"It takes a village to raise a child"

We seek to assist children and families to develop a healthy sense of self, and a greater capacity to succeed in the world and in their relationships.

About Us

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About Us

The Child Therapy Institute, previously called The Child Therapy Institute of Marin, was founded in 1992 by Tessamarie Capitolo, MFT, ISST and David Capitolo, MFT. our services and mission still greatly reflect their vision for affordable ongoing psychotherapy for children and families from many different backgrounds.

We seek to increase awareness that our community’s children are a precious resource to be nurtured, protected, and guided into adulthood.

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Services for Children

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Services for Children

Many children go through a time in life where they seem to struggle in school and at home. For some children, these changes may seem to come out of the blue. For other children, they are a response to transitions such as the birth of a sibling, divorce, a move or a death in the family. If children experience emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, they frequently are more able to heal from this event with the help of a therapist.

We work with parents of child clients in a team approach to therapy. This means that parents are a resource in their child’s treatment and we assist parents with parenting concerns as needed, meeting without the child in monthly sessions separate from the child’s weekly sessions. In parent meetings, the parents help the therapist assess progress and continued challenges and the therapist offers ideas and new skills in the face of old patterns and difficult behaviors. The therapist may also discuss referrals for the family to other services such as support groups, socialization groups, psychological assessment, or counseling for other family members.

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Expressive Arts

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Expressive Arts

Other children may just feel their emotions in a deeper shade and might need a little extra support to process their experience of their internal and external worlds. These are children who may not experience any of the more serious symptoms above but may have minor difficulties in social interactions or at home. Parents or teachers might notice general “angst”, moodiness or intense emotions that come out in ways that negatively impact the child’s ability to thrive at school or at home. Here are some characteristics of a child who might thrive and benefit from an expressive arts and sandplay process:

  • highly creative and imaginative
  • often express a wide range of emotions
  • often express emotions very intensely
  • have difficulty making friends or fitting in with groups of other children
  • seem different from their peers in a variety of ways
  • often choose to be alone and engaging in solitary imaginary play

The therapist meets with the parents to learn more about the child and then begins weekly sessions with the child. The child has free use of the sandplay, art and other creative materials and the primary goal revolves around self-expression. Parents meet alone with the therapist every 4-6 weeks to learn more about the child’s inner world and what family members and teachers can do to encourage increased thriving and self-esteem for this child.

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