A professional who can help your child be equipped with the skills to express and manage their emotions effectively so they can be successful at home, school and with peers.
In most cases, when children act out they are simply trying to manage all the stress that is happening in the family, the home, at school, or internally. Very often it’s easy to notice something is wrong, yet the child has difficulty communicating what the cause is. Providing a safe, comfortable environment for children allows them to open up and explore these feelings, while identifying healthier ways of coping with them.
Social SkillsTeaching children skills to manage their emotions and relate in social situations more skillfully.
School IssuesDiagnosing and teaching skills that address school-related problems.
Stress ManagementHelping children manage feelings of anxiety and effectively cope with daily stressors at home and at school.
Self-EsteemHelping to support a healthy sense of self-confidence so a child feels able to handle new situations and transitions more easily.
Therapy with children starts with meeting a child where they are at and building a positive connection. I use art, games, toys, puppets combined with talk therapy to access the internal world of the children I work with. I aim to build a safe and trusting relationship where children can feel comfortable expressing what they are struggling with words or through play. Children benefit from having someone to confide in and a place they can freely express their thoughts and feelings, rather than letting them build up inside them.
I teach children specific skills so they can be more successful in managing and express their feelings. In therapy, children learn ways to cope with different situations at home, at school and with peers in an age-appropriate manner. I help children to consider situations from different perspectives by having them imagine what it might feel like from another’s point of view. Together we practice responding differently and role-playing challenging situations so they can better handle these types of situations outside of the office.
I also make it a point to celebrate and build on each child’s unique strengths. I highlight a child’s victories, and reinforce positive and adaptive behaviors. I consciously model myself and our relationship after the things I want them to learn, because I believe my behavior has a significant influence on the children I work with.
Marisa completed her pre-doctoral internship at the prestigious Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, New York , testing and providing therapy to kids and adolescents and their families in the in-patient and partial hospitalization programs. Additionally, Dr. Schnapp worked for years at the Forbush School at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore, Maryland, providing therapy to children and adolescents with complex intellectual and behavioral disabilities, including autism spectrum and other related disorders.