By Tim Stevens
Virginia "Pepper" Potts is an adult female who appears to be of above average physical fitness. However, it should be noted that the client recently suffered a severe physical trauma and, in the aftermath, relies strongly on a magnet implanted into her chest to minimize the consequences of that incident. It is unclear at this time if this is a temporary solution or if she will need to rely on the instrument for the rest of her natural life.
Potts has occupied a number of roles in recent months. She was a part of the 50-State Initiative organization known as the Order and acted as their out-of-the-field coordinator. Following her service there, she returned to an earlier role as Anthony Stark's personal assistant and advisor. This eventually led to her briefly serving as CEO of Stark Industries when Stark stepped down. She has since dismantled that company upon Stark's request. Along the way, she also acquired a suit of armor, similar to the Iron
Man armor that she has used to help protect and save others, operating under the name Rescue.
The client came to this writer as the disassembly of Stark Industries began on recommendation of Stark himself. She described great frustration and anger with the situation. We have since explored those feelings as she successfully shut down the company and began to use her newly discovered armor for humanitarian aims.
This writer feels comfortable at this time declaring that Potts does not seem to have either Acute Stress Disorder or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder coming out of the explosion that almost killed her. At times, these symptoms can manifest long periods of time after the incident that caused them, so she still bears monitoring. However, at this time, she appears to have coped quite well with the traumatic event.
Similarly, Potts appears to be comfortable with the "solution" to her injuries. While she admits that she initially was horrified by the magnetic implant in her chest, reassurances from Stark about its nature have left her far more accepting. She does acknowledge that she hopes it is not a permanent state of being for her, but that she is prepared to
deal with that reality if need be.
On her activities as Rescue, she remains a bit more ambivalent. She is able to own the thrill it causes her and how wonderful it feels to directly save someone's life. However, she also feels as though this is not really a role for her. It does not, in her words, feel like "her life, but really more of a vacation…I guess." It appears to the writer that contributing to this ambivalence is that taking on this role means, in part, acknowledging that Stark will not be returning tomorrow. It is, in some ways, like assuming the role she has always looked at as his and that causes her some distress.
Overall, Potts is doing an excellent job with her personal goals and with the use of mindfulness to help her not become overwhelmed by her current circumstances. Going forward, it is the intention of this writer to further probe her feelings about what it would mean to her if she both had to live her life with the instrument in her body on a
permanent basis and continue on as Rescue and as well as what Anthony Stark means to her and what she sees as her role in his life.
Pepper Potts has had to cancel several appointments due to "working with the government" and, currently, "visiting an old friend." However, she has assured the writer that she will be in the office on August 5 to meet with Doctors Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca. Any information available on that session can be found in file INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #16.
Tim Stevens is a Mental Health Supervisor currently pursuing his Psy D. who has experience working with individuals living with PTSD.
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