About Me

I feel really lucky to live in a place that I love, and do work that I find so rewarding! A few times I did venture away from Ithaca, but then always came back; altogether I’ve lived here over 35 years. The vibrant arts scene and natural beauty truly feed my soul, as well as many great friends.

Adventure, creativity, music, and a sense of community are probably the most important things in my life – in addition to helping people be the very best they can be through my work. In my “former life” I’ve been a pie baker, day care provider, teacher of English as a Second Language, school social worker, and program director/coordinator. I’m also a mom to two amazing grown sons!

When I am not either working or hanging out with friends, you can often find me at home snuggled with my cat, sewing, working on some decorating project, working in my garden, or hacking away at some new tune on the piano.

Professional Experience and Education

I hold a New York State clinical social work license (#084919). I have a broad range of experience working with adults and children, including school-based, out-patient, and community-based settings (e.g., Head Start). I am a graduate of Syracuse University's School of Social Work, with a concentration in Family Mental Health. My Bachelors is in Human Development, from Empire State College.

My clinical specializations are in the areas of: anxiety, trauma, phobias, grief/loss, and relational issues. Sharing my knowledge and skills is also a passion of mine. I am available for consultation or supervision to other mental health professionals/students. If you are looking to become a Registered Play Therapist, I can supervise you and guide you along in the process! 

As a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor I have over 200 hours in play therapy-specific training - including 30 hours in the area of supervision for play therapists. My required coursework was completed at Western Connecticut State University, under the instruction of Dr. Gabriel Lomas and Dr. Athena Drewes. Specific models of play therapy that I am trained in and have used include child-centered play therapy (CCPT), sand tray therapy, cognitive-based play therapy, and integrative play therapy (where I combine two or more models). I am also certified at the foundational level in Theraplay.

My other specialized training is in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), which is best suited for adults and older children. I have used ART with over 100 people, and was trained in 2015, by Laney Rosenzweig, the founder of ART. Following my Basic training in ART, I took both of the upper-level trainings, and am certified at the Advanced level. My own personal experience with ART is that during my initial training practicum, I received help in overcoming a phobia I had struggled with all my life; eight years later in 2023, I still feel confident in my ability to handle a "triggering" situation when it arises.

Ithaca Commons in full bloom

Links & Resources

View recommended websites and other valuable resources.

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Ellen Maranca, LCSW-R, RPT-S

 Ithaca, NY 14850