Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Kate Bishop

The arching former Young Avenger known as Hawkeye seeks therapy.

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By Tim Stevens

Kate Bishop is a female who appears to be in late adolescence, early adulthood. She presents in above average physical fitness and regards her physical prowess as being of significant importance. From her attire and general presentation, it is clear the client was born and raised with considerable financial advantages and educational opportunities. In the recent past, Bishop was a costumed vigilante with the teen group known as the Young Avengers but has since stepped away from the team. However, she continues to hone her skills and has been involved in some anti-crime interventions with Clint Barton, the Avenger with whom she shares the costumed identity of Hawkeye.

In session, the client appears composed, thoughtful, and often restricted in her emotional affect. She identifies herself as “more a thinker than a feeler” and, for the most part, her presentation bears that out. However, if the client feels as though this writer’s questions are too invasive or the “homework” makes her uncomfortable, she can be fiercely defensive. This makes her a strong advocate for herself, definitely a positive, but also can make it difficult for her to explore her growth edges or accept others into her life. She limits her vulnerabilities but, in doing so, may also be limiting her opportunities to connect with others.

Bishop has disclosed that she was the victim of sexual assault a few years prior. She has no desire to pursue any legal avenues regarding the assault but has proven open to exploring its ramifications for her life. Although the incident clearly was traumatic and there are some lingering effects of that, she seems to have largely come to terms with it and shows no signs of active Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Given her somewhat restricted affect and attitude she may be not allowing herself to “feel” it, but this writer is confident that that is not the case. The client seems to have found outlets that helped her express the feelings and move from being a victim to a survivor.

Currently, Bishop’s main concerns revolve around her present life direction. With still maintaining friendships with her teammates from Young Avengers but committed to not rejoining the team, she is often pulled in opposite directions. She loves her friends but with them often feels a desire to return to the team. However, she has identified that, for now at least, as not a healthy choice for her. The ambivalence leaves her uncomfortable and confused.

Similarly, her current “apprenticeship” with Barton makes her feel as though she does still want to be part of the costumed crime fighting lifestyle but finds herself struggling with what that would mean to be a vigilante but not to be part of her former team.

She also is concerned with life beyond the costume. She has begun to consider long term career and personal goals and finds the picture murky. Although this is not unusual for someone her age and the writer has reflected this, for someone as driven as the client, who has had so many opportunities to fulfill her goals, Bishop finds these feelings wholly alien.

For now, therapy is focused on both goal identifying and the radical acceptance of not always knowing what life will bring or what she wants it to.

Kate Bishop’s next appointment is set for October 17 with Doctors Matt Fraction and David Aja. Details will be available in the file marked HAWKEYE #3 on that day.

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.

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