UM Counseling scholar leads governing body for U.S. play therapists
By: Andrew Abernathy, Ole Miss News Desk
Marilyn Snow, a leading expert in the growing mental health field of play therapy and a University of Mississippi professor, has been appointed chair of the board of directors for the Association for Play Therapy, the governing body for play therapists in the United States.
Snow, a licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist supervisor with more than 25 years’ experience, joined the Ole Miss faculty in 2000. She serves as director of the UM Child Advocacy and Play Therapy Institute, or CAPTI.
Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy where mental health professionals observe children’s behavior during play in a safe, playroom environment to identify sources of stress and emotional trauma in children who are unable to express problems verbally. It’s a specialization often sought by counselors, clinical social workers and other mental health clinicians.
“We’re in a position to take a big leap as a profession,” said Snow, who has served on the board since 2008 and will serve as chair for one year. “Play therapy is a specialized field for the professions of counseling, psychology, social work and mental health and provides specialized techniques to help children. I think it’s really going to take off in the United States once we demonstrate what can be done.”
In her new leadership role, Snow says she hopes to support the board as they work toward their vision for the association, which is to include more mental health practitioners in play therapy and to educate the public on the benefits of play therapy.
“Dr. Snow was elected by her fellow directors because of her demonstrated leadership at Ole Miss and in play therapy and our organization for more than a decade,” said APT President Bill Burns. “She understands the bigger picture and can focus and motivate our board to pursue it.”
Snow taught previously at Delta State University, Mercer University and Georgia State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy as well as master’s, specialist and doctorate degrees in counseling. A nationally certified counselor, she holds professional counseling licenses in Georgia and Mississippi.