By Tim Stevens
The client, born Anna Marie (No Known Last Name), is a self-identified mutant who favors the name Rogue. She appears to be an adult woman of above average physical fitness. Although, for a time, she was considered to be a dangerous villain allied with the so-called “Brotherhood of Evil Mutants,” the client has spent most of her adult life as a member or ally of the mutant rights group the X-Men.
Currently she dwells in the mutant island community colloquially referred to as “Utopia” although she has indicated it is her intention to leave shortly with a group or “team” of others. While she has been, thus far, vague on specific details, she has described some tension between herself and other Utopia residents including Scott Summer, also known as the current X-Men leader Cyclops. The clash with Cyclops, which she did explore with this writer, concerns her choices during a conflict. The client presents as ambivalent about Summers’ criticisms, understanding where they come from while citing end results and her own experience as arguments against. Cognitive reframes of the incident—even if you were at fault, wouldn’t that just mean you made a mistake, which all humans do?; can you ever really know that the situation would have been better if you did something different?—have been discussed and she appears to intellectually, if not emotionally, understand them.
The client’s “ability,” which allows her to absorb the abilities and memories of others, had until very recently been involuntary. As such, she initially presented as withdrawn and distant, a state she confesses is her most common way of interacting with the world. However, she also clearly hungers to connect with others in a meaningful fashion, even if that way cannot be physical. As a result, over time the client has become increasingly committed to therapy. She has been largely open and responsive in session. The times she is not, she has been clear about where she was unwilling to go and healthy in the boundaries she has established.
While the client has an extensive trauma history, she also appears to be extremely resilient. She and this writer have done some trauma work, but it has mostly been in the form of supportive counseling. She experiences flare-ups of guilt and sorrow, but these are predominantly limited and rarely reaching “clinical significance.” Often the emotions—the sadness in particular—are appropriate to the situation as well, so this writer is careful to validate the client’s experiences while provided some coping skills to ensure the emotions do not become overwhelming.
A final area of concern is how the absorption of memories is affecting the client’s brain, on both an emotional and physiological level. On the physical side, functional MRIs have not shown any damage to brain function at this time, but this writer feels strongly that this situation should be monitored on a regular basis, perhaps yearly. On the psychological side, the client confesses that she did once experience a “battle between personalities.” However, she has denied any problems of this nature since and there is no evidence to suggest that she is inaccurately reporting her history or that there is another such incident coming soon. Still, a prior occurrence is often the clearest predictor of a future one so this bears monitoring. The client has also been informed of this and knows to access the staff if there is any indication of such an event coming on.
Rogue will return for her next session with Doctors Mike Carey and Jorge Molina on May 11. Please review file X-MEN LEGACY #248 on that day. Also look for exclusive visual files and commentary from Doctor Molina next week on Marvel.com.Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.