Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Shang-Chi

The Master of Kung Fu continues to seek inner peace



By Tim Stevens

Shang-Chi is an adult male who presents as being of above average physical health.
The client is colloquially known as “The Master of Kung Fu” amongst the costumed crime fighter community and uses these abilities as a vigilante.

Much of the client’s motivations appear to have initially extended from his desire to oppose his father’s criminal enterprises. Years ago, this pursuit had resulted in his father’s seeming demise. Recently, this event was called into question, but, thanks to Shang and a group of other costumed heroes, the client’s progenitor was again slain.

Patricide, even when it is something of a goal, can be very dis-regulating for the scion in question. While the client seemed to deal with it fairly well the first time around, it did lead to him abandoning his life at the time, including interpersonal connections, so perhaps it was more difficult that he has let on. Additionally, just because an individual can survive a disruptive event psychologically intact once does not mean that a second time will not prove to be overwhelming.

This especially may be the case in light of Shang’s pursuit for inner peace and his continued struggles to define what that means. In the past, he has interpreted it as avoiding emotional entanglements with others, presenting as somewhat cold even while connecting or “teaming up” with like-minded individuals. This speaks to a sense that he feels unable to manage his emotions in a healthy way without losing control of them and, possibly, having them hurt himself or others.

While Shang eventually relaxed this stand, he found himself betrayed by a teammate. This betrayal also led to a severe physical and emotional trauma for a woman that the client had begun a romantic relationship with. More recently, the client was brought briefly under the sway of the crime boss Mister Negative which brought forth all of his negative feelings and opinions while suppressing anything positive. These events seemingly further reinforced the idea that Chi’s emotions might be dangerous.

Given that the client is seemingly returning to a life of more active crime fighting with recent collaborations with a team of Avengers and volunteering as a martial arts trainer for Spider-Man, developing healthy relationship with emotions has been identified as a goal for therapy. The client, while somewhat hesitant, has agreed to at least initially commit to this focus.

The follow up session for Shang-Chi is scheduled with Doctors Antony Johnston and Sebastian Fiumara on August 31. Further information on the client is available in file SPIDER-ISLAND: DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU #1.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant who has experience working with individuals who have difficulty with the healthy expression of emotions.

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