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The Therapist Will See You Now

Posted on Wed Nov 24th, 2021 @ 4:07pm by Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson & Lieutenant Aiko Kato

Mission: Breen in Paradise
Location: Counselor's Office


Aiko glanced down the corridor to the door leading into the office. Much to her disappointment, it had been clear for the last fifteen minutes she had been monitoring it. No one was going in or out.

Could it be that the Chief Counselor had an appointment already? Aiko wondered. From what she had been able to tell from the publicly available calendar of Lieutenant Raven-Grayson, she had no appointments. Usually, if there was a private appointment, it would have been noted as such.

Aiko started pacing, head down, left arm folded across her chest and her right hand stroking her chin in thought. It was a habit she had copied from her grandfather and one that tended to rear itself when she was deep in thought unsure of what to do.

She paused to glance at the door again...and still no action. She sighed heavily. It seemed her plan to make up an excuse not to see the counselor was not panning out. She was hoping that when she came here, she would see someone entering the office to see the counselor, which would be a good enough excuse to argue that she had tried to see the counselor but she was busy.

But no...nothing, and this was going on twenty minutes now.

"Nothing is ever easy," Aiko muttered to herself, now resigned to her faith. She pulled down on the edges of her tunic and stepped into the corridor walking the length of it to the Chief Counselor's office. Upon reaching it, she pressed the annunciator and patiently waited to be acknowledged.

Callie was sitting in her chair a pile of PADDs stacked on the coffee table in front of her. “Come in” She smiled as she looked up to see who it was entering.

Aiko entered into the room and noticed Callie as the lone occupant of the room, seated with several PADDs in front of her. "Hello Counselor...I see you are busy," Aiko stated gesturing to the PADDs. She latched on to the devices as a vehicle for her escape from the uncomfortable situation she suddenly found herself.

She was not averse to talking to Counselors, far from it. She knew how beneficial they were and the stars knew the ones she had seen over the years were damned well miracle workers in her mind given how they had essentially put together a fractured mind. The source of her discomfort laid in the fact that this was a new assignment for her. It did not exactly reflect well, being new to her role, to be running to the shrink so early. It made it appear as if she was not fit for her new assignment. It was the fear that someone may label her unfit for duty that terrified her the most.

"Perhaps I can schedule some other time. I really should have called in advance before barging in like this."

Callie could sense the emotions pouring off the new arrival to her office. “Not at all” She smiled warmly. “Please sit, and make yourself comfortable. I was just about to get myself a drink, would you like anything?”

Aiko held the impulse to sigh in defeat. There was no getting away from this it would seem. She took a seat as was instructed, finding it quite comfortable. "I'll take a cop of raktajino please, extra sweet."

Callie nodded and headed over to the replicator, it didn’t take long before she was back with two drinks. She handed over the raktajino and sat down. “You were really hoping I was going to be too busy weren’t you?” She grinned.

Aiko smiled sheepishly as she shifted uncomfortably in her seat as she took the raktajino, "Was it that obvious?" she asked. She took a sip of the Klingon coffee which was always a source of comfort for her. "I suppose you could say I was looking for an excuse to put off seeing you."

Callie smiled. “I’m an empath, I sensed your emotions the minute you arrived outside the door. If it helps, I won’t force you to talk about anything you’re not comfortable talking about. I guess first off I need to know your name?”

Aiko shook her head in dismay. She had somehow neglected to catch that piece of information when she had looked up Callie's information. Sighing, Aiko sat back in her chair. "It's okay. To be honest, I think it's about time I talk to someone about what I'm going through. After all, the first step is always admitting you have a problem."

"I am Lieutenant Aiko Kato, I suppose the newest flight control officer on this ship and perhaps one of the newest crewmembers. I joined when the ship docked at DS9."

“That means you were here before me” Callie grinned. “My previous ship dropped me off just after the mission began.” She paused. “Anyway...what is it that’s bothering you Aiko?”

"Oh," Aiko stated with a wry smile. "I guess I'm not the newbie around here anymore." She took another sip of her coffee as she thought about how to put into words the reason she had come.

"Well, the short of it is I have a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, stemming from my time in the Dominion War." Aiko paused. "I guess who doesn't right?"

Continuing on, "Towards the latter end of the war, I had the misfortune of being captured by the Breen...and let's just say it was not like your typical Risa vacation. I managed to get some therapy for it and I have been coping well, in combination with medication."

"However, after recently coming back from an away team mission where we encountered Breen and learned about some rather atrocious activities they have been undertaking, it triggered my PTSD. I thought I should talk to someone professional to nip it in the bud before it blows out again."

Callie nodded. “Well done in coming to see me, never be worried about coming here. I won’t ever push you past what you’re comfortable talking about. So what therapy have you had so far? What’s worked for you? how are you getting on with your medication?”

Aiko paused searching her memory. "To be honest, I think I've been part of several types of therapies but they've largely been in the cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy vein. As for medication, I have a prescription for medications in the SSRI class to regulate my serotonin uptake. But to be honest, I have not needed it for years because until recently, I had stopped having...episodes."

Callie made a note on her PADD. “Had stopped? I take it you’ve had another episode?”

"Yes," Aiko answered, her voice a lot lower than she intended as if she were ashamed. In a way she was, even though she understood the reality that this was not something she had a choice over. "I've just had one episode so far. It started immediately after we beamed aboard from the Breen planet."

She paused as if she could guess Callie's next question and quickly added, "I haven't come forward because...well...if I'm being honest, I didn't want people to think I can't handle the pressure of my new posting on board the Washington, which believe me counselor is a dream job for any pilot out there."

Callie nodded understandingly. “It’s okay, I totally understand. You’re not the only one suffering repercussions from being on that planet. I’d be more surprised if you’d had no problem with what you’d seen down there.”

Aiko's first reaction was to ask for who else was suffering repercussions from the planet, but she knew the Counsellor would never divulge such sensitive information. Still that news was comforting, and she was actually surprised about how comforting that revelation was to her.

Aside from the obvious sentiment of misery loving company, it was validation of sorts for her that what they had witnessed on that planet was truly disturbing on more levels than one. Until now, Aiko had assumed that her historic mental health challenges had caused her breakdown, but if others were experiencing the same thing, then it was either they were similarly as broken as she was, or the planet of horrors, was as the apt description suggested, trauma-inducing.

Aiko genuinely smiled for the first time since entering the Counsellor's office. "If I'm being honest, I fully expected that I would be able to just move on like normal after coming back from that planet. It sounds crazy now, but that's really how I felt, which was why when the...episode happened, I was taken aback."

She sat back in her chair feeling the tenseness in her body easing. There was something about the atmosphere of this room that was putting her to ease. It was a combination of Callie's gentle probing questions; her curious and concerned gaze and willingness to let Aiko drive the conversation. There was also the small comfort of the raktajino and the rather comfy chair that almost seemed to hug her form.

"I must say though," Aiko continued, "it is reassuring to know that I am not the only one dealing with this."

“I can imagine it is” Callie smiled. “Now...moving forwards I want you to keep a record of any further episodes you might have. Either written or verbal. Both for your reference, and for me to read to listen to. Can you do that?”

"Yeah absolutely," Aiko replied with a nod. She knew expressing her thoughts and emotions in written or verbal form was a way of processing them. "I take it, you'll want to be seeing me on a regular basis."

Callie nodded. “I’m afraid so, it’ll help us to keep in top of the problem. If you should need to see me in between sessions I’m always just a tap of the comms away!” Callie grinned. “I suggest we see each other again in a couple of days to start, then weekly after that. How does that sound to you?”

"That sounds good Callie," Aiko said and while she had some reservations still, she actually did mean it. "And thank you for providing a listening ear."

“My pleasure” Callie smiled. “It’s what I’m here for. If you need me you know where to find me.”



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