By Tim Stevens
To Commander Rogers,
Benjamin Grimm has been an intermittent client over the years, typically coming for sessions in times of crisis, and terminating 3-4 sessions later. This is a summary note that should give you a flavor for where he was the last time he came in while still providing a snapshot of his history.
Benjamin Grimm is an adult male. He presents with an orange rocky exterior making his chronological age near impossible to estimate. Additionally, given his ability to withstand physical trauma, extreme heat and cold, and so on, there is a strong possibility that his aging has been retarded on some level. His appearance is also the cause of his “other name,” The Thing. This is the name he uses as a costumed adventurer, specifically as part of the Fantastic Four. His physical presentation was caused by exposure to cosmic rays as an adult and he is therefore not considered a mutant via the scientific definition. A full physical evaluation seems to indicate that any possible additional physical changes or damage has halted at this point and his transition is complete and most likely permanent.
As one might expect, this appearance is often the cause of much depression, anger, and anxiety on the client’s part. While he is grown increasingly comfortable with it over time, he still experiencing moments where he becomes deregulated and must struggle with those feelings once more. More often than not, it is these “crises” that precipitate his returns to therapy.
In session, Grimm displays a wide range of emotions. However, his most dominant form of negative emotion is a sort of angry dismissiveness. This can be a therapy-destroying behavior if he is allowed to get away with it. With redirection, though, he is quick to drop it and recommit to the therapeutic moment. He does have a true desire to develop the therapeutic bond and benefit from it, but he needs the therapist to push him to the moment because of how well developed his defenses are.
Currently, his primary goal is processing the death of his friend and teammate Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch. Grimm is struggling not only with his grief but also with guilt that Storm had to sacrifice himself because the client was not in “Thing mode” at the time due to a temporary cure. In this way, once again, this refers back to his “condition” and, as such, all the work must begin there even though the presentation will be unusual in comparison to past work.
Hope this provides some answers to the situation and that Grimm can be freed from his current entrancement Please let us know if there is anything else we can do.
Further information is in the file NEW AVENGERS #14 available for review on July 13, as well as the files FF #7 and FEAR ITSELF: THE WORTHY, both available on July 27.
Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant who has experience working with clients with trauma histories and resulting difficulties with interpersonal relationships and regulating emotions.