Psych Ward

Psych Ward: The Thing

Aunt Petunia’s favorite blue eyed nephew comes in for a mental health check-up!

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Benjamin Grimm is an adult male. He presents with thick, rock-like orange skin, the result of exposure to cosmic rays. This cellular change is a permanent alteration of his body on every level, making him stronger, able to handle a wider range of temperatures than an average person could, and more physically resilient. However, a medical exam by the staff here also establishes that in terms of bodily structure (organs, joints, and so on) and functions, the client remains decidedly human.

Fantastic Four #1

Fantastic Four (2014) #1 cover by Leonard Kirk
On sale February 26!
Acknowledging this, however, does not make it a reality of the client’s experience. Even as he has grown progressively more comfortable with his outward appearance, he remains uncomfortable and insecure about it. He may rarely refer to himself as a monster—as he did quite often after the initial transformation—but recent events suggest those feelings linger, however deep they may be buried. For instance, upon encountering a mystical hammer that had the power to activate one’s darkest impulse, Grimm’s took the form of anger towards those who made him and/or viewed him as a monster. His dark side was not lust for power or greed, but rather a seemingly unending pool of twisted self pity.

Not only did this self-revelation shake Grimm, but the reality of what he did under the sway of the talisman, the things he said and the destruction he wreaked, has caused him tremendous guilt.

Also as of late, the client has been forced to repeatedly confront mortality, first with the seeming death of his teammate and friend Johnny Storm (best known as the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch) and then via the seemingly unstoppable cellular degeneration of he, Storm, and the other two members of the Fantastic Four, Reed and Sue Richards (Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, respectively). This may have come as a particular shock to Grimm as other research and information had previously suggested that he might be nigh immortal, given how his cellular alteration slowed or stopped the normal breakdown a human body undergoes as they age.

Finally, after months in space, Grimm seems somewhat unsure of his place back on Earth. For an extended period, he has spent more time not here than here and has missed developments with his niece and nephew, relationships he clearly values, and has not had opportunities to heal some of the wounds left behind after the incident with Asgardian hammers. For a man already uncomfortable in his skin, this sense of being ill at ease can lead to withdrawal, depression, and perhaps acts of self sabotage.

      That said, Grimm is clearly a person who is serious about the therapeutic relationship. While he was raised in an environment that was rejecting of the idea of seeking help, especially from someone like a mental health professional, he is a thoughtful, kind, and honest person who values those around him. He may feel unworthy of them in some ways, but he still wishes to connect and remain connected with them and some part of him believes—a hopefully steadily growing one—believes he deserves such connections. It is the opinion of this writer that Benjamin Grimm is an excellent candidate for therapy and will be a committed and open client.

      Benjamin Grimm’s next appointment is set for February 19 with Doctors James Robinson and Leonard Kirk. Their report can be located in the file labeled FANTASTIC FOUR #1.

      Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Psychology intern at a small(ish) university in New York City.

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      1 comments
      stueyd
      stueyd

      wow that analysis was awesome! I always liked the Thing more so than any other FF character!