Transcript of 1st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Nicole Ulreich, Monday, March 30, 1998 at 2:00 pm.

Ms. Ulreich: Hi. You must be Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Hello. You must be Nicole.
Ms. Ulreich: Yeah. Um, I'm kind of nervous. This is the first time I've ever been to a psycho-doctor.
Dr. Balis: Well, there's nothing to worry about. I won't bite.
Ms. Ulreich: I kind of figured that.
Dr. Balis: Good. Why don't you sit down and we'll talk for awhile.
Ms. Ulreich: Fine. But there's nothing wrong with my life. It's just peachy.
Dr. Balis: Oh? Then why are you here?
Ms. Ulreich: My way overprotective mother sent me here. She thinks I have a drug problem.
Dr. Balis: Does she have any reason to think that?
Ms. Ulreich: My friend Angela was caught with cocaine in her room. My mom figured that since Angie and I are best friends that we must both do drugs. I mean, excuse me?
Dr. Balis: Do you use drugs?
Ms. Ulreich: I wouldn't call it "using."
Dr. Balis: What would you call it?
Ms. Ulreich: Playing around.
Dr. Balis: Could you please explain what you mean by "playing around?"
Ms. Ulreich: It means I do drugs every once in a while. Like at a party, for example. And sometimes when I'm down. And sometimes when I'm happy and all. But it isn't an all the time thing like it is with Angie. She does get excessive. But I'm supposed to talk about me not her, right?
Dr. Balis: It's okay to talk about your friends. And it sounds like you're worried about her. Have you ever considered telling Angie's parents about her drug problem?
Ms. Ulreich: You know the saying, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk?"
Dr. Balis: Yes, I believe that's true.
Ms. Ulreich: Well, the reason I don't tell her parents is because friends don't let friends get grounded either. Can you imagine what they'd do to her? Not to mention that they'd tell my parents, and then my parents would be convinced that I've been using drugs, too.
Dr. Balis: I see. Do you think your friend is likely to get hurt if she continues to use drugs?
Ms. Ulreich: Probably.
Dr. Balis: Do you think that telling her parents might even save her life?
Ms. Ulreich: I guess that might be true.
Dr. Balis: I think that getting grounded is a small price to pay for saving your friend's life, don't you?
Ms. Ulreich: She's my best friend.
Dr. Balis: Well then.
Ms. Ulreich: She has a child psychiatrist. I think her name is Doctor Francisco. Angie said she's great.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad that your friend is getting help.
Ms. Ulreich: Yeah, me too.
Dr. Balis: How do you feel about Angie's problem with drugs?
Ms. Ulreich: I'm angry and sad, and I just feel icky!
Dr. Balis: Icky?
Ms. Ulreich: When I think of her problems, it makes my skin crawl. I think it could be me, or it could be worse. She could be driven to kill. She could kill herself. And what would I do without her? She is my best friend and the only person who understands the real me. What will I do if I lose her? She could die. Anyone who does drugs knows the facts. We know that we could die. We know drugs are toxic, and that keeps us from doing them, to some degree. But why can't we stay away altogether?
Dr. Balis: How do you feel when you take drugs?
Ms. Ulreich: I feel like I could fly into the clouds and never come down. I feel safe and happy. I feel like it never rains anymore. I feel wonderful. Maybe there is something in drugs that makes one feel happy and safe. Maybe they help me cope with my problems.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How do you feel when you don't take drugs?
Ms. Ulreich: Depressed. I feel unloved. Nothing makes me feel satisfied without drugs. I feel like I'm a piece of garbage.
Dr. Balis: What drugs have you tried?
Ms. Ulreich: Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and some other stuff. There's this one thing that makes me feel so high.
Dr. Balis: What is it?
Ms. Ulreich: I don't know, but you mix it with alcohol and it makes you feel great.
Dr. Balis: Do you have a dealer?
Ms. Ulreich: No, I don't know who gets them. Well, all I know is that the guys get them and bring them to a party. And the next thing you know you're high as a kite!
Dr. Balis: The guys get them?
Ms. Ulreich: Yeah. Mostly football players. Some are basketball players.
Dr. Balis: The jocks?
Ms. Ulreich: Yeah. We call them preps.
Dr. Balis: Preps? Why?
Ms. Ulreich: It's the way they dress. They're the rich guys. You know the type: million dollar houses, hundred-thousand dollar cars, and outfits that cost more than an American-made mini van.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. Are they really that rich?
Ms. Ulreich: They are. I've been to their houses.
Dr. Balis: Okay. Well, Nicole, what about your family? What are they like?
Ms. Ulreich: I'm on my second stepfather. He has a great personality. He really loves my mother. He loves my half-sister, Dianne. She's three and a half.
Dr. Balis: I see. How does he feel about you?
Ms. Ulreich: I don't know if he loves me. He complains about the music I like. He despises Angie. He hated my ex-boyfriend, Jeff. He hates all the things that make me me. Does that make sense?
Dr. Balis: Yes, it makes sense to me. How do you feel about him? Do you like him?
Ms. Ulreich: Tom is great. He treats me well. He doesn't beat me or my mom.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. What about your mother?
Ms. Ulreich: Mom? She's a wonderful woman. She is so great. Normally, she believes me about things, although lately she's turned into Tom. She's always loved Angie, and she knows Angie's problems. She knows that Angie's mom died in a car accident five years ago. But none of it matters now; now, she just wants to please Tom.
Dr. Balis: Nicole, you said you liked Tom.
Ms. Ulreich: I used to. Now, I don't know.
Dr. Balis: Earlier, you said that he doesn't beat you. Have you been beaten by your father or stepfather in the past?
Ms. Ulreich: My first stepfather beat me every night. He hated me. He thought that I was the biggest piece of trash to set foot on the Earth.
Dr. Balis: He beat you and told you that you were worthless?
Ms. Ulreich: It made me feel awful. I thought he was supposed to love me. But he just beat me. He didn't care. He was a lot nicer before he married mom.
Dr. Balis: Do you need a tissue?
Ms. Ulreich: Yes, thank you.
Dr. Balis: I know it was your mother's idea for you to come to see me. But I believe that if we spend some time talking together about your problems and how you feel about the world and those closest to you, it might really help you. What do you think, Nicole?
Ms. Ulreich: Sure. Can you help Angie, too?
Dr. Balis: If she'll agree to come, I will help her. Otherwise, I can't.
Ms. Ulreich: Why not?
Dr. Balis: I can't make decisions for Angie.
Ms. Ulreich: Her grandmother can.
Dr. Balis: Is her grandmother her guardian?
Ms. Ulreich: Yes.
Dr. Balis: Well then, Angie's grandmother has the right to make certain decisions.
Ms. Ulreich: Doctor Balis?
Dr. Balis: Yes, Nicole?
Ms. Ulreich: I'm afraid Angie's going to overdose. I mean, she could, any day now. I don't want her die. If she dies...
Dr. Balis: Do you have other people you hang out with at school?
Ms. Ulreich: Yeah, Julie and Connor. They don't understand me like Angie does.
Dr. Balis: Have you thought about a peer group?
Ms. Ulreich: A what?
Dr. Balis: It's a group that most schools run. It's a place where students can talk about their problems. You might find a new friend there. Try talking to your counselor about it.
Ms. Ulreich: Okay. Maybe I can talk Angie into coming, too.
Dr. Balis: That's a good idea. I also think that telling Angie's grandmother about Angie's drug problem would be very valuable.
Ms. Ulreich: Do you think Angie will forgive me?
Dr. Balis: She is your friend, and you would be trying to help her. Why don't you try talking to Angie first? Maybe you can get her to ask for help on her own.
Ms. Ulreich: That's a great idea! I wish I had your brain. Thank you, Doctor. And, please, call me Nikki.
Dr. Balis: Nikki?
Ms. Ulreich: All my friends call me that. If I can trust you enough to tell you my deepest, darkest secrets, then I can tell you my nickname.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Ms. Ulreich: I think my mother should be here by now.
Dr. Balis: All right. It was a pleasure to meet you, Nikki.
Ms. Ulreich: Yeah. Bye, Doc.
Dr. Balis: I'll see you in two weeks, Nikki. That would be Monday, April thirteenth at two in the afternoon.
Ms. Ulreich: I'll be there.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Nikki.
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Button to Dr. Balis' Notes Doctor Balis' Notes on this Session

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