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Light and Shadow

Embodied & Empowered


Consultation, Coaching, Therapy & Continuing Education

My name is Malia and I am a therapist (LCSW-NJ & RPT-S) as well as a provider of quality continuing education, supervision, coaching and workshops for:

  • mental health clinicians

  • educators at every level

  • parents of kids ages 3-18

  • adults ages 18+ 

The most empowering element to my work is offering you the permission to do things your way; free from judgment and from a place of inner-knowing.

About Play Therapy

the modality that started it all for me...

Working with kids was a clear, early passion for me. Because I struggled as a student and had a challenging childhood, I was drawn toward helping children uncover their strengths and recognize their own capacity toward positive growth and change. 

Play therapy is an evidence-based practice that facilitates pro-social development in children, fosters stronger attachment bonds with caregivers and has excellent implications for the future well-being of those who participate. Prospective families should know that I practice a hybrid of non-directive child centered play therapy and Synergetic Play Therapy in my work. Kids are permitted to be loud, messy, expressive in our therapy sessions. Parents are offered strategies & support to enhance their child's 1:1 work.

Those seeking in-person therapy for themselves or their children can work with me at The Therapy Institute, located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, USA.

Candy Stripes


How has Malia & her approach impacted children across environments; home, school, friends?

Erich A.

"After about 4 months of play therapy sessions, our child began to use the self-regulation skills that Malia modeled during their sessions together. We saw less meltdowns and heard more 'belly breaths'. My wife & I also learned how to step into our 'parenting power' with Malia's support & guidance."

Malia & model

Helen R.

"Malia helped my child with their anxiety symptoms that were affecting our sleep and day-to-day functioning. I watched their confidence grow in new & challenging situations. I received so many compliments about how much more polite and regulated they were."

Chris F.

"Malia has a true passion for student mental health services, enhancing self-awareness, reducing challenging student behavior & increasing adult understanding of the 'why' behind the things that drive teachers up the wall."


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