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Psych Ward

Psych Ward: William Stryker

Marvel's therapist looks back at his work with the paranoid, dangerous Stryker

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By Tim Stevens Scott-- As requested, here are the session notes on Reverend William Stryker. I only worked with him prior to his escape from prison, so I cannot speak for any changes of heart he might have eventually had or how they reversed themselves. My apologies. What I do have I hope will aid you in your research.

Reverend William Stryker is an adult male in average physical shape. He is currently serving a prison sentence for acts of terrorism against mutants that culminated in what was to be a live execution. Stryker was then wounded by a security guard and taken into custody. Unfortunately, prison has done little to change the client's attitude towards mutants. He speaks often of them as monsters and demons. He also refers to the "signs" God has sent him directing him in his "mission": to erase mutants from the earth. These attitudes are maladaptive and have continually caused him to be in situations that have endangered his life and the lives of others, both before his incarceration and currently. The client is unable to accept any information that might not coincide with his rigid view of the world. Attempts at exposure therapy seem to have only worsened his bigotry. Showing Stryker video of the X-Men saving lives alongside individuals he identifies as heroes, like the Avengers, only increased his paranoia. He spent three weeks after that deeply concerned that the Avengers were being mind controlled and that it were only a matter of time before the "muties" sent them to kill him in prison. The client is also very charismatic and has a tendency to treat our sessions as though he were back at the pulpit. In addition to warning me about the danger mutants

present and how they must be eradicated, he has also repeatedly spoken of the "filth" of society, TV, movies, video games, etc and how they are eroding the fabric of our country and leading our young people down dangerous roads. Stryker exhibits little to no interest in changing or even tempering his opinions. He is very open with the fact that if he were let out tomorrow he would behave in exactly the same way. The only difference is that he would "rely less on others who will stab me in the back." While it is the assertion of this writer that Stryker does not have an Axis II diagnosis of Paranoid Personality Disorder, he does have several of the features of it at this time. This, combined with the zealotry he exhibited in his ministry and his belief that God is speaking to him through signs and directing him to hurt others, has led me to diagnosis him with a Psychotic Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified. If he begins to show signs of lucidity in the days and weeks to come, this may be downgraded to a Brief Psychotic Disorder. On the other hand, if it maintains, or, more likely, grows worse, we will have to return to re-evaluate the Personality Disorder diagnosis as well as explore other possibilities, like Schizophrenia.

Until such time as his diagnosis is clearer, this writer will continue to engage in talk therapy and exposure therapy in an attempt to establish a therapeutic relationship with the client and then, hopefully, begin to work towards rehabilitation. That's the only note I have that survived Lady Deathstrike's assault on the prison and her freeing of Reverend Stryker. I understand that a new documentary called "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" promises some insight into Stryker's earlier life so I urge you to seek it out on May 1 in theatres. Otherwise, best of luck to you. Tim Stevens is a Mental Health Supervisor currently pursuing his Psy D who has experience in working with individuals living with mental illness.
For more Wolverine, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. Like gaming? The official "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" video game hits stores May 1! And remember: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" comes to a theater near you on May 1-visit the official "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" movie site! Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything X-Men! Download episodes of X-Men: Evolution Season 1icon now on iTunes!

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