Remember Me As I Am: Part Four

MEET JAMES MCGRAW

SCENE OPENS ON A SMALL GROUP THERAPY ROOM. THERE ARE ABOUT A DOZEN CHAIRS AND THEY ARE HALF FULL OF PARTICIPANTS. WE SEE ED SEATED TO THE LEFT OF JAMES. IN THE THE CHAIR TO JAMES’ RIGHT IS SEATED JACKIE – A WOMAN IN HER MID-THIRTIES, SHE HAS HAD A DIFFICULT LIFE BUT SIGNS OF THOSE CHALLENGES ARE NOT SEEN ON HER FACE. SHE LOOKS YOUNG CONSIDERING HER AGE AND LIVED EXPERIENCE. HER CLOTHING IS NON-DESCRIPT EXCEPT FOR AN OBNOXIOUSLY-COLORED PAIR OF CROCS ON HER FEET. IN THE OTHER CHAIRS ARE FOUR OR FIVE OTHER PATIENTS. 

JAMES: Alright everyone, we have a new group member joining us today so I am going to go over the group rules. First rule is there are no cell phones allowed in this group room. So at the start of every session I will pass around this tote (HOLD UP PLASTIC BIN) for you to deposit your phone. Please put it on silent before placing it in the bin. Second – what is said in group stays in group. Do not repeat what is said here to anyone outside of our group. Do not discuss what is said here outside of this room. If you think you may have a problem with this rule, please see me in my office afterwards and I will make time available to discuss your concern. Third – the only reason for me or anyone to break confidentiality is if there is a chance you may be a threat to your own safety or the safety of others. Does everyone understand?

ALL PARTICIPANTS NOD

JAMES: Very good! Then let’s all introduce ourselves to our newest group member. Edward, would you like to start?

ED: Sure. Sure. My name’s Edward and I am here because I had too much to drink at a holiday work event and told the EMT prepping to pump my stomach that he should “shoot me in the face.” (Edward LAUGHS AT HIS OWN REMARK) So… uh, after they detoxed me at the hospital, I was sent over to inpatient across the street and now here I am. 

JAMES: Thank you, Edward. Would you go next Jenifer?

JENIFER: Oh yeah! My name’s Jenifer, but you can all call me Jen. I am here because my parents are dying. I am their only caretaker and I was having a really tough time with that. (JENIFER LOOKS TO HER LEFT AT AMANDA)

AMANDA: I suppose I’m next. My name is Amanda and I am an elementary school teacher. Just graduated from college almost a year ago now and going from a full-time student to full-time teacher hasn’t exactly been a smooth transition. So yeah, that’s why I’m here. (SHE LOOKS OVER TO MARVIN)

MARVIN: I’m Marvin.

JAMES: Yes, you most certainly are! Now would our newest group member like to introduce herself?

JACKIE: Hi, my name is Jackie. I just came here this morning after being discharged from inpatient care across the street. There has been some sort of mistake. I’m really not supposed to be here. What happened was a misunderstanding, but I am here now so I’m going to make the best of it.

JAMES: Well, I am glad you are here to make the best of it.

JACKIE: Thanks.

JAMES: So our session this afternoon is going to be focused on thought patterns and how those thoughts affect our behavior. Do you all have your Thought Log sheets from the other day? Here’s one for you Jackie. (HE HANDS HERE A PACKET WHILE OTHER PARTICIPANTS PULL OUT PAPERS FROM THEIR FOLDERS) Very good! Now who wants to share with us an example or two from their own thought logs over this past week?

FADE TO BLACK

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