumas, they remain in our nervous system, brain, body, and the emotional self in an unprocessed form. It is as if part of us is "frozen in time". The old feelings of hurt, anger, fear, rejection, mistrust, or disturbing intrusive thoughts or images might surface to the consciousness for no apparent reason. Triggers in the present time open the gates to the wounds of the past, and we may find ourselves drifting uncontrollably in the sea of emotions or unpleasant body sensations. We know the reason why these experiences continue happen even years after the trauma is over. They have remained locked in the nervous system in an unprocessed form. As long as trauma is unprocessed, it has an impact on us.
EMDR helps a person overcome trauma by activating the natural processing system of the nervous system. It sort of helps the mind "digest" all the bad things that happened, put them in a new perspective and constructs an inner order that feels more balanced and neutral.
EMDR can be used with both adults and children. Please ask her more about EMDR to determine if this might be the right treatment method for you.
The majority of our first session is devoted to gathering information about your current challenges, goals, and background. It’s also a time for you to ask questions and determine whether she is a good fit for the journey ahead. Most people use the first few sessions to gage whether this is a “good fit” - do you feel connected with her? does she help you with what you need? If you felt she is not the right fit to you, she is more than happy to offer referrals to other therapists in your area.
It all depends on your needs and your preference. Insight-oriented therapy that focuses on a single behavioral phenomenon, can be short term, 3-6 months. Sometimes therapy lasts longer, as long-term patterns or trauma experience often take time to unravel and adapt. In general, many people prefer to start with weekly sessions, and as they make improvements and gain some coping skills, they shift to biweekly and monthly until termination. After that, some people prefer to come “as needed” for some “tune up.”
Marika is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of California. She takes an active role in therapy process rather than being a “good listener” so that you can make the changes you hope to.
She has held a variety of roles through her professional career, including outpatient therapist, residential facility therapist, inpatient case manager, and in private practice.
In addition to her educational background of Masters in Social Work, she has additional training in Sand play therapy, play therapy, as well as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) training from EMDRIA. She also has a degree in Education and teaching experience.
Online therapy hours are M-F 8am to 3:00pm. In-person (Walk & Talk) therapy hours are arranged upon agreement. After hours therapy appointment is available upon agreement with an additional cost.