There are many reasons why a parent or guardian might approach a child counselor or therapist with their concerns, but in many cases, issues surrounding school suspensions and other disciplinary actions play a role. Helping to discover the potential issues underlying certain behaviors is one of the main goals of child psychology, and treatment is often successful in giving children and parents alike insight they can use to create and enjoy happier and healthier experiences. In many parts of the world, however, access to child psychology is extremely limited, and parents may not be able to retain such services, leading to a need for more widely available options.
A study recently performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center points to such a potential alternative. The research focused on the effect of mentoring and the teaching of anger and emotional management upon children in terms of their likelihood to be involved in disciplinary actions at school. During the three-month period of a series of sessions designed to help children understand their feelings and express them in more constructive ways, the researchers found that the treatment had a significant effect. Those children who participated in the emotional management sessions were around half as likely to be involved in any events requiring disciplinary actions.
These benefits extended into a one month period beyond the initial gathering of data, and was especially pronounced in terms of lowering rates of school suspensions. As the mentors who participated in the study were not licensed therapists or counselors, the researchers argue that basic training of those in the educational setting may help provide effective help for children in areas and personal situations that may make traditional treatment difficult to acquire.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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