Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Black Widow Revisited

The Soviet super spy steps back into therapy.

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By Tim Stevens

Natalia Romanova, also known as Natasha Romanoff—she prefers Natasha these days—is an adult female who appears to be of above average physical fitness. Her life is currently defined by her relationship with [REDACTED] and her role as the sometimes Avenger/street vigilante/espionage expert Black Widow. She describes the work as largely fulfilling and denies any moral concerns with what she currently does. She allows that she has some past regrets about her path but that she has largely confronted and dealt with those lingering feelings.

As she has since she first began working with this therapist, she tends to arrive exactly on time for session, slipping in quietly via a side door. She presents as confident but guarded, often reacting to small noises or changes in the environment with a hyper vigilant focus. Since beginning her relationship with [REDACTED] she has shown some differences in presentation. In general, she seems more at ease, quicker with a smile or a personal reflection than she had been previously. Certain areas remain off-limits, like that of this therapist’s observation that Romanoff’s concerted effort to reduce her Russian accent is a sort of rejection of her life as a Russian spy, but she has largely become more flexible.

Both Captain America and Commander Nick Fury urged Romanoff to return to therapy after the seeming death of [REDACTED]. While he did survive and she is one of the few on Earth who is aware of it, she nonetheless had to confront the possibility of his demise for the second time in her life. Add to this the fact that the client and [REDACTED] did not see each other for several years after his last apparent death and there was concerns about how this might affect her emotionally and psychologically.

In discussing these issues with the client, she repeatedly asserts that while [REDACTED]’s seeming demise was horrifying for her in the moment, she suffers no lingering effects. Additionally, she is clear in her belief that her reaction in the moment was appropriate given the circumstances. She indicates no personal concerns about how she handled it or what that might indicate about how she would have grieved for him had he, in fact, actually died.

The client continues to work on altering many of the cognitions and behaviors from her past. She seems to increasingly accept that they served a function and often kept her alive and emotionally safe at the time but now are often not helpful and, in fact, might prove harmful to her long term mental health and happiness. She points to her relationship with [REDACTED], both professionally and intimately, as helping her to better understand such ideas.

Natasha Romanoff’s next appointment is scheduled for May 16 with Doctors Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice. Details on the session can be found in file WINTER SOLDIER #5.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee at a community mental health center.

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