By Tim Stevens
Matthew Murdock is an adult male in excellent physical shape. He initially presents as confident and collected with a speech pattern that suggests both his roots in Hell's Kitchen as well as his extensive schooling and knowledge of the law. However, when presented with frustrations, the client often reacts with a quick temper. He is also occasionally prone to emotionally distancing himself from situations and "putting on a mask" of disinterest or detachment. Triggers appear to be his wife, Milla, the status of his partnership with his friend and fellow lawyer Foggy Nelson, his relationship with Dakota North, his prior relationships with other women, his life as the costumed vigilante Daredevil, his time in prison, and any of his numerous costumed enemies.
The client made an appointment at the behest of several of his friends and allies who urged him to seek therapy for his own good given recent
events in his life. He admitted that he came in with a predisposition against seeking therapy, that he preferred Confession, and that he was only doing this for his friends' benefit. The writer informed Murdock that those who seek therapy under such circumstances do not tend to see much benefit from the process and that while this session would continue, he was urged to thoughtfully consider if he was in a place where therapy would help him.
The client's life is rife with tragedies, both past and present, most of which he has done little to nothing to come to terms with. Arguably, his earliest trauma was his abandonment by his mother, a woman who he believes to be a nun with whom he has come in contact with several times, but has heretofore resisted the temptation of having a serious conversation with her about maternity. Since then, he has lost his sight to radioactive waste, his father to murder, several girlfriends to tragic deaths, and his wife to chemical-induced mental illness. He has suffered untold amounts of physical trauma, two outings of his secret identity, verbal and physical abuse from his mentor, Stick, the temporary loss of his license to practice law, at least two events that have been described as "nervous breakdowns" and a brief incarceration. Sadly, this is only a short overview;
a more specific and in-depth summary is available elsewhere in this file.
Murdock has demonstrated great resilience in the face of these tragedies. The fact that he has carved out any kind of life at all for himself is a testament to his will. That having been said, he has often forced himself forward without taking the time to properly mourn and/or process the misfortunes and heartbreaks that have befallen him. As such, they are ever close to the surface and seemingly the slightest of reminders can set him off. When taken back to these events, the client has a binary reaction. He either assumes responsibility for the disaster and its consequences, mentally admonishing himself endlessly, or he blames his enemies and lashes out at them. His friends, in his eyes, are incapable of bad choices; there are only his wrong decisions and the malicious intents of his enemies.
Take, for example, his recent extramarital affair with a colleague and friend. He is enraged with himself for this misdeed but denies that the woman with whom he slept should bear any responsibility at all. He feels guilt for doing this to his wife and guilt for "bringing" his friend into it, as though she was not an individual capable of free choice. While he does
not specifically articulate this point, it is clear from his attitudes and actions that this is how he views this and most other events. Murdock's world is one of black and white where blame must be assigned and it either falls on him or those that oppose him.
As such, the client is forever stuck in a loop of his own guilt and rage and incapable of escaping either for any extensive period of time. Because of how he views his world, he is capable of great acts of both personal sacrifice and selfishness. He often cannot see beyond himself and thus rarely asks for help or considers how his actions might affect those around him.
In general, the client is one who could benefit greatly from therapy provided he was willing to truly commit to the process and recognizes that he needs it.
While it is unlikely that he is at that place at this time and the writer informed him of this, the client still requested another session. Therefore, Matthew Murdock is set to return to the office on August 19 when he will see several of our staff including Doctors Ed Brubaker, Ann Nocenti, David Aja, and Michael
Lark, in the hopes that we can find a doctor that best fits his needs and helps him to see the need for a therapeutic plan. The file marked DAREDEVIL #500 can provide further information on the client.
Tim Stevens is a Mental Health Supervisor currently pursuing his Psy D. who has experience working with individuals with extensive trauma histories.
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