Google Earth

I remember discovering Google Earth in high school (I just dated myself, oops!). The first place I went was my home address because I am not as creative as I’d like to believe.

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Since the seemingly endless pandemic began, one common theme in a lot of my sessions is grief about canceled trips. At first, I tried putting up virtual backgrounds from that location, but then I remembered how detailed the images on Google Earth are.

This works for so many different prompts – “Where was your vacation going to be?” “Where would you go if you could go anywhere right now?” “What’s your favorite spot in the world?” I share my screen, input the address, and the camera zooms in from space to take us there.

It’s like a real life visualization, which can come in handy with clients who can’t picture images in their minds. It can be a mindfulness or self-regulation exercise, or it can get some great conversation going about memories or goals.

I never would have had a client go on Google Earth during an in-person session, so this is a great example of how telehealth has opened me up to new activities that have been really therapeutic for my clients.

Published by Dr Marschall

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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