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Tornado-related family therapy event upcoming in Mayfield

Graves County Public Library Facebook

A children’s play therapy event aimed at helping children emotionally impacted by December’s tornado impact will be held at the Graves County Public Library Saturday.

Family Play Day – hosted by Tree of Hope, a family enhancement and counseling group – will be an opportunity for families to spend time together as children use different activity centers to work through their emotions about the months since the disaster. The event, which will run from noon to 4 p.m., is set up to allow people to come and go as needed.

Christy Harris, a child and family therapist with Tree of Hope, said this event will help educate parents on how children communicate through play.

Harris said she’s received calls from people about children and family members struggling with more anxiety since the tornadoes. One thing she’s heard is that some children are struggling to leave their parents for things like school.

“I know a lot of kids are having anxiety [because of the tornado],” Harris said. “This is the place where kids can really act out all of these big feelings that they're having, and that's particularly where parents are needing some help.”

Play therapy is a broad term referring to methods using a child's curiosity to understand their development and mental health. This event will focus on children ages 12 and younger through a variety of activities, including arts and crafts and using toys to play out aggressive feelings.

The event is for all ages and there will also be licensed counselors there to discuss with adults the ways they can deal with stress and trauma from recent events.

Lily Burris is a tornado recovery reporter for WKMS, Murray State's NPR Station. Her nine month reporting project is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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