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Interview with psychologist Dr. Amy Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall is a psychologist who educates about mental illness through blogging, books, and presentations. She is from Minnesota and still lives in the Midwest. Based on all these similarities (and her awesome twitter persona: @DrAmyMarschall – check it out) I reached out and was lucky enough to speak with her over video chat.

Even better, her cat Armani joined us. He even does his own mental health promotion work via the book, Armani Doesn’t Feel Well: A Book to Help Sick Kids. The story helps normalize the process of going to the doctor (or vet) and taking medication. Her other cat may make an appearance in a future book, given his past experience as a stray, to touch on topics like housing insecurity and trauma (ladders are scary!).

Note: despite both being mental health paw-fessionals, Armani and my therapy dog Peach did not have much to say to each other.

Amy and I talked about how difficult it is to find good representation of mental illness and treatment in media. Stories often fail to be accurate, representative, accurate in labelling and/or not stigmatizing. Likewise, therapists in these depictions may cross ethical boundaries willy-nilly or instantly cure patients. Our work would be so much easier if a 5-minute session resulted in life-altering breakthroughs!

Amy specializes in working with kids and doing telehealth therapy. Until the pandemic, there wasn’t enough evidence for using telehealth with kids. While transitioning, Amy started her blog in summer 2020 to talk about what worked for her, and to provide resources for therapists (i.e. how to transition to remote care, creating a professional will and why it’s important).

The blog also seeks to educate the general public on topics that are commonly misunderstood about mental health (i.e. what is “a” psych eval -- there are many different kinds, suicide prevention, and risk assessment). Amy even created a continuing education course with PESI on doing telemental health with kids, before publishing the book Telemental Health with Kids Toolbox. Her other books include I Don’t Want To Be Bad: A CBT Workbook for Kids, Parents, and the Professionals who Help Them, a coloring book, and A Year of Resiliency: 465 Journal Prompts to Become Your Strongest Self. A fiction book may round out this list in the future, so stay tuned.

Her bio:

Dr. Marschall earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut. She completed her pre-doctoral internship through the National Psychology Training Consortium and her post-doctoral residency at Family Psychological Center, PA.

Dr. Marschall has been in practice since 2016 and works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic with Sioux Falls Psychological Services, providing assessment and therapy treatment to clients age two through college. She also provides ADHD assessments through ADHD Online and therapy services through Spring Health and Carmichael Psychology, LLC.

In her spare time, Dr. Marschall enjoys reading, making jewelry, and writing. She is licensed to practice psychology in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Interested in reading more about mental health? Check out any of Amy's books above, or my young adult fiction novel about eating disorders, suicide, and more, Starvation.

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