Luigi is back for his third session. In today’s session we find that Luigi’s mood has brightened considerably and we see that sometimes getting “unstuck” in one area (in this case starting to design his own game) can lead to positive changes in other areas of one’s life. In addition, Luigi shows increased self-confidence.
In case you missed it, his first session is available here.
His second session is here.
Therapy Goes POP: Nice to see you again, Luigi. Tell me, what’s gotten better since our last visit?
Luigi: I knew you were going to ask that! So I kept my eyes open.
Luigi: Well, I’ve noticed that it’s been way easier to get up in the morning. I’m not feeling so blue all the time.
TGP: Back to your normal green?
Luigi: Haha, touche! But yeah. I’m having more energy and I realized I was doing a lot of complaining. I don’t think I’m doing that as much anymore?
TGP: What tells you that you’re being more positive?
Luigi: Well, I spent some time with Princess Peach and Yoshi on a picnic. Bowser didn’t kidnap her either, which is rare.
TGP: Wait, I thought that was just part of the game plot.
Luigi: Guy’s a complete nut. I’ll leave it there. But the picnic was nice. Peach said “you seem very pleasant today, Luigi.” Which I appreciated.
TGP: That is nice. What do you think she noticed that was different about you?
Luigi: I’m not sure. Maybe it was because I commented on how good the food tasted and it being a pretty day. I just said it because I noticed it, but maybe I haven’t done that stuff before, or lately, or whatever.
TGP: What was different that day that helped you notice those things?
Luigi: I’m not sure it was just that day. I think I’m feeling energized about my game project and trying to think back about what was the most successful level that I designed.
TGP: How did you go about that?
Luigi: I looked back at the scripts, the blueprints, everything. I have a keepsakes cabinet where I keep things from my projects. I’m a bit of a pack rat.
TGP: What sorts of things did you notice that had been successful?
Luigi: The main thing I noticed is that I’ve been in some stone cold, classic games. But I kept coming back to a level most gamers call Luigi’s Purple Coins that’s in Super Mario Galaxy. It’s kind of a famously tough one.
TGP: What’s good about it?
Luigi: There’s just a combination of tough stuff. Tiles, acid…all kinds of stuff.
TGP: What do you have there that you could carry into a new game?
Luigi: I think it’s the combination that makes it good. I’m not sure there’s enough games that require the player to best multiple challenges at once. I think that’s something I’d really like to use going forward.
TGP: How would that be described? Integrated challenges?
Luigi: Maybe. I’ll have to think about that. But it definitely gives me something to base the game on. Kind of a premise of “things have never been so tough.”
TGP: Nice! Almost sounds likes the catchphrase for the game.
Luigi: It will sell itself.
TGP: What about some of the other stuff we talked about. Like meeting someone to be the female lead.
Luigi: I haven’t had a chance to really go out and do that, but I’m definitely considering it. Being excited about the game has kind of lit a fire under me, so it doesn’t seem as daunting as it seemed last time.
TGP: That’s great. Have you thought about what the story in your game will be about?
Luigi: Not too much. I have been thinking about a heist theme, kinda like a Nintendo Oceans 11. But it’s all in the planning stages in my head right now.
TGP: Have you thought any more about how you will approach Mario?
Luigi: I have. I’m thinking I meet just kind of consult with him on it, and take the idea directly to the execs myself. He has been the star, but it’s not like I’m the new kid on the block. I’ve been a co-star for 30 years now. I think they’ll recognize me?
TGP: So it seems like you’re feeling more confident.
Luigi: I think so, yeah. Speaking of which, I may need to split a little early today. I’m going racing with Mario. Is that OK?
TGP: Of course! It seems like you’re doing really well. Did you want to schedule another appointment or call me if you need to come in again?
Luigi: That sounds good. I don’t want to totally fall out of the habit of this, as I think talking has been really helpful. But I’m not sure I need to schedule another appointment just right now.
TGP: Understood. That’s how it works with a lot of clients.
Luigi: Thanks for everything! Keep an eye out for my new game.
TGP: Will do!
So, today, we saw a very typical case resolution. When Luigi first came to therapy, he was frustrated with his brother, but was able to set a goal of developing a successful video game franchise. He has not met that goal yet, but he feels he is taking steps towards that goal. Once clients have achieved this mindset, sometimes they feel that further therapy is not necessary. Other clients may continue to feel that they need the emotional support provided by a strong therapist/client bond. Or as one problem is solved or one goal is met, others may become apparent or may even be created by the first solution or set of solutions. Luigi may very well return for more therapy as he continues to work on bettering himself. Only time will tell…!
Mike McMahan is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Antonio, Texas.
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Therapy Goes POP
Perspectives on therapy and mental health as viewed through the lens of popular culture