Maria Sonnack, Psychiatric Services Iowa City

Maria Sonnack, MPAS, PA-C

I'm a Physician Assistant with 6 years of experience working in psychiatry. I graduated from the University of Iowa PA program in 2012. I knew well before PA school that I had a passion for working in the mental health field, part of which was fueled by my father who has worked as a clinician in mental health for over 20 years. Following PA school, I completed a psychiatric fellowship with both children and adolescents as well as adults in the outpatient department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

I have experience working in both outpatient and inpatient settings. I enjoy working with a wide variety of patients and diagnoses, but one of my favorites is facilitating STEPPS groups for emotional intensity and love applying these concepts not only in the group setting but also in individual sessions. I also have a strong passion for treating both child and adult ADHD.

Along with my passion for mental health comes a passion to share the joys of being a mental health provider, so frequently I spend a lot of time doing talks for various professional groups on mental illness, as well as precepting PA students from various programs here in the state

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our 3 daughters, and two dogs. I am also an avid scrapbooker and reader, and love to travel.

I believe ...

... that mental illness, along with all disease states, are complex and need a whole-person approach that includes both mind and body. I am most interested in the way that diet and exercise can improve a person's physical and mental health when combined with appropriate medication management and therapy.