The former problem student prepares for his next step!

Quintavius “Quentin” Quire is a male who presents as being in his late adolescence and in healthy physical shape. He is a self-identified mutant with ties to the mutant rights group the X-Men. Although he is mostly known by his given name, he has also been called “Kid Omega.”

The client was dropped off at the office by Thor with her ordering our staff, “You talk to him!” It should be noted that this is not the ideal start of a therapeutic sentence. However, Quire and this writer have a pre-existing relationship and he seemed to agree to a session without coercion so I did sit with the client.

When we last worked together, the client was a student at the Jean Grey Institute. In the time since, he has graduated, joined the X-Men, quit the X-Men out of conflicts with Wolverine, joined the Hellfire Club and seized control of it as the White King, and then quit that as well, going into isolation.

Despite all these changes, Quire presents in much the same way as when we first worked together. He recycled his lines about his distaste for psychology and psychologists, talking therapy, and his assertion that what I practice is “junk science.”

However, when the therapist began to dig into the series of rapid changes the client had recently experienced, his affect changed and it became clear that he was struggling to maintain his typical presentation.

Somewhat begrudgingly he disclosed the boredom that characterized his time with the Hellfire Club which left him confused and agitated. He had always felt he deserved power and leadership and when he gained it he found it rather empty and unfulfilling.

We also explored his complex feelings towards Wolverine, someone he characterized as an individual who only sought to make Quire act his worst just so he could say to the client, “See? Look how bad you are.”

Finally, he confessed he had gained some knowledge—although he was very vague about how or what—of his own death and the experience had shaken him. The therapist’s attempts to dig deeper only resulted in the client becoming more disconnected and dismissive of the session.

Therefore, I moved away from a past focus to a present orientation. The client briefly explained that Thor had been attempting to convince him to help with a re-emergent Phoenix Force. The client presented with anger and bluster at this point. He insisted on his independence and that he would not answer to anyone or follow orders from anyone, not even the “so-called God of Thunder herself.” While the client allowed that, yes, the Phoenix Force would be the biggest challenge he had ever faced and yes, he was aware what it had done, at various times, to Jean Grey and Emma Frost, he refused to admit to or even acknowledge the possibility he had any fears about it.

Abandoning the attempts to get the client to open up and knowing from previous experience he was rarely moved by the needs of others, this writer finally appealed to the client’s sense of self-preservation, arguing that if he faced Phoenix he may be hurt or killed but if he failed to, he’d make enemies of gods and likely would only be delaying an inevitable death by Phoenix, one that he would be less prepared for than this face off.

Given the rather resistant nature of the client, this writer is referring the client to Doctors Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman who have more experience with working with “wielders and victims of the Phoenix Force.” Their follow-up sessions will occur on April 26 and May 17. Session notes can be found in file MIGHTY THOR #18 and MIGHTY THOR #19

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who will never grow tired of people telling him psychology is not real science.

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Before facing a new foe, the team takes time to bond closer together!

The space-faring team known as the Guardians of the Galaxy—a self-appointed title with no formal rights or responsibilities—came to our office with a request that our staff help them improve the ways in which they interact and work with one another. After meeting with the entire team and each member individual, what follows below is the program of workshops we are presenting to them to address their stated needs.

Recognizing Leadership- The Guardians—like so many groups of diverse people who consistently are placed in stressful situations—sometimes struggle with the chain of command. They can be prone to disrespecting those in leadership roles, rejecting plans to do things on their own, or—either consciously or not—failing to step up and seize a leadership position when necessary. This workshop seeks to empower all members to be both good leaders and good team members and better recognize when the time is to be one or the other.

Communication is Key!– Continuing from the theme above, even when roles are clear and understood, there are moments where it is necessary to convey disagreement, ask for clarification, or express feelings of being underappreciated. When such times come and the people involved are unprepared to communicate their needs, wants, opinions, or facts clearly and concisely, it can cause great strains on team cohesion. This breakout session will teach the Guardians how to decide when and where it is appropriate to raise objections, express feelings, or ask for more information and the best way to do that in a number of scenarios. This session is high in role plays and tends to be a lot of fun for all involved!

Resisting All-Powerful Beings– A relatively new addition to our staff, the Stepford Cuckoos are full of great tips and tricks on how to take on impossibly powerful cosmic beings without losing one’s head. Some past participants have found this workshop to be “overly aggressive” but we have been working on improving that aspect of it because we believe in the content.

Stress as Friend…and FOE!– Space travel in and of itself can be a mental and physical stressor. Add in evading hostile attempts to destroy your space craft, landing on worlds unlike ones you have ever seen before, and a wide range of violent encounters from hand to hand combat to small nuclear arms—and beyond—and you have a situation where your heart may be getting a workout all day every day. This three hour two session workshop helps participants recognize “good” and “bad” stress and how they can affect us all similarly and differently.

Mastering Your Brain– Once the Guardians have the psychoeducation about stress presented above, this breakout session will give them the tools to deal with it. Increasing their range of coping skills by reviewing mindfulness and distress tolerance techniques will help these adventurers be more effective at their jobs and in their personal lives. Another participation heavy group that participants seem to find just find delightful.

Telling Stress to Go Boom– We are outsourcing on this and cannot speak to its validity. However, the Guardian known as Rocket insisted on discussing “the therapeutic benefits of making stuff blow up” or “no deal,” so we found what we believe to be one of the better instructors in this area, a Mr. Paul Denning. We look forward to seeing his approach in action and possibly adding it to future retreat programs.

Trust Me!– This classic series of rapport building and trust exercises is everyone’s favorite breakout group and for good reason! Any team worth its weight in the crushing responsibility of knowing you are the only thing standing between the universe and a being that seeks to enslave every living creature and reduce freedom to nil cannot help but “graduate” from this one feeling closer than ever to be one another.

The retreat begins with Doctors Jim Starlin and Alan Davis on May 3 and runs every Wednesday through the end of the month. You can review the program as it progresses in the file GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: MOTHER ENTROPY!

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who loves a good breakout sesh.

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In a time of personal turmoil, Kamala Khan's best friend reaches out for support!

While in country to continue this writer’s work with the so-called Midnight Angels’ psych assessments, I volunteered to help do intakes for a newly opened mental health practice in Wakanda’s largest city. This note summarizes one of those intake interviews.

Bruno Carrelli is a teenage adolescent male who presents as fairly healthy although he has recently experienced a significant physical trauma to his left hand. He declined to dive too much into that issue, asserting a healthy boundary by expressing he was not ready to discuss it beyond acknowledging its existence.

Instead the intake focused predominantly on the client’s interpersonal relationships and recent emigration to the country of Wakanda.

Like so many going through large changes—especially at his age—the client is struggling with ambivalence about the current direction of his life. On the one hand, living in Wakanda has opened up opportunities to him that he hungered for but never really believed would be possible, especially this early. He loves and appreciates the academic challenges he now faces and is excited about learning more about Wakanda and becoming integrated in the community around him.

On the other hand, he gave up the only place he had ever called home—Northern New Jersey—and all the comfortable familiarity that home offered him. Wakanda living is markedly different from Jersey living and the client is experiencing an understandable but still challenging level of adjustment difficulty.

Making matters worse is the changes his personal life has undergone during this period of transition.

For one, he was forced to end his relationship with his girlfriend Mike when he left the United States. In addition to being his first adolescent intimate relationship, he also identifies it as the first time in as long as he can recall he chose someone over the idealized “crush” he had on a close friend. He felt good not just because he cared deeply about Mike but also because he saw growth in himself for trading fantasy for reality. He now worries that finding himself in a new place with a community he does not yet fit in entirely, he might regress to old ways.

This is doubly the case because his idealized crush is the only person he knows well in Wakanda. However, she is also the reason he finds himself in Wakanda—not wholly by choice—in the first place. Regardless of his past romantic feelings towards her they have always been close friends. So the client finds himself psychologically pulled in several directions: he has unresolved feelings of anger towards her for the move, he wants to connect with her because they’ve always been friends and now they both could really use that support, but he also doesn’t want to connect too closely to her because he does not wish to repeat past patterns of idealization and limiting social opportunities for himself.

The writer offered validation and reassurance that the client’s reactions made sense given circumstances and were not unlike the kinds of experiences many people his age and slightly older begin to experience now as they enter a psychological phase of individuation and concrete transitions like moving on to college, leaving their home towns, and so on. The writer was sure to stress at the same time, however, that the client should ignore or suppress their distress and that everyone’s situation—no matter how similar to others before them—should be given care and attention.

As this writer does not live in Wakanda full-time, the client has been referred to Doctors G. Willow Wilson and Francesco Gaston for his next appointment on May 10. Their progress note will be located in file MS. MARVEL #18.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist once attended a prestigious science institute, but was told to go home because there was nothing more he could be taught.

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Wilson Fisk seeks to better understand himself!

Wilson Fisk is an adult male of immense size. He presents as composed and tightly wound, as though he were constantly holding something back. In a case of history repeating itself, he arrived at the office after hours, paid off the rest of the remaining staff to go home, and demanded this writer see him. He seemed aware of this writer breaking confidentiality following our last meeting, stated neither I nor anyone else I cared about was “in danger,” and assured me there would be no such needs to invoke Tarasoff after this session.

Interestingly, there did seem to be a shift in his presentation as the session continued—in comparison with both last time and with his demeanor at the start of session. He seemed far more interactive and far less didactic. Unlike the last session, he did not demand the writer’s silence but invited comment.

That said, there were moments were it was very clear to the writer that a line had been briefly crossed. Despite Fisk’s self-control, his body language often would give him away, showing a kind of coiled anger whenever he felt disrespected or the writer touched upon what could perhaps be best labeled “off-limits” areas—for example his relationship to his deceased wife Vanessa.

Throughout the session, however, this writer had a difficult time shaking the idea that the client was doing this session in a performative manner; as if he wanted someone else to see his willingness to attend therapy. When he left, I saw a woman with him who clearly was not part of his “muscle” nor resembled any of his former woman assassins—Elektra, Lady Bullseye, Typhoid Mary. Perhaps she was the audience?

His session also seemed to be a subtle form of intimidation despite his insistence neither I nor anyone I cared about was in danger. This was particularly evident when, as he left, he paused at the door to ask, “I respect that you are a man of principles who follows the rules of his craft regardless of personal risk That said, I trust there will be far less…phone calls that need to take place after this session?” His manner did not seem merely inquisitive.

In terms of therapeutic content, there was a shallowness to it. He spoke mostly of a desire to push back against his reputation, to find acceptance amongst the New York “elite,” and to help kids like him—raised in near poverty but still with too much income to access many city, state, and federal supports—improve their lives. He largely avoided discussions of his criminal activities beyond vaguely citing “cycles of violence” and absolutely rejected any discussion of the street vigilante Daredevil.

At the end of session, he did request further sessions. Given our prior relationship, I argued that it would most likely be counterproductive to continue to work with me. He accepted this recommendation and a referral to the offices of Doctors Matthew Rosenberg and Ben Torres on April 12 and May 10. Those referrals can be found in the KINGPIN #3 and KINGPIN #4 files, respectively.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who reminds you that just because he is a man of size with a shaved head does not mean he “looks exactly like that Kingpin guy.”

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Before he gets back in the game, the cosmic player seeks some therapy!

It must be noted that this session was done under some level of distress. The client in question teleported into this writer’s office after hours and took me away to an unknown location before returning me at the end of the hour. Despite the large amount of funds deposited in the clinic’s account—ostensibly payment for the appointment—there was no agreement signed between client and therapist nor cost per session agreed on. The client was warned at the conclusion of the session not to act in such a manner again and was referred to a different therapist as it was this writer’s feeling I would be unable to treat the client in an appropriate manner given the circumstances of this first session.

Pip the Troll is, in fact, a troll. However, unlike the popular concept of the troll here on Earth as sort of an ancient faerie type creature, trolls are in fact alien beings who, nonetheless, happen to resemble the classic depiction of them. Perhaps a group of trolls visited the Earth at some time in the distant past and thus this is more than mere coincidence. The writer, however, is not inclined to explore this idea beyond this moment of idle speculation.

Client presented as a bit cantankerous with evidence of poor hygiene and what would typically be considered inappropriate attire for a therapy session. Despite being the one who initiated the session, he was often resistant to answering questions and repeatedly fell back on humor as an attempt to change the subject.

Nonetheless, over the course of the session, the writer learned that Pip had spent many years involved with what he called “The Infinity Watch”—a group of individuals dedicated to the protection of and empowered by the Infinity Stones. Pip specifically was assigned the Space Stone. Although no longer in the possession of the Stone, long-term exposure to it appears to be the reason he can now teleport entirely on his own.

His involvement with the Stone and thus the likes of Thanos and Adam Warlock proved to be a series of experiences with wildly different emotional results. At one point, Pip was given a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by the warlord Thanos which left the client essentially comatose. Shortly thereafter, Warlock literally destroyed Pip’s body and trapped his “soul” until such time as the client was able to be transferred back into the physical realm. While without body, it seems the client was able to be aware of himself and the world around him although he lacked any ability to interact with or influence it.

(As usual, this writer is treating this spiritual experience as “real” in accordance with the client’s beliefs. That said, what Pip describes as his soul sounds more like what we tend to understand as his consciousness, disembodied)

On the other side of the scale, Pip briefly experienced nearly limitless power and used it, almost immediately, to reduce another living being to a pillar of salt. Although he insists his next act was only going to be to throw himself a birthday party, the sheer lack of any kind of hesitation he experienced in deciding to snuff out another person does give one pause.

Considering the range of these experiences, it is no wonder Pip now finds himself ambivalent about whether or not he would like to re-involve himself with the complex goings-on of the known universe. While he has an opportunity to join with the so-called “Guardians of the Galaxy” and he thinks of himself as a creature of action and adventure, the client finds himself nearly paralyzed by indecision.

The therapist validated this emotional reaction and conducted some psychoeducation about why this was a fairly expected response to the decision that he is currently faced with. However, as stated in the preamble above, this therapist could no longer work with the client to explore these issues further.

Therefore, Pip the Troll has been referred to Doctors Jim Starlin and Alan Davis for his next appointment. Their progress note will be found in file GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: MOTHER ENTROPY, available in May for review.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who would love to take you on a fantastic voyage. Slide, slide, slippity slide.

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Mutant expert Cullen Bunn lends a hand in evaluating the original five!

Here are my and Doctor Bunn’s notes and observations on the mutants as requested. You received their releases in advance and we have kept copies as well should their waiving of privilege need to be proven at a later date. Please let us know if there is anything further we can do to help

Jean Grey: With the knowledge of her future—or the future she would’ve had—Jean has proven to more assertive at a younger age than the Jean Grey who was not plucked from the timeline and moved forward. With this assertiveness has come some arguably problematic behaviors including overreaches in power and some manipulations.

Overall, as Dr. Bunn describes below, the main thrust of Grey’s therapy is about her feelings of responsibility for her teammates and the larger mutant community.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “Jean Grey has assumed a leadership role among the young X-Men, but she struggles with worry that she could be letting her teammates down. She has put her team on a potentially very dangerous path, and she feels solely responsible for their safety.

“She also shows concern over being patronized by the rest of the X-Men. She relies upon and confides in her teammate Scott Summers, who understands the struggles of leadership. Knowing that the older X-Men have faced great challenges in their lives, she hopes to prepare her team to better face the same level of threats.”

Cyclops: Summers, intriguingly, has followed an almost opposite path than Grey. Instead of the knowledge of his future making him more assertive and dedicated to assuming a leadership role, it has served to encourage him to take a step back. While supportive, he has gladly ceded the role of team leader to Grey. This stands in contrast to a Cyclops who once would literally fight teammates for the “honor” of leadership.

Knowing his future has also allowed him, it seems, to expand his attention beyond mutant concerns as demonstrated by his joining the Champions and exploring the idea of being more of a super hero and less of a mutant spokesperson/advocate.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “The destructive power he possesses—and the great discipline he feels he must always maintain—has contributed to Scott’s restrained, controlled, and rigid demeanor. He was the first of Professor Xavier’s X-Men, and he feels that this distinction comes with a great responsibility. Still, he is somewhat relieved that Jean has taken a leadership role for the team.”

Beast: Henry McCoy is an intriguing case to this writer. I’ve gotten to know the “adult version” as a devoted man of science so to see his teenage self beginning to dabble in more mystical pursuits has been both interesting and alarming. The client’s struggle to find a path when, of all the clients, his future seems the least fraught has certainly caught my attention, leading me to wonder if there has been some tragedy encountered by the client since he arrived that he has kept secret or that the adult McCoy has hidden or suppressed some painful memories while I worked with him.

X-Men: Blue #1 cover by Arthur Adams

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “Hank is a man of many secrets. Since finding himself lost in our time, he has struggled to find his place in the world and his value to the team. This has led him to dabble in the mystic arts, a new interest that could prove dangerous for him.

“When cautioned about the risks inherent with the magical arts, he scoffed, saying that he has a ‘teacher’ who is guiding him in this new field of study. No record of this teacher could be found.”

Iceman: Of all the team, Bobby Drake seems to have taken the most advantage of this timeline, for lack of a better way to express it. While his confession of his sexuality was something he was rushed into by Grey’s mind-reading, he has since proven rather comfortable with both the self-knowledge of his desires and living an out life. While his adult counterpart has often seemed to vacillate between identities and responsibilities to the point that it was difficult to know if he had an authentic self, this teen seems comfortable, level-headed, and very aware of who he is.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “Bobby uses humor to mask his feelings of discomfort and nervousness. A great deal has changed for him since he arrived in our time. He has developed a romantic relationship with the Inhuman Romeo, and he is experiencing a wide range of emotions, as would any teenager. The fact that the young men no longer see each other as much as they once did—because of physical distance and increased responsibilities—causes Bobby a degree of uncertainty and worry. This anxiety appears to be manifesting as minor fluctuations in his powers.”

Angel: The popular conception of Warren Worthington prior to the traumatic destruction of his wings and subsequent alliance with Apocalypse was that he was a gifted and privileged adolescent who experienced little by way of adversity that was not directly associated with his wings.

This interpretation may have been true, but the teen Worthington in our timeline has shown himself to be far more complex. After being compelled to stay by Grey’s powers—as noted above, an unfortunate side effect of her increased assertiveness—Worthington has quickly shed his timeline homesickness, replaced by a sort of reckless arrogance. In some ways, he has become the least charitable assumptions about him: that he is a self-involved rich boy who only cares about his own glory. That would be concerning enough on its own, but paired with a violent streak that is unlike anything recorded about his adult counterpart’s years as Angel, it becomes something altogether worrying.

Dr. Bunn’s Notes: “At first, Warren was the most uncomfortable of the time-lost X-Men, wanting desperately to return to his point of origin. He has, however, now embraced this time period as willingly as—if not more so than—his teammates.

“With his abilities changing to be more dangerous, Warren has adopted more aggressive tactics in combat. Perhaps this has influenced a more impulsive side of his personality. Warren appears to be displaying near-narcissistic tendencies in his relationships with his teammates and others.”

This X-Men team will next meet with Doctor Cullen Bunn and his associates Doctors Jorge Molina and Matteo Buffagni on April 12 and the session notes will be found in the file labeled X-MEN: BLUE #1.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who knows his teenage version is out there somewhere, just whooping it up.

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For Richard Rider, returning to life has not been an uncomplicated thing…

Richard Rider is a young adult male who appears to be of average to above average physical fitness. When last he met with this writer, he was active as a member of an intergalactic police force as the super hero Nova. Since his apparent death, the Nova Corps have largely been eliminated and his role as Earth’s Nova fulfilled by a teenager.

In fact, change was an overwhelming theme of the client’s therapy. He confessed that, while he could logically grasp that his physical death—which resulted in his consciousness being uploaded in the Worldmind, a sort of vast organic database that powers the Nova helmets, the part of the uniform that seems to endow the users with their power of flight, strength, and energy projection—he did not fully grasp how much time would seem to have passed. The client was able to acknowledge that chronologically it had actually been a fairly short time, but the changes to the world around him felt vast.

Despite achieving a sort of eternal life after his physical death, the client finds himself feeling more mortal than ever. Although he died and continued on—and in fact, now lives to tell the tale—he finds himself feeling incredibly vulnerable. The world seems additionally fragile as well to him and he points to the fate of several heroes—dead, replaced, turned villainous, gained children or replaced by younger protégés—as part of this experience.

Client also endorsed that he had been experiencing flashbacks and visual hallucinations including seeing others as sort of rotting, walking corpse versions of themselves. Client made it clear that these hallucinations reflect the kinds of things he saw in the Cancerverse and were not, for instance, daydreams about zombies.

Nova by Mike Deodato

Overall, Rider seems honest but hesitant to fully explore what is happening with and to him. When asked he feels or is worried if there might be physiological issues as well, the client became agitated and deferred.

We also explored the notion of feeling replaced by the new, younger Nova. Rider denied this stridently and pointed out how well they worked together. Therapist acknowledged this but suggested it was possible to both like and respect someone and still feel as though you’ve been replaced by them or resent the situation that has put you both together. The client refused to discuss this concept further.

Given client’s earlier success with it, this writer is working with Rider using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) because it points out the thinking errors in the client’s cognition with an irreverence that he responds to. Given his experience with it, the therapist predicts the client will integrate activities like positive self-talk quickly into his day-to-day life and recover rapidly.

Given the fact that he literally died, this therapist has referred Richard Rider out for a consultation with experts in the field, Doctors Jeff Loveness and Ramon K. Perez. Their report will be available to review in files NOVA #4 and NOVA #5 which will be available on March 8 and April 5, respectively.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is fine with death. Really. Just fine. Can we just stop talking about it?!

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The heart of the X-Men enters crisis!

Jean Grey presents as a woman in her late adolescence/early adulthood in better than average physical fitness. The writer, having previously seen some of her compatriots, was surprised to see her looking as young as she did. However, the client explained that she was most likely not the Jean Grey he had heard about over the years prior but rather an earlier version moved forward to the future. Although this therapist finds this all very perplexing, the client’s self-reporting on the matter does seem accurate.

Since arriving in the future, Grey has found herself bombarded by information from a life yet to come, including struggles controlling the Phoenix Force—and the consequences of the times she has been unable to do so—her relationship to Scott Summers—Cyclops—including their eventual marriage, and the general increasing volatility of mutant relations.

Understandably, this knowledge has proved very distressing to the client. While she has not done any of these things yet—and is unlikely to, given her time displacement—she still feels a certain connection to these, to us, past events. Making things more complicated is that many of the other individuals she has encountered since her arrival all seem to look at her and treat her as the adult Jean Grey they’ve known for years. When she does something that “their” Jean wouldn’t she can feel them judging her. Similarly, when she doesn’t do something that they would’ve expected the adult Jean to do, she is aware of their disappointment. She feels trapped by a past and reputation that are not hers and expressed to this writer several times that it feels as though she often cannot make the right choice. If she does what they want, she betrays her own instincts; if she does what she thinks she should, many people will be confused or disappointed.Jean_grey_all_new_x-men

This has been especially on her mind as of late because of the state of mutantkind. Everything, she has explained, feels very precarious to her and she knows that mutants, especially her teammates in the X-Men, need stability. She knows that, in the past, Jean Grey was often a source of that stability. She can feel within herself the potential to be the same but knows that whatever she does to help her teammates and fellow mutants it will be different than the other Jean would’ve done and worries if that, in and of itself, will create more fear and uncertainty than if she did nothing at all or, as she has tried previously, just went off and lived her life as someone else, concealing her mutant abilities and disconnecting herself from the mutant rights movement.

Despite the enormity of the situation and how confusing it must be, this writer estimates the client’s prognosis to be good. She is thoughtful and intelligent, has a natural charisma, and is clearly a very empathetic individual. Additionally, even if they might have high expectations for her, she has a wealth of people ready and willing to support her and the X-Men are known for having a significant level of resources within their reach.

To gain a better understanding of how time travel and long term displacement might affect a person’s mental health, this writer has referred the client for an appointment with Doctors Jeff Lemire and Eric Koda on Match 22. They will make their findings available to this writer in file EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #20 so that they can be addressed and incorporated into Jean Grey’s therapeutic sessions.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who knows if Jean Grey read his mind, she’d find that he is a huge fan of party mix. And he is not ashamed.

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After getting tangled up with The Punisher, the DEA rep faces suspension!

Agent Ortiz, the client in question, reported for her debrief on time and appropriately attired for the session. She initially presented as respectful to the therapist’s position and the circumstances that had brought her to the office. However, as the session progressed, she became increasingly angry, dispirited, and disinterested in participating in a manner that the DEA would consider “helpful.”

At the heart of the client’s suspension and her anger is her involvement with a case that put her in contact with the violent criminal “vigilante” known as The Punisher, Frank Castle.

The client asserted to this writer that she began her career as an idealistic and rule adhering agent. A quick review of her file seems to reflect these assertions. Up until this current case, the client followed protocol well, seemed highly committed to the DEA’s mission statement, and delivered on several cases assigned to her.

In the course of working this case, however, she has acted in a way contrary to the oath she has sworn to uphold the law and to the standards and practices of the DEA. In her zeal for what she described as justice, she aligned herself with Castle on a dangerous and unsanctioned maneuver that resulted in the death of her partner, the decimation of a long-running operation, and the escape of The Punisher.

The client, however, generally refuses to accept responsibility for her actions or acknowledge her errors. Instead, she has outwardly directed her feelings, converting them mostly to anger and grief, and focusing all of them on Punisher.

Despite the terms she agreed to in her suspension, this writer must advise the DEA to monitor her closely. Everything about her presentation and what she disclosed suggests she has no intention of adhering to the agreement and plans to pursue Castle immediately with a focus firmly not on justice but revenge.

Given her level of animosity, clearly unstated and unaddressed negative emotions, and possible evidence of trauma reactive decision making, this writer is referring the client for further therapy from Doctor Becky Cloonan on March 15. The treatment note can be found in the file PUNISHER #10 if the client does attend. This writer warns, however, that this seems unlikely at this juncture.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is also a loose cannon that gets the job done.

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Sam Wilson tries to find balance as he wears the stars and stripes!

The client, Sam Wilson, has worked with this therapist on previous occasions including to work through emotions raised by the death of his nephew, Jim Wilson, from AIDS-related complications, short-term follow-up visits to process things like a history of criminal activities as a youth and attempts at mind control to assess for possible dissociation or delusions, and trauma stemming from being abducted and tortured by a white nationalist/white supremacist terrorist organization.

These all occurred when Wilson also identified himself as the costumed hero “Falcon.” Since then, the client has taken on the mantel of Captain America, initially to replace his friend and mentor Steve Rogers and then continuing on even after Rogers once again resumed activities as the Sentinel of Liberty.

This time, the client was visiting to discuss concerns he has about how he may have changed since taking on the mantel. For instance, he finds himself concerned that the need to represent the American Dream—and to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps—has blunted his more activist impulses. Having heard from and watched younger minority identified heroes like Rage or the new Falcon, he has spent time wondering if some of the criticisms may be valid.

These doubts coincide with a rising tide of criticism from right wing identifying organizations that are demanding he give up the role of Captain America because he is somehow unworthy of it. Wilson admits that he does not think that they are right and is inclined to believe that his skin color has far more to do with their criticisms than he is abilities. However, the anger they engender in him does concern him and he worries about controlling his temper in the field when it feels surrounded by criticism.

Overall, the client just wants to process strong feelings that he is working through at this time. Given the position he is occupying at the pressure therein—both internal and external—this is a healthy reaction and his decision to seek therapeutic support was praised and validated as such.

We began to explore the client’s sense of duty and the feeling of his need to be all things to all people. We discussed how perfect is the enemy of good and as a person he is bound to make mistakes, but that just because someone does not agree with what you’ve done does not necessarily make you wrong or mistaken.

The client seemed to respond well to this interaction and admitted he felt better as he left than when he had when he arrived.

Given the short-term nature of the work and the number of clients this writer is already carrying, the client will begin seeing Doctors Nick Spencer and Daniel Acuna on March 15. His note will be available for review in file CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #20.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who knows he’d be the first in jail if they ever outlaw the expression “perfect is the enemy of good.”

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