By Tim Stevens
Luke Cage is an adult male who appears to be of above average physical fitness. Cage is an active-although not sanctioned by the Superhuman Registration Act-super-powered vigilante who claims to be part of the "real Avengers." He was subjected to an experimental medical procedure several years ago that, up until recently, seemed to only benefit him with significantly above average strength and impenetrable skin.
Recently though, after exposure to a device that affected his powers, the client experienced a cardiac event and nearly died. Surgery proved near impossible due to the complications of his "gifts." In the end, however, a team at the behest of Norman Osborn was able to save and revive Cage before his "real Avenger" teammates and other friends stole him away from the H.A.M.M.E.R. director.
He expressed anxiety about what might happen to his wife, Jessica Jones, and child, Danielle, if he was no longer around. While he was able to acknowledge that Jones is "tough as hell" and not someone in need of saving, he also wondered aloud about how she might handle his death and what sort of burden leaving her alone with a child might be. He also expressed deep worry about leaving his daughter without a father.
Follow-up questions that attempted to connect the client more deeply with what his own feelings about dying might be, his own worries, fears, etc. that did not have to do with how it might hurt others were largely ignored, deflected, or otherwise minimized.
It is the opinion of this writer that the client is unprepared and unwilling to allow himself at this time to consider what dying might mean to him, as opposed to those he cares about. Rather than confront whatever feelings he might have on the matter, he is utilizing the defense mechanisms of
Additionally, Cage admits to some ambivalence regarding his having been saved by Osborn. While he acknowledges that Osborn was likely only helping to meet his own ends, the client finds himself feeling indebted to the H.A.M.M.E.R. Director. He claims to be a man who does not like to owe people favors, who likes to honor his debts and that his first instinct is to therefore find a way to help Osborn out. This is increased due to the fact that Osborn also recently helped Cage and Jones located their kidnapped daughter. On the other hand, the client finds Osborn to be an evil man who has sullied the Avengers name and remains every bit the villain he once was. Therefore, he cannot imagine a scenario where he could help the former Green Goblin in good conscience.
The writer has encouraged the client to continue with therapy to further explore his emotions surrounding his near-demise and the parties involved and Cage has agreed.
Luke Cage's next appointment is set for December 23 with Doctors Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. For more information, the writer recommends reviewing file NEW AVANGERS #60.
NEW AVENGERS #60 cover by Stuart Immonen
Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Doctoral Intern at a college counseling center currently pursuing his Psy D.
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