AWD #025:Talking Shop
Talking Shop
Summary: Two counselors, both alike in dignity, in fair Orion where we lay our scene… proceed to discuss patients, prospective patients, and the overall mental health of the the crew. It's shop talk, of a sort, even if there's no workshop involved.
Date: 31/1/2013
Related Logs: Sound Advice, Deaf Ears
Beatrix Iphigenia 
Beatrix's Office
DIt's an office! With a desk! And probably some filing cabinets! And chairs! No Freudian couch, though.
January 31st, 2005

Technically, CMES is grouped in with Medical, and most of their work is in the fore corridor of Deck 3. So the walk from Iphigenia's file cabinet to wherever Beatrix is using for an office is relatively short. Of course she first checks to make sure the doctor is not with a client, and then knocks on the door, head partially appearing in the open space. "Dr. Gades?"

"Sister Arden," Bearix replies sedately, not yet looking up from the paperwork on her desk. She seems to be making final notes from a meeting with a patient, her normally sedate features twisted into a very slight frown as she jots a few scribbles in the margins and sharply underlines — with sccrt-sccrt-sccrt of pen on paper — a few words which she has just written. "Come in. I'm just finishing up with my last patient."

"Splendid." she says as she steps in further, bringing the folder from undr her arm to into her hands. "I hope you won't read too much into it given the current situation, but I thought I'd take this time to transfer Captain Cole's paperwork to you." There's a pause, and she adds, "I also wanted to express some concern regarding Major Sheperd."

"I met with Major Sheperd this morning," she says, tearing her eyes away from her page. Her own folder is flipped shut, with a flurry of white pages. "Not officially, of course, being as he's neither my patient nor my subordinate, but given the fact that he's the fourth CAG we've had in two months and this is the first time their may have been casualties under his command, I thought it prudent to at least have a brief conversation with him, assure him that my door is open, and urge the man to get some bloody sleep." The Caprican accent is faint, but noticeable.

Iphigenia's accent is distinct in and of itself - Virgon, received pronunciation, the upper crust of Virgon nobility. Posh. "He approached me in the chapel with Captain Cole's coin. And suggested he might make an appointment for me to see you." It's clear that level of presumption irritates her, but not enough for her to speak of him in any detrimental fashion. "And I do want to speak to you, but I'm a grown woman who can manage her own mental health needs. I am concerned for him, though. As one professional to another. He should speak to someone; I'm fairly certain that given his own proclivities, he will not make any effort to do so."

"Unfortunately, Sister, I cannot force anyone into my office. Given the current circumstances, the situation on the Colonies, and the claims that it's the end of the world? I really think every last human survivor could use the aid of some sort of counselor, but I have neither the authority to order them into it nor the time to see to them all," she says with a faint sigh. Her pen drums against the edge of her desk, tapping out a steady beat. "I did, however, remind him that given his new rank, he has far more to consider than just himself; he needs to remember what his condition means for the people he leads. I'd say the same to you now."

"Frankly, I think if two of the ship's health professionals put forth the recommendation to the CAG - or higher - that he needs some sessions, I rather think we'll be listened to." Iphigenia says frankly. "I don't want him going the way of Bumper - who even before becoming DCAG was exhibiting signs of clinical depression. If I have your support, I'll speak to the CAG about it."

"I wouldn't go above the man's head just yet; he did, at least, concede that he needed some sleep, which means he was begrudgingly recognizing my point that both grief and exhaustion have skewed his perspective, and that he needs the time to clear it." She doesn't smile. It's not a triumph, after all. But it is a start. "Of course, if he's harassing you about seeing someone, there's no reason why you shouldn't be giving him a taste of his own medicine. In my strictly non-professional opinion, of course."

"Oh, I remarked on it and he gave me the brush off. If he's taking rack time, we can assess his state after he's had some sleep." There's a pause as she remembers why she's here, and holds out the file.

Beatrix pushes herself to her feet, which leaves her long white labcoat to trail down the back of her legs. She wears it often when at her station — there's something about it that lends a certain gravitas to her 'suggestions'. The file is plucked gently from Iphigenia's hand. "Both you and Captain Cole are aware, of course, that I don't offer religious counseling?"

"He'll continue to see me for that." Gen says smoothly. "Most of the time I'm able to amalgamate pastoral and therapeutic counseling successfully. With Captain Cole the situation is more complex."

"So you mentioned when you requested the transfer." She flips Cole's file open and begins browsing through the pages, albeit casually. "Is there a particular reason why it was an issue in this case? I generally find it rather disruptive to try and extract a patient's mental health from their spiritual health, save in extreme cases where, say, delusions of being a god have been presented. In which case…." Well, in which case Cole needs to be removed from duty immediately. And probably heavily medicated.

"The counseling sessions are mandated for his continued service." Iphigenia says frankly. "And to be quite frank, we've become friends. There's a level of companionship involved that is acceptable within the boundaries of pastoral counseling, but not within formal therapy." There's a pause as she adds, "I rather suspect that had I not initiated it, Captain Cole would have requested such a transfer himself."

"Oh," Beatrix says simply. And then there's a pause, as that sinks in. "Oh!" Her mouth forms an exaggerated variation of the shape she's uttered, as do her eyes. "Well, then, that certainly explains the transfer, as well as Major Shepherd's commentary about you possibly needing an appointment yourself, given the recent actions over Aerilon." A beat. "How are you taking the news, Sister?"

Iphigenia quells the compulsion to tell her it's not like that, because in some ways it's exactly like that. "As best I can." she says. "With realistic hope, I think. He deployed his chute, but it was on fire. He's regard as MIA, not KIA, so there's that. And I have his coin…just in case." There's a faint quirk at the corner of her mouth. "I wasn't raised to be highly emotive, I admit. It was considered very bad form, the way I was raised. Given it's not the same as empathy. I don't think there's any normal way to process such news." Her prayer to Aphrodite remains unmentioned. As she said, Beatrix is not a pastoral counselor.

"Honestly, Sister, I would advise a time-honored, cross-cultural tradition that has allowed women of all ages, races, and classes an emotional release. It's worked for centuries, and I've employed it myself." She reaches up to brush a few strands of stray hair back into her bun, before continuing with, "It's called 'crying alone in your room'." It's possible she's being sarcastic, but there's no hint of humor in either her voice or her face. "Or in this case, your rack. Or the shower. Or anywhere you might have a few moments alone. It's unhealthy to refuse to recognize or give voice to your own feelings. You need not share them with others if it's difficult or discomforting for you, but burying them away will serve no one, least of all yourself. As counselors, we're expected to maintain a certain professional distance from our patients, but the truth is, we wouldn't be in this field if we didn't care. It can be difficult to deal with at times, but I find that for me, personally, it's best recognized."

"It's not as if I don't acknowledge what I'm feeling." Iphigenia protests, a little feebly. "But people assume that because I'm not tearing about like a maenad nothing's going on unde the surface." She sighs. "I'll come talk to you later, when you've a slot free, if I may."

"Still waters run deep," Beatrix advises calmly, a gentle smile finally touching her face. "We'll compare our schedules and see when it may be possible to pencil you in for something. Should something come up — if, say, someone comes in for emergency counseling — please just call over to let me know that you won't be able to attend."

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