By Tim Stevens
“Jet Black” Zola is an adult female who presents as in extremely high physical condition. Referred to this writer by Steve Rogers (Captain America), she seemed perplexed, annoyed, and fairly uncomfortable with the idea of the therapy. Born and raised in an alternate dimension, she is unfamiliar with the very existence of therapy never mind how it works “in the room.”
She presents in session in inappropriate attire, which seems to be owed to her unfamiliarity with the cultural norms of both therapy and this dimension. The writer has broached the topic with her and attempted to engage her in a discussion about what it would mean to continue to resist the norms around clothing and what it would mean to adapt to them. However, she has remained largely disinterested in engaging in these kinds of emotional explorations. Again, this could be a reflection of the cultural norms of her dimension. It may also be a manifestation of her maturity level, which seems to be much lower than would be expected for someone of her age.
The client is struggling not just with her transition to this plane of existence, but also with the knowledge that she betrayed her father, her lone authority figure and source of love and affection, no matter how twisted that affection ultimately was. She has a wide range of feelings from relief, guilt, shame, anger, and confusion that are directed both inwardly and outwardly. For instance, she feels guilt about the betrayal but she also feels guilty for letting things go on as long as they did without standing up to her father. Given the enmeshment between her and Armin Zola, it will take a long time for her to process and disentangle these emotions
With her history of being, until very recently, subservient to a single male figure, this writer is acutely aware of the transference potential of assuming either the role of her father as unquestionable authority or father as flawed and/or evil figure. The therapist must be able to help the client enact the same patterns of behaviors without truly becoming either figure and either holding undue sway on her life or sparking in her a full rejection of therapy.
Jet Black Zola met previously with Doctors Rick Remender and Carlos Pacheco. Their findings can be found in the file labeled CAPTAIN AMERICA #11
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Clinical Intern at a small New York City university.