Meet My Cat

I wrote this post for kids who have had something bad or scary happen to them.

This is Vera. She has lived with me for about three years now.

Vera likes to “borrow” my fidget spinners.

As all my clients know, I love animals and absolutely adore my cats. Those who are currently receiving services as I work from home have gotten to meet them on camera.

A little back story on Vera: we aren’t sure exactly how old she is because she was brought into the rescue as a stray. We don’t know where she was born or whether she lived with other humans before us, but we do know some things about her based on her behavior.

This is from the day after Vera moved in with me. She is much bigger and fluffier now!

We know that Vera gets easily startled by loud noises, and she runs away and hides from strange people. We know she hates the stepladder (I like to say it’s because she never met her biological ladder). We know she had short hair when they found her, but after getting enough to eat for several months, her coat grew long and soft.

We might not know exactly what Vera’s life was like before we met her, but we know that she probably felt scared a lot of the time, and she had to always be on the lookout for danger. We know that she still looks out for danger a lot of the time, no matter how safe she is at our house.

The doctor is in

Vera has a hard time letting go of the fear and worry that helped her survive when she lived outside. This happens to a lot of people, too: when something bad or scary happens, it’s hard not to be on the lookout for something bad or scary in the future.

Vera might never completely stop feeling scared when the microwave beeps or when I get the ladder out to reach something up high. But she will always know that we love her, and we will always keep her safe.

A very safe and happy cat

Published by Amy Marschall, Psy.D.

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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