Child misbehaving? Play therapy could help identify the problem - AmericaNowNews.com

Child misbehaving? Play therapy could help identify the problem

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If a child in your life has behavioral problems, they may be trying to tell you something they just cannot put into words.

A program called 'play therapy' at the University of Mississippi may be just what the doctor ordered.

Observing a 4-year-old in a room full of toys helps Mental Health Counselor Lacy Crumrine identify behavioral problems and the causes behind them.

"We can tell when a child is working on issues through the type of play that they're showing us," said Lacy Crumrine M.Ed., NCC.

Weekly sessions allow children to express themselves in a way they can't accomplish with words.

"There are a lot of things that kids have to go through, and so play therapy gives them an opportunity to come in and sort of work out whatever is going on," said Dr. Marilyn Snow.

Dr. Marilyn Snow began play therapy at the university's Child Advocacy and Play Therapy Institute not long ago.

Children use toys to communicate causes of anxiety, bullying and developmental disabilities, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

Counselors' advice to parents with children exhibiting unusual behavior is to follow your instincts.

"An increased amount of aggression or an increased amount of isolation or even sadness," said Crumrine.

Your child may be trying to tell you something. Something they can only say while at play.

Ole Miss is the first school in the country to offer a play therapy degree in response to a growing need for registered play therapists.

The Child Advocacy and Play Therapy Institute at Ole Miss is open to children in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Payment for services is based on income.

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