By Tim Stevens
The clients, Blackagar and
Mr. and Mrs. Boltagon—from here out referred to as Black Bolt and Medusa to prevent confusion as they share the same last name—were referred and encouraged to come to the practice by Reed and Sue Richards who evidently believed we could prove helpful to them.
As a couple, they present a unique challenge. Our practice has access to several translators for languages like American Sign Language, Spanish,
This is problematic as it places Medusa in a role that requires her to convey both her own thoughts and those of her husband in the therapy setting. She therefore is always switching between explaining her own perspectives, thoughts, and feelings, and then her husband’s. She thus, understandably, has difficulties advocating for herself or being in the moment during session.
Complicating communication further is that recently she has misinterpreted Black Bolt, something she heretofore had not done. Therefore, there exists the possibility that she may be unable to explain her husband’s feelings or thoughts accurately to this writer. At this time, however, there does not appear to be a better solution.
Overall, communication does seem to be the biggest current dilemma for the couple. Recent significant upheavals—including Black Bolt’s seeming demise, conflicts between the Inhumans and humanity and Medusa’s acceptance of a role with the Future Foundation—have caused as much strife in the past year or so as had previously occurred in the whole of their relationship. Additionally, Black Bolt’s silence creates problems of alienation for Medusa. Even though she “understands” him more often than not, she still finds herself unsure of his desires, his hopes, and his goals. Finally, as royalty, both often feel compelled to place their people above themselves, leaving them little time to connect or to rebuild aspects of their relationship.
In an attempt to address these concerns, Blackagar and Medusalith Boltagon have agreed to couples retreat with Doctors Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley on January 23 and Doctors Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting on February 6. Details of the retreat can be found in FF #3 and NEW AVENGERS #3 respectively.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee who currently provides therapy and outreach at a state university.