Sarah (NLN) is an adult female who presents as being in above average physical shape. She also presents with a significant physical abnormality involving the overgrowth of her bones. The bones, for lack of a better way to put it, are removable and she utilizes them in offensive maneuvers, but their removal does not cease their growth process. The client refuses, so far, to discuss the physiological sensation caused by this abnormality, but medical exams suggest it is, at the least, deeply uncomfortable.
“Mutant Massacre,” she was an early recruit/conscript in the so-called Gene Nation, a terrorist group dedicated to a Social Darwinist ideal, and she was rumored to have lost her mutant gifts during “M-Day” although her physiological exam here at the clinic would suggest they have either returned or that rumor was false. Along the way she has also worked in the mutant rights group the X-Men, the covert group Weapon X (who she helped destroy when she found out their true attitudes toward mutant kind) and returned to political terrorism with the group called X-Cell. Currently, she has returned to the X-Men fold after a fashion with its offshoot X-Force, which was the precipitating event for her coming to see the writer, as it was strongly suggested by other members.
The client’s life history suggests a rather flexible morality with one exception: she is singularly dedicated to the protection of mutants and mutant kind. All her decisions, regardless of one’s personal feelings regarding them, seem motivated in part, if not fully, by this drive. However, this dedication—and her own mutation—has cost her in significant ways in her lifetime. As a result, she is often angry and is deeply untrusting of others, especially those in positions of authority.
While I believe the client could certainly benefit from therapy, I sadly do not believe she has any interest in the process at this time. Until she changes her mind on this, I must recommend against seeing her. “Mandatory” or “coercive” therapy is rarely beneficial to any of the parties and I would hate for her first experience in therapy to be of this nature as it may turn her off for life.
I have urged her and would urge X-Force as a whole to avoid her participating in situations involving physical violence. Her trauma has become so sustained it now seems to be her baseline and I am concerned the longer she is immersed in it, the more difficult it will be for her to return to a healthier mental state.
X-FORCE #1, available on that day.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Psychology intern at a small(ish) university in New York City.