Why This Revolutionary Mental Health Tool Promises to Unlock Your Child’s Potential

with special guest Marcy Willard

Quote from Dr. Marcy Willard
Up Your Creative Genius
Why This Revolutionary Mental Health Tool Promises to Unlock Your Child’s Potential

Marcy Willard is a CEO with a Lean and Agile mindset. A huge source of pride is her team who has a culture of empathy, cross-functional teamwork, and an environment that says loud and clear “we’ve got your back.” They commit to not only their customer’s mental health but also their own. Marcy and her team work hard while also respecting the importance of health, rest and family time. In doing so they bring a fresh and enthusiastic energy to the families they serve.

Furthermore, her background as a school psychologist and licensed Psychologist with a PhD in Child, Family, and School Psychology. Believing in the power of offering accessible and reliable mental health expertise to parents and professionals, Dr. Willard’s team has a mission to reach a million families with concerns about a child’s mental health. Rather than the random walk from professional to professional with no clear guidance or direction our tools lead parents and professionals directly to the providers needed to get help right away for their kids. By telling parents ‘what’s the matter’ kids can get off of the waitlist and get on with brighter futures.


1:27 How Marcy Willard became who she is today

10:29 Teach your kid a skill; not to avoid consequences 

11:14 Marcy shares CADE – Children mental health assessment tool

12:44 Marcy shares her process of starting as an entrepreneur

15:21 Listen to your kids and let them know it’s alright 

18:09 How did Marcy face her challenges?

21:27 Make a plan for the future you

26:31 Marcy’s vision in the near future

33:00 Marcy shares tips about pivoting businesses or family dynamic

Social Media 

Linkedin https://www.link edin.com/in/marcy-willard-ph-d-ncsp-35a97692/

Website https://clearchildpsychology.com/

CADE https://clearchildpsychology.com/cade/

Follow Patti Dobrowolski – Instagram

Follow Patti Dobrowolski – Linkedin

Up Your Creative Genius


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Patti Dobrowolski, Marcy Willard

Patti Dobrowolski  00:03

Hello superstars. Welcome to the Up Your Creative Genius podcast where you will gain insight and tips to stomp on the accelerator and blast off to transform your business and your life. I’m your host, Patti Dobrowolski. And if this is your first time tuning in, then strap in because this is serious rocket fuel. Each week I interview fellow creative geniuses to help you learn how easy it is to up your creative genius in any part of your life. Hey, everybody, it’s Patti Dobrowolski, as you know, and here we are. 

Today, my guest is Marcy Willard. Dr. Marcy Willard, let’s get it right. She’s a licenced psychologist. She’s a tech entrepreneur. She’s a nationally certified school psychologist and author of assessment of autism spectrum disorder. And that’s a clinical book. So get that right today, I would download it and get it. But you are the founder of clear child psychology, which I think you’re committed to making child psychology accessible to everyone. And I love that about you. And you are so amazing the things that you’re doing. I am so happy to have you. Thank you for being here.

Marcy Willard  01:22

Wonderful. Thank you for having me, Patti. I am. So looking forward to this.

Patti Dobrowolski  01:27

I know, you know, we just met. So for those listeners, we just met randomly through a mutual friend. And we were like, Oh, my God, like this was the best conversation. And immediately I said, you have to be on the podcast. Because the things that you’re doing Marcy are just so they’re really game changing for parents of kids who have neurodiversity. And if you’re a parent listening out there, or you know, someone who has a child with neurodiversity really want to tune in to this, because you’re going to get an understanding for the things in the complexity of that. And so you understand. 

And Marcy, I hope you’ll talk about this at some point. This is normal, you know, we think that kids are supposed to be treated in a certain way, and that you treat the special kids in a certain way. But everybody’s special now. So people have to realise that change. So tell us tell us, Marcy, a little bit about you. So people can get to know you a little bit. Tell them about yourself. How’d you get here?

Marcy Willard  02:29

Cool, right? Well, wonderful, Patti. I’m so excited to do this. So in terms of how I arrived here, and a little bit about me, I was a software salesperson, well over two decades ago, that’s scary to say putty and had a really good experience. 

But I had this heart paying to do something to change the world. You can call it a blessing, you can call it a curse, right? But I wanted to make things better. And I was a psychologist working with this person, Dr. Anna Kroncke, who has now become my co founder. And we decided that something had to change and Child Mental Health. And I’ll tell you why. Okay, we were on this mission to help these kids. And we were doing assessments. So we primarily did diagnostic assessment for children. Right. 

So paediatric diagnostic assessment, and we would have these parents come in, and we would tell them, hey, here’s what’s going on. You’ve got a great kid. Here’s some of their amazing talents. And here are some of their challenges. And here’s what you need to do. And here’s some recommendations to get you moving forward. And they would look at us every time inevitably and say, Wow, thank you. This is amazing. This is life changing, that we can finally have the path forward. It’s like a golden key that unlocks the door to my child’s future and potential. And then they would look at us and say, I got one question for you, though. Where were you five years ago?

Patti Dobrowolski  04:02

Oh, yeah. Right. Oh, my God. Can’t you feel that pain of all those parents? Yeah.

Marcy Willard  04:08

So it was just brutal to hear. And sometimes we’d be right down the street Patti. And you’d think, Gosh, this is a mess, right? So these parents that have waited for on average two years to get into get help for their child. And then the help is readily available, but it’s just not accessible to people, right? The psychologist know what to do. 

There’s a pretty clear formula for how to help these things. But nobody could find the psychologist. And now it’s gotten even more dire. There are even fewer psychologists than there were then. And as you know, there’s a mental health crisis on our hands. So you have about 500,000 mental health providers, many of which do not do diagnosis. And then you have 20 plus million families looking for those people.

Patti Dobrowolski  04:55

Wow. Yeah, that is incredible. Right? Ah, wow, that said, wow, that’s just like over the top. You know, I mean, I worked in mental health. So I understand really, I remember that change, you know, when we started to do HMO and how everything shifted, then I was like, oh, no, this is going to mean, healthcare isn’t accessible support for people who have mental health issues isn’t going to be accessible anymore? Because nobody’s going to pay for it.

Marcy Willard  05:25

Yeah. So what is really alarming and pretty unbelievable, is even when families do have the means right to get good help for their child, which is a blessing in itself. They still can’t find people to help them. Right? So.

Patti Dobrowolski  05:40

If so it doesn’t matter. If you have money, or you don’t, you can’t find help, you can’t find help. Wow. So then you and your partner, you stepped in to kind of fill that gap in you?

Marcy Willard  05:52

Yeah. So what we did was we decided that we could make this assessment process more of a formula, right? So let’s look across all the areas that could be impacted in a child’s mental health behaviour or development. Let’s put it in a model that makes sense. And let’s create an image for each specific symptom, which is what those pictures are behind me.

Patti Dobrowolski  06:15

Oh, that’s fantastic. I was looking at those like, what are they? I was hoping you’re going to talk about, okay, good.

Marcy Willard  06:20

So you see the girl with a shell there. That’s about auditory processing. So listening and understanding what’s coming in through your ears and making sense of it. Right. So right, we made an image like that for every single symptom. And then we wrote an article for every single one. And we put them in that textbook that I had published with Dr. Anna Kroncke and Dr. Helena Huckabee, we’ve produced this textbook. And what happened there was we were able to say, here’s the stuff that needs to be looked at for any kid. Right? Yeah. And then once the kid responds in a certain way, then you’re going to dive deeper into certain areas. So it’s a dynamic process.

Patti Dobrowolski  06:56

Meaning that it’s not really like you’re going to tell them what to do is that you expect the parent to be engaged or teacher to be engaged in some way with the experience to see what does work. Right.

Marcy Willard  07:09

Right. Right.

Patti Dobrowolski  07:10

So because I think parents, you know, people, they love to have like a one thing fits all. And that’s just not what we’re dealing with.

Marcy Willard  07:17

Yeah, the magic pill or that. It does not exist. I hate to break it to people. But yeah, yeah, it’s a journey. And what we discovered in this process was that families really need ready access to tools that they can use right now.

Patti Dobrowolski  07:33


Marcy Willard  07:33

And that a lot of the tools that we were all taught as kids or generationally were passed down, really don’t work, especially with neurodiverse kids.

Patti Dobrowolski  07:43

Oh, give me an example of something like that, that you’re talking about. That doesn’t work that was passed down?

Marcy Willard  07:48

Well, you’re ready for one that I’m going to get in trouble for saying.

Patti Dobrowolski  07:51

Yeah, of course, because this is Up Your Creative Genius. We’re all about getting in trouble.

Marcy Willard  07:56

Yes. Right. Right. So consequences. So that’s a big one, right? So even, you know, really, very savvy parents are applying consequences to their child based on their behavior. And it sounds good. It sounds like an idea. Right? So if they do these behaviors,

Patti Dobrowolski  08:14

Because then it would be like Skinner box, right? That if you go down and press the lever, then I’m going to give you a pellet, like, AKA your phone back.

Marcy Willard  08:23

Right? So what happens with that is, on the one hand, withholding reinforcement is a good thing. So let’s say I don’t work, I don’t get paid. That’s rare. Right? Right. If I’m a parent, and I’m essentially paying my kids through whatever means we give away things. Yes. And I withhold that because I’m expecting a certain behaviour to happen. I make it contingent. That works. Because you go, Oh, what do I have to do to get what I want? Oh, I have to do that. 

Okay. Okay. On the other side, it doesn’t work. And this is what we’ve all been taught. And then when you go to try it, you’ll realise that it almost never works. And it’s this idea of you did this wrong thing. So I’m going to apply this consequence which kids think all consequences are negative, because parents are always saying, I’m going to give you a consequence. Right? And, and consequences are like, go to your room, get a timeout, get such and such taken away. I’m gonna take all these different privileges, things like that. So what ends up happening is, the kid feels the sense that you’re trying to control them, right? Like a puppet.

 Yes. So they resist that. And then what they do, and this is a great example, another thing I can get in trouble for. So you’re driving down the road, and you see a police officer, you know, on the side of the road. So what do you do? Instantly slow down, right? You take your foot off the gas, you slow down, and then the police officer drives away. So what do I do now? Speed it back up, right up. Right?

Patti Dobrowolski  09:49

So that’s what your kid does, then. Yeah, so um, I get a time out and then I’m gonna go right back to what I did before.

Marcy Willard  09:56

So what they do is right, they gotta go. They have a lot of creative ways. To get out of that punishment, yeah, in the moment, the parent feels like they’ve won that because the child does comply. Right? But what ends up happening is it didn’t teach me anything, right. I didn’t learn anything. I just learned how to avoid your punishment.

Patti Dobrowolski  10:13

Yeah, yeah, that’s right, which is not good. Because then you don’t ever understand your behaviour, you don’t understand what’s going to make the world work better for you. So you end up living a life filled with avoiding consequences, which Yeah, no, that’s not good.

Marcy Willard  10:29

And then what they’ve learned, and Dan Siegel is a big professor of this and both handle arson, and I talk about Dan Siegel’s work all the time. We love it. And he talks about the idea of discipline, the root word of discipline is to teach, right? What am I trying to teach this child to do? Yeah. And so when you’re teaching a skill, you would never just have I rip out the rug from under you, and then see if you’re right, that’s right. 

Right, you would go, let’s partner on this. Let’s mentor on this. Let’s talk about creative ways we can address this. Yeah, it’s okay to withhold your behaviours, right to say, I’m not going to pay you for that. We’re not going to give you something for that. But to say, I’m going to put all these obstacles in your path is really just it’s a game that we’re playing with ourselves.

Patti Dobrowolski  11:14

Yeah, yeah, no doubt, no doubt. So Marcy, you were in the schools, you saw these issues, and you were working with kids. And you saw these things happen. So you created this assessment that people could use, but talk about how you married your technology? Because this is really the thing that I was so impressed by and interested in, you know, was you created something from that, that made it easier for people to access it anywhere?

Marcy Willard  11:44

Yeah, so this is from Clear Child Psychology, we created an app called CADE, CADE. And CADE is a method for families to access the kinds of strategies and recommendations they need to help their child. Yeah, and it’s immediate. And that was really, really important. Because when parents are under stress, they don’t have time to go make an appointment and sit down and have these long discussions with you, even if they can get in. 

So what we developed was an assessment that parents can do. It’s dynamic, like we talked about, like we did in our clinical assessments. So yes, answer a certain set of questions, get recommendations right away for that. And then they can keep going if they have more questions that they want answers to, right. So we provide immediate recommendations in the moment through the app.

Patti Dobrowolski  12:35


Marcy Willard  12:36

And then on top of that, they can upgrade to get live coaching from us, okay, a psychologist or other therapists to guide them on their journey.

Patti Dobrowolski  12:44

Oh, that’s so fantastic. I know that parents need that. Right now. They’re just at a loss about what to do. So this to me is so incredible that you created this. Now, tell me you created then a whole business around this. So you did first the childcare psychology, the Clear Child Psychology, right. But so now the app is happening. 

And so where are you in the process of that? And now you’re really an entrepreneur in the entrepreneur space. Right? So how did you adjust and learn what you needed to do? What did you do in your mindset in order to move and shift into this area where you’re just desperate? And did that desperation lead to something tell me about the entrepreneur part of it? Because it’s not easy to have a business that’s around that?

Marcy Willard  13:36

Right, right. Yeah, they say necessity is the mother of invention, right? Yeah, definitely. No doubt. So I knew from the beginning that I wanted our tools to be technology based.

Patti Dobrowolski  13:46


Marcy Willard  13:47

And I also knew that I would never take the human element out of it.

Patti Dobrowolski  13:51


Marcy Willard  13:52

Right. So it’s been an iterative adjusting process to determine what really is the best way to provide maximum access to the most people.

Patti Dobrowolski  14:03

Because you’re talking about a diverse audience that’s listening with diverse needs. Like every kid is unique, right?

Marcy Willard  14:10

And millions, millions of people, right?

Patti Dobrowolski  14:12

So it’s not did you say 200 million, right?

Marcy Willard  14:16

Yeah, how many? 20 million?

Patti Dobrowolski  14:18

20 million?

Marcy Willard  14:19

Yeah. 20 million. Yeah. So at least 20 million families that are actively seeking help, yet, most of them won’t get it. Most kids never get mental health support. So the idea that this is happening, right, kept me up at night and made us go, how can we get this into people’s hands faster and more effectively, right. So yeah, everyone. So if it’s just me in my office and Anna in her office, right, we can only help so many people.

Patti Dobrowolski  14:48

No, you can only help however many patients you can see every week Right? Even that’s not the most effective way because you want the parent to be the one who actually is helping the child and then the child helping themselves. You know.

Marcy Willard  15:00

That your body is that agency, right? The agency for the parents because your child’s best advocate, right? You care more than anybody? Yeah. And so you as the parent, having those tools makes all the difference in the world. So it’s one thing for you to come in, get an assessment with a psychologist and you get your big fat report, and you’re on your way.

Patti Dobrowolski  15:21


Marcy Willard  15:21

Right. You don’t have that sense of agency yet, right? You need the tools in your own toolbox, so that the next time your child’s freaking out at Target, you can say, Okay, I’m gonna help you, right, I know how to help you. Tools. And I’ll just give you an example for that. So tantrums are a big when we talk about in our app, and on our website, tantrums, one of the big things that we teach, is to shut your mouth. Yeah, my child is having a tantrum, be quiet. And we all want to just dance around and talk to them and negotiate with them and tell them you can’t do that. And that’s not right. And let me tell you what you need to do. Let me give you some consequences, right? And the kid just spins up more and more and more. And now you’re in the tantrum with them, right?

Patti Dobrowolski  16:05

Yeah, exactly. So it’s your chance from now.

Marcy Willard  16:08

Right? All right. So we teach them to go sit by your child, be present, model your own calm demeanour, show that everything’s okay. By the way, you present yourself and sit with them and breathe. And listen. And I’ll tell you even working in the schools, nine times out of 10, that kiddo will open up and tell you what it really is. And even if you don’t totally agree, you can just show that you get it right. Like, I hear you. You really wanted that. Yeah. And they’ll look at you like, oh, you know, Oh, okay. Right. Yeah. So yeah, I’m still mad. Yeah, I’m not nearly as mad because you get it. Right. Yeah.

Patti Dobrowolski  16:51

And you’re listening to me? Yeah, you’re listening to what it’s really about.

Marcy Willard  16:55

And so then you’ve taught them something, right? Versus like, I’m just gonna go toe to toe with you. And we’re gonna escalate until one of us wins this. Instead of that you go, I’m going to teach you how to calm down when you’re upset. And you’re going to use this the rest of your life. Yeah.

Patti Dobrowolski  17:10

Yeah. Oh, I just love this. This is such a nice way to start the day, in my opinion, you know, with this conversation, because, you know, you watch the parents on the plane, and you watch the parents who are in the grocery store, just freaking out, you think to them? Okay, you know, we’re watching, but we’re okay with it. You know, I think part of it too, we get so judgy about everybody,

Marcy Willard  17:37

Right? Really important for all those parents listening, that if you’re in that situation, and you see a parent with a child, that’s freaking out, and the parent is doing the best they can, you know, give them a wink or a thumbs up or say, hey, you know, you got this, or, Hey, it’s worse sometimes. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Parents are trying as hard as they can. And you know, if your kid is freaking out, there’s not much you can do. Right? And it’s okay. And it’s an illusion to believe that we’re in control of our child’s behaviour. Right?

Patti Dobrowolski  18:09

Okay. So, okay, so I love that that’s really tangible for parents to take away now. Okay, so in this process of doing this, and transitioning, you must have hit your own series of roadblocks. So tell me, what did you do when things became challenging for you? What do you do?

Marcy Willard  18:30

Yeah, that is a really good point.

Patti Dobrowolski  18:32

Because your thing is your baby in a way, and sometimes it does have a tantrum. And so you know, for entrepreneurs that are listening your business is that so? What did you do? How do you help yourself?

Marcy Willard  18:45

Yeah, there are a fair amount of tantrums in engineering and in startups, I would say That definitely happens. Yeah, yeah. So the biggest thing that I’ve learned is a which is going to be right in line with your work is keep your eyes on the prize. Right? So having goals and aspirations is not only important for our kids, but it’s important for us, right? So when you know where you’re going, a lot of times you can endure those rocky patches, number one, and then number two, the importance of self care.

So I really provide the opportunity for that with my team. And I say you need a break, take it rest, you’ll come back better, right? You’ll be in a better place when you return. So self care. So I take a lot of walks, I have my morning meditation, I have my morning, check in with like, this is my plan for the day. And here’s what I’m hoping and intending to do today. And then I check in with myself at the end of the day, and I check off my wins. Hey, yeah, you know, and I caught myself on the back. Hey, nice job, Marcy.

Patti Dobrowolski  19:45

There we go. You know, really, you’re hitting the success button. So I love that. I mean, normally I ask people, what’s your day like? And there you have it, you gave it to us. But I love that what you said was, and I think for those of you that have teams that you’re working with, even if it’s As a small team, you just have a VA or you’re doing courses online, or you’ve got whatever, what you’re talking about is doing a daily check in with them. So that everybody’s on the same page. And you know what you’re working on? Were you a manager of people before you started your own business or and how did you grow into that?

Marcy Willard  20:18

So I was in the business world before, I was not an entrepreneur before. So I didn’t have the entrepreneurial background, but I certainly had a lot of business background. And I think the biggest thing that I learned and continuing to learn, as we all are.

Patti Dobrowolski  20:36

Did you see her? Oh, if you’re not watching, then she kind of looked off to the side, it was like a little in joke with herself about, Okay, we’re ready. There you go.

Marcy Willard  20:46

This is so it’s to be myself, right? Be authentic. And I knew that if I needed those breaks, and those check ins and those, hey, that was rough. Let’s all acknowledge that. If I needed those things, my team likely did too. Right? And what did up happening was, we’re all mobilised toward this important mission to provide mental health and behavioural health access for children to everyone. Right? Right, every parent, because we were all mobilised towards the same mission, and we have permission to rest, you have the most motivated, energetic team you’ll ever see.

Patti Dobrowolski  21:27

Yeah, because the goal is really clear. And the need is really clear. I think this is, you know, part of it, when people are building their business or coming up with something they want to do in the world, you have to realise you’re filling a need with what it is, it’s not just that you want to go do something, you have to do something that fulfils a service for the world in some way. Right? When you marry your passion with service, then you accelerate your ability to expand, and you certainly have so tell people what happened. 

You know, Marcy did a mapping process. But actually, Marcy made me stop doing what I’ve done in the past and start doing something new, which is really amazing. For example, I used to always have people draw the current reality, and the desired future reality on the same map. But this year, I’m not doing it that way anymore, because I learned something from you. And so tell them what you did with your map and what happened?

Marcy Willard  22:31

Yeah, so I do think that Up Your Creative Genius is genius. And I had such a good experience with it that I am delighted to be on your podcast. So what I did, Patti was I drew two pages, one with my current state and one with my future state.

Patti Dobrowolski  22:51


Marcy Willard  22:52

And I drew myself in the picture, which I learned was a really important aspect of this. Right, right. Putting yourself in the mindset of both places, right, my current reality and my future reality. And I drew them in black and white, and then I would put it away, right, I reflected on it. I got excited. I think I shouldn’t say that first, before I put it away. I was really excited about it. So I went about this as a creative, enjoyable process. I’m not an artist, anybody listening to this, it’s going to crack up.

Patti Dobrowolski  23:27

That’s right. And it doesn’t matter. It’s better if you draw stick figures, in fact, so okay, I love that. That’s what the research shows you remember it better?

Marcy Willard  23:34

Okay, great. I started drawing. And I just thought, well, wouldn’t that be neat? And it led to Oh, and another thing I want to try. And another thing I want to do, so I start drawing that. And then on the current state, I say like, Okay, here’s where I am right now. And what ended up happening was, after I put it away, things started to happen. And I would go back and colour in the picture. 

And then I would go, wow, like this is literally coming to life. Right? So the image that I had for my future self and my future vision was coming true and is coming true. And what I realised was a huge key that unlocked that was this getting in the creative process? It’s one thing to set goals, and I am definitely for that. But goals are different than setting a vision, right? So you have goals, and those are important. You set your timeline, you say this is the thing I want to do by x date. But more than that, is that emotional charge that you get right from saying, wouldn’t that be neat? Right?

Patti Dobrowolski  24:35

 Wouldn’t that be incredible? Like that’s what I say, you know, do the courageous, outrageous, so that you really put on your picture these outrageous things that you think wow, I mean, like that would be so cool if that happened. And I tell them what’s one cool thing that happened that you had on your map that you didn’t expect to I need to tell you which one this was about the trophy?

Marcy Willard  24:59

Oh, the trophy Let me tell you about the trophy. So this is somewhat hilarious because I wanted to represent the idea had this big conference coming up, that I was going to be presenting it. And in the conference, the prize winner is the startup of the year. Right. So I wanted to be that. And I wanted the conference to go really well. So in order to have a picture of it, I drew a picture of a trophy, right? Yes, one trophy, I knew what it meant. I knew that if I get that, that means that I won the startup of the year, right. 

So I was really excited about that. So I drew this. And then time goes by we do the contest. I did not win for my company for startup of the year. But we did win for this People’s Choice Award, which was another really cool opportunity, or People’s Choice in the category that we’re in. So in the Health Tech category. So when we won that, of course, excited and we’re all celebrating, and time goes by right Patti. So I’m excited. 

That’s all good. We celebrate, we move on. So months go by, and I get this package in the mail. And it said something about trophy on the outside. And I literally left it sitting in the kitchen, because I thought it was somebody else’s trophy. Right. And my husband like I don’t know. So I go and I open it up. And it’s a trophy. Actually, I haven’t here here, I’ll grab it right here.

Patti Dobrowolski  26:19

Yeah. So if you’re watching, she’s going to grab her trophy for Entrepreneur of the Year. And it’s got a microphone. It’s so amazing.

Marcy Willard  26:27

Yeah, it is so great. That is so cool. So my trophy.

Patti Dobrowolski  26:31

Yeah, love it. So, you know, this is I think what you’re talking about is so essential, because we get caught in the day to day minutia of the things that we want to achieve. And so we do set these goals of things we want to accomplish in the day, in the week, in the month in the year. These are what we’re talking about in terms of goals. And I think having action plans and getting things done. And the essential part that Marcy talked about is acknowledging at the end of the day, what you have done that day, so that you hit that success button. So your brain goes, Yeah, we’re going to do more of that tomorrow, right. 

And that’s really what you’re trying to do. That’s the rat in the skinner box with yourself is that you are pressing the success button which sends dopamine and then you sleep well and then you feel good. And then you wake up the next day, energised to get back to work on these actions, steps that move you further and further towards that bigger vision. But they are gold getting what I call gold getting. 

But the thing that you talked about was this, which was when you are dreaming the vision part. It’s essential for it to be creative. And the way that you described it was you said it was then I thought of this when that’d be cool. And then within this, what if that happened, and then that like that. And so it was an organic process, it builds on itself. 

And if you allow it to be creative, organic and expansive, you step into the future. You never knew about you never imagined. Right that that to me is who you are. To me. You are that expansive self who, you know, was able to get enormous funding. Did people just threw money at you to get that app? Because the need, let me just say the need is so high. We’re talking about 20 million parents with kids that have issues, right? Yes, yes. Yeah. So that’s just incredible. Now, when you think about your vision, now, what’s your bigger vision than when you imagine it?

Marcy Willard  28:40

Yeah. So for myself, you mean?

Patti Dobrowolski  28:43

Yes. And whatever you want to share?

Marcy Willard  28:45

Yeah. So my bigger vision for the business is to make mental and behavioural health access available to everyone, right? So when we set out on this vision in the first place, we said, we’re going to have 1 million kids. And we wrote 1 million kids over everything. We have 1 million kids plastered all over the place. And we still are going to do that. And it grew, right. So the more people that I realised are really struggling like this, a million is not enough. So we really need to go.

Patti Dobrowolski  29:16

20 Millions 20 Millions what we’re going for now.

Marcy Willard  29:19

Yeah, yeah, we’re going for 20 million. Right. So having that as our Northstar, our guiding light is huge, right? And then there’s also this empathy and this accessibility piece, that it’s not just that I want to help these families, because of course I do. I also want to make it a collaborative and accessible process where people are on the same page, and we’re in a peer to peer collaboration, right on how to get their kid moving forward in the family moving forward. A lot of times when I say our family moving forward, a lot of times your child might not change that much.

Patti Dobrowolski  29:55


Marcy Willard  29:56

But you changed, right, right. Because now you get it. You can say You know, he doesn’t have that skill yet. I’m gonna stop beating myself up and getting on his case about this thing that, you know, he just doesn’t have that yet. Right? Yeah. So you’re in a better place. And guess what all the tension in the house comes down, right? Yeah, no, when you go, Oh, I know what to do. It doesn’t mean it’s gonna be perfect, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easy. It’s just means that I know what to do. And so my tensions lower, and I’m not putting the attention on my child, we say that it’s, you know, very contagious when you’re anxious, it goes to your child, right? So we know that we can help them with that way. That’s a big thing for the business. And it’s huge, right?

Patti Dobrowolski  30:35

Yeah. Yeah, I love this. And I was thinking, you know, that’s really the changing the homeostasis of everything, right? That we used to run, or I used to run these couples therapy experiences in Oakland when I was just getting certified right as a drama therapist, and finishing my degree, but I was with a clinical psychologist who had been doing couples therapy for years. So I got to create interactive experiences with her practice. But one of the things that she taught me was really about the face to face of the dynamic. 

And I practice the things that I learned there every single day, which is, when I want something to shift, I need to turn away from it, stop pushing for it to happen and turn away and allow the space for the change to occur. And that involves me changing me always, it’s always about me, you changing yourself, and then it changes the dynamic. 

And then everything is different. But the main thing is, when you’re holding firm and tight, it’s the same with your business, you hold firm and tight to things that you want them a certain way, they get to look a certain way, the things on the right side of the picture in the desired future have to look a certain way. 

No, that’s not how the world works, the world works by openness, the door opens in really, and once you let the door open, then you get inside. And I just think you’re so incredible doing that. And I’m sure parents that are listening or with kids dealing with this, or if you know anybody in your neighbourhood you just got to go give them a thumbs up is what I have to say because you have no idea the level of stress that they’ve been dealing with.

Because if you love your kids, you can imagine they love their kids just as much if not more, and they’re doing everything they can to create a safe space for their child. And I like this, because there’s so much downstream benefit for this, you know, we just see these pockets of kids that are just getting left behind and what you’re left behind, then you don’t have a choice, but you just go and do the wrong thing. And then you end up in a cycle of that, because at least you’ve gotten rewarded somewhere. 

Right? And so I think part of it is that if you can help early on to create a space for people to be who they are, right? And that’s the authenticity to that you’re talking about, even in your own experience of your life. When you think about, you know, a lot of our listeners really tune in because they want to learn something new of course, yeah. And also, but they are interested in pivoting. So what would you say, you know, are some things for people who need to shift and pivot in their business or their family dynamic? Or what tips would you give them?

Marcy Willard  33:21

Yeah, so one of the biggest things that this is more for your own personal success in life, not necessarily for your parenting, I love that. One of the things that I would say is that I’ve learned and it’s been so powerful for me, that the things that you’re afraid to do, or the things that you must do. And the reason you’re afraid is because that’s the direction that your life needs to evolve. And so what I ended up doing that has been extremely transformative for me is, every morning before 9am, I list off what I call my power moves, which are the things that are moving me forward, that there’s some reason why they just keep not happening, right? So they just don’t make the list every day. Well, the reason that I make the list is I’m afraid to do that for whatever reason. Right?

Patti Dobrowolski  34:11

Right. Like you think you don’t know enough or you think it’ll take too much time, or you’re going to have to call somebody that you don’t know. Right?

Marcy Willard  34:19

Right. So we’re all imposters, right? It’s sometimes in our lives. Oh, if they only knew, right? And so you avoid those interactions. And so what I’ve learned to do is just kind of Benjamin Hardy talks about the Brian Tracy book, Eat That Frog, right? If you have to do two frogs eat the ugliest one first. If you have to eat frog, eat it first thing in the morning, right? So I do that. So I sit down, I write down what I want to accomplish. And the ones that are really the scary ones. I just make sure I do at least one first thing in the morning. And on a really good day. I do three, right.

Patti Dobrowolski  34:54

Oh, that’s so great, right?

Marcy Willard  34:57

Yeah, 9am and I’ve had three wins, right? I can say, Yeah, I sent that email. I made that call. I wrote that thing. Right. I wrote a first draft you I wrote my crappy first draft of that thing that I don’t want to write. Right. Yeah. And then what happens is those moves build momentum. Right?  So along the investment line, one of the things that is hard as, of course, for everyone to go ask for money, right? That’s what I’m doing. That’s what you do when you’re seeking investment. And so I would start that, right, I would say, you know, what, I’m gonna reach out to that person, they seem interested. 

And this might be a great opportunity for them. So let me reach out. So do that. And then what happens? They reach back, right? Then you have a great conversation, and you tell them what you’re doing. And they say, you know, I know somebody else that would be interested in that. And I had mentioned to you before that, investors are very interested because they hear this. And people want to help, right? People are like, wow, like, I know, there’s a mental health crisis. I know that parents are struggling, and they’re like, gosh, what can I do? And every single investor I think I’ve ever talked to has someone in their life, who has a child with issues somebody, right? It could either themselves, or it could be their nephew, their grandson, they accept someone, right? 

Yeah, they hear this and they go, I want to do something. And what happens when I reach out and do that power move, like, Hi, good morning, Joe, I want to talk to you, they get this idea of, hey, I can be a part of this. And so that momentum begins to build as well.

Patti Dobrowolski  35:15

Yeah.  And people are always looking for ways to help. You know, the best way to get people engaged in your business is to ask for their help. Ask them to help you. Yeah, because people are longing to be helpful. They want to be needed. That’s what’s true.

Marcy Willard  36:43

Yeah, yeah. And so you think in your mind about, let’s go back to kind of traditional goal setting, if I set a goal, and if I work at that goal every day, odds are, I’m going to get closer and closer and maybe make it right. And this is even more powerful than that. Because not only am I setting a goal, but I have this long term vision for my life, right? And every day, I’m making bold power moves towards it, right?

Patti Dobrowolski  37:09

Yes. And I would say this is how we leap over time. Really, this is how we close the time space continuum, is by doing something so challenging, it builds now on your confidence, and your courage, because you realise, hey, if I did that, once I did that yesterday, so this is gonna be no problem today, if I’m going to call somebody else, right. And so you get better and better at the things you’re afraid of. And then you find these other things that you’re afraid of, and you think, okay, but I had that success when I was afraid of that. 

Now, I’m going to move into that now. You’ve just retrained yourself, you know, the neuro programming. Now, the new record is playing that I’m capable of doing anything, which is what is true, and how you come into the world. And then you just forget it, because you get piled on with all kinds of beliefs, right?

Marcy Willard  37:57

Lots of Yeah, I think that’s so true. And so powerful. What you also find when you make those bold power moves, is the stuff you’re afraid of, is not half as scary as you thought, right? Maybe not even a 10th as scary as you thought you had the conversation. And the person’s like, yeah, I would love to hear more. And you’re like, Okay, what was? Right? Couch worrying, wringing my hands when I could just ask, right, so I’ve learned that, that those things that I’m afraid of, are the things I need to run towards. 

Because what’s happening is, the reason I’m scared of that is because that’s exactly the thing, that’s gonna make the most difference, and it’s gonna require me to grow, right? It’s gonna say, hey, it’s gonna call on some skills that maybe need a little harvesting, right? Maybe that’s not my best moment there. And so I’ve got to work harder at that one. So of course, I’m afraid to do it. I love doing it. And look, it works, right?

Patti Dobrowolski  38:49

Yeah, it’s fantastic. All right, I love that. That is the best tip. I’m gonna do that right away. As soon as we get off the call, there’s something I’m afraid to do. And I’m going to do it right away, because I gotta change. You know how that is. And I know it’s slightly after nine when we’re recording this, but who cares. 

So I would just like to say this to you. I am so just awed by you all the things that you did. And as a therapist myself, I love the fact that I was a therapist back in the day, but I love the fact that you have chosen to do something that you took up the mantle to make a change in the world that really is helping to impact the lives of families everywhere. And I can’t thank you enough for doing that Marcy, to having you here for this time. 

I can’t wait to have you back. Because I know that you’re going to have new information for us and and that future that you’re stepping into is just only begun. I think it’s only begun. And so just thank you so much for everything that you do.

Marcy Willard  39:49

This is really wonderful to be here, Patti, and I’m really excited to get to share this message with your listeners. And I would tell them, Go do it. Do not afraid it will happen.

Patti Dobrowolski  40:00

That’s right. Do not afraid eat the frog. And in the show notes, you’ll see how you can connect with Marcy and also you should go to her website Clear Child Psychology and find out what she’s up to. There’s a lot of information there that will be helpful to you and to others in your life. So go there. 

Thank you, Marcy, for being here for doing this with me today. Thanks. And I look forward to seeing you again. Here we go everybody, and you know what I say to you. Until next time, Up Your Creative Genius, right. 

Thanks so much for listening today. Be sure to DM me on Instagram your feedback or takeaways from today’s episode on Up Your Creative Genius. Then join me next week for more rocket fuel. Remember, you are the superstar of your universe and the world needs what you have to bring. So get busy. 

Get out and Up Your Creative Genius. And no matter where you are in the universe, here’s some big love from yours truly Patti Dobrowolski, and the Up Your Creative Genius podcast. That’s a wrap

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