Interview with Molly Fennig, Author and PhD Student

CW: This post talks about eating disorders in general terms.

Back in November, Molly Fennig reached out to me via my website to discuss a possible collaboration. (If you’re an author and in mental health, feel free to reach out here!)

Molly is a first-year PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis and originally from Minnesota. Of course, as a fellow native Minnesotan, we were immediately the best of friends. I also got to virtually meet Peach, Molly’s dog, who is training to be a therapy dog.

Molly and Peaches

Molly is the author of Starvation, a story of a high school wrestling student who develops an eating disorder. I read Starvation and found that Molly handled the difficult issues in this book very well. She portrayed the trauma behind her character’s mental illness with nuance and accuracy, which is difficult to find in fiction.

She wanted to specifically explore eating disorders in boys, an often-overlooked population, and the aspects of diet culture that influence unhealthy eating. Talking to Molly, I could tell she takes a careful approach to physical health and emphasizes Health at Any Size.

Many of the books I talk about on this blog are non-fiction, but I think it is important to also look at fictional depictions of mental health. There is a need for accurate representations in media, and Molly’s book provides that for eating disorders.

Starvation Cover

For her next book, Molly is working on a story of a girl coping with panic disorder. It will be another example of mental health being accurately and sensitively portrayed in media. Her progress has had to slow down a bit with graduate school, but I am excited to check it out!

As a student, Molly is still in the process of figuring out her career goals. Her current clinical interests are eating disorders, trauma, and anxiety disorders. She is also interested in EMDR and outpatient therapy.

Molly is also in the process of developing an app to help clients step down from inpatient or intensive treatment as a supplement to ongoing therapy services. I look forward to sharing more information on this when it becomes available!

Molly’s website has an extensive list of resources for anyone needing support.

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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