Published January 23, 2017

Psych Ward: Magik

Illyana Rasputin returns to therapy in the heart of the Inhumans Vs. X-Men war!

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The client Illyana Rasputin had a prior therapeutic relationship with this therapist that was interrupted due to a series of life events. At the time of therapy she was engaged in a variety of therapeutic interventions including family therapy with her brother Piotr (also known as the mutant rights activist Colossus), group therapy with adult and adolescent survivors of abuse and crime, and extensive, eclectic talk therapy utilizing elements of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (for emotion regulation), Interpersonal Psychology (to reconcile her images of herself), and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (to diffuse faulty thought patterns like, “Destruction is the only way to achieve my goals”).

As before Magik presents as though she is older than her chronological age due to a combination of being artificially aged by time in Limbo and an extensive trauma history. She continues to engage with her memories in a flat, distant way, suggesting some level of dissociation, most likely as a defense mechanism. When not discussing herself, she continues to present as tightly wound and moments from losing her temper. She did not actively rant as she did during her previous round of therapy but the anger is still obviously present.

Magik’s concerns, however, were far less spiritual/mystical than what brought her in the first time. She continues to identify as a demon sorceress and claims to have no soul, but rather than worry about that, she admits to having a crisis of confidence.

Mutantkind has experienced significant setbacks as of late, from M-Day forward and Magik feels particularly responsible for some of them given her failed participation in the so-dubbed “Phoenix Force,” a group of mutants identified as terrorists whose behavior has since been excused on the basis of the corrupting influence of the cosmic being known as the Phoenix.4378935-illyana_rasputina_(earth-616)_uncanny_x-men_vol_3_4_cover

Now, she finds herself once more fighting for what she identifies as the future of mutantkind against another sect of super powered individuals, the Inhumans. Increasingly, she has been thrust to the forefront of this effort and now features prominently in an apparent plan the she feels will end the battles, provided it is successful. She declined to describe it in more detail, however, so this writer has no ethical obligation or, to be honest, ability to report the possible future legally questionable activity.

Regardless, given her past mistakes and what she characterizes as failures, she is deeply worried she will be unsuccessful leading this activity and cripple the mutants’ attempts to protect themselves. Despite her exterior, she presented as worried and vulnerable towards the latter part of session as she disclosed her feelings of being certain she will fail and the will be, once again, responsible for a devastating blow to her community.

Utilizing her past therapeutic experiences, the therapist guided her through several thought stopping activities designed to challenge the negative automatic thoughts she is experiencing.

The therapist also attempted to engage her around the idea that a violent solution is the right or only solution and that putting herself in a situation such as this is an unhealthy choice that may harm her and her population as much, if not more, than it may help them. This therapist makes note of this because it may have been an error in approach to, as a member of the majority with significant privilege, suggest to a client who is of an oppressed minority the “best way” to behave. While I remain dedicated to nonviolence, to imply that the use of violence is never good, given her history and the history of mutants, came from a place of privilege and no doubt represents a rupture in the relationship. This writer will work to repair this rupture in the next session and going forward.

For further insights into the client, this therapist will also be reviewing the scholarly work of Doctors Jeff Lemire and Victor Ibanez available to the public on February 22 in the journal EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #19.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is an Outpatient Therapist who tried to ease tensions in session by singing “All These Things I’ve Done.” The client did not react as expected, despite the quality of Stevens’ rich baritone singing voice.