Transcript of 2nd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Claire Steven, Friday, February 27, 1998 at 10:00 am.

Ms. Steven: Hello, Doctor Balis. I'm so sorry I'm late. I just got caught up in this interview and...Christ, the kid asked a million fucking questions. Oh, sorry about the f-word. I'm just totally preoccupied this morning. I feel like my emotional front is about to crumble apart at any minute and I will be an emotional wreck. So, how are you this morning, Doctor Balis?
Dr. Balis: Good morning, Claire. Please, come in, sit down. Why don't we take a minute to relax and calm down a little bit. Good. Now, breathe easy. Close your eyes if you need to. Just relax. Good.
Ms. Steven: Thank you, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: So, what's on you mind, Claire?
Ms. Steven: Can I open my eyes?
Dr. Balis: Yes, of course.
Ms. Steven: Good. I would've felt like an idiot talking to you with my eyes closed.
Dr. Balis: I want you to be comfortable.
Ms. Steven: It might have worked if were a kitten, but...
Dr. Balis: You're much calmer now then you were two minutes ago.
Ms. Steven: I suppose you're right.
Dr. Balis: What do you think made you so hyper today?
Ms. Steven: Stress, I guess. Maybe boredom. I don't really know. Work just blows; it's not what I want to do. I don't like to sit at my desk all day long and talk to eighteen year old kids trying to get jobs that for which they're not qualified. And then, I'm the one that has to tell them that they don't have a chance in hell of getting the job. The few that do make it to the next level are smart enough to know that the job they get might make them my boss. It's just not fun.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Steven: It's not that easy to look for something that I would like to do. Did you always know that you were going to be a therapist?
Dr. Balis: I'd say that I was always pulled in that direction.
Ms. Steven: You see? You were pulled to it. I have nothing pulling me except unemployment. I'm twenty-two years old, and I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
Dr. Balis: There are a lot of people who are twenty-two years old that don't really know what they want to do yet.
Ms. Steven: Yes, but how many of them don't want to have sex?
Dr. Balis: Excuse me?
Ms. Steven: Okay, it's a bit of a non sequitur.
Dr. Balis: Well, I think there are a lot more twenty-two year olds than you'd think that have some sexual problems. But, I don't think sex is your main problem, Claire. You may not want to have sex as often as your husband, but you are not uninterested in sex.
Ms. Steven: That's true. So you think it's something else?
Dr. Balis: Well, maybe it's something deeper than just a lack of interest in sex. What do you think?
Ms. Steven: I guess it could be some deep-rooted psychological problems. I don't know.
Dr. Balis: You were talking about interviewing kids that might become your own boss...
Ms. Steven: That's just it. I was the one that was supposed to become the boss. I was the one that was going to become a CEO. My brother was never hounded about his grades. But if I received something below B+ on my report card, I had to do yard work for the entire summer. If it happened during the Christmas break, I had to open my gifts last while everyone else was eating breakfast in the kitchen. And I only got half of what my parents actually bought for me. They returned the rest because I didn't deserve it--Santa doesn't like children who don't give it their all. My brother was a D student. He almost didn't graduate from high school. Yet, he got everything.
Dr. Balis: Was he pressured in other ways?
Ms. Steven: Yes, maybe. But it doesn't matter anymore. Kenny died when I was seven. He was nineteen. His buddy and he were out messing around one night, and some cops pulled them over. I was always told that the cops just opened fire on the car. Kenny was shot once through the right eye and was killed instantly. My parents always said the boys didn't do anything. But they never once did anything to right the wrong that was done to their son. Later, when I got into high school, I found out the truth. Kenny was into stealing car stereos and stuff like that. One night, they stole a car, and the cops pulled them over for a routine traffic stop. Kenny's friend pulled a gun, as the cop stepped up to the car. He shot the cop in the arm or something. Then the cop pulled out his gun and opened fire. The first shot caught Kenny in the head. The other kid was shot four times in the chest and neck. He died three days later in the ICU.
Dr. Balis: I'm sorry, Claire. How did your parents take it? Ms. Steven. Mom was a mess. But dad just acted like nothing happened. I, on the other hand, get smothered. I couldn't do anything without my mom wanting to know where I was every second of the day. She used to call the school and talk to me just to make sure I made it there all right. Dad pretty much ignored me until report card day came along. Then, I was usually punished for not receiving all A's or whatever. I think they resented me for being there, for making them have to worry about me, too. That's why I did nothing in high school. If I ever failed to come home when I was told, my father would go crazy. Mom called all of my friends in hysterics sobbing when I was just five minutes late. They made me afraid to live, so I didn't do anything. They told me when and what I could do. It was like a prison.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. It sounds like you had a difficult time as a child.
Ms. Steven: It wasn't easy. They meant well, and they still do. It's just that I know I somehow let them down.
Dr. Balis: Why do you feel that?
Ms. Steven: Oh, here we go again. I know where you are coming from, Doctor Balis--that everyone feels that way. But it doesn't make it feel any better. I still feel like a loser.
Dr. Balis: Your low self-esteem could easily spring from the effects on your parents when your brother died. I think if we use our therapy sessions to build your self-confidence, you might find that your sexual problem resolves itself.
Ms. Steven: And if they don't?
Dr. Balis: Why don't we try? We can evaluate if therapy is working for you in a couple of weeks. How does that sound?
Ms. Steven: I guess it's too early to judge, huh?
Dr. Balis: I would like to see you every week, if that's possible.
Ms. Steven: I think I can do that.
Dr. Balis: Good. Does this time work for you?
Ms. Steven: It's fine. Thank you, Doctor. I really hope therapy works for me.
Dr. Balis: I think it will, Claire, if you put yourself into it. I'll see you next Friday.
Ms. Steven: Goodbye, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye.
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