“Therapeutic Intervention” — Rory Harper

Rory Harper’s short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Far Frontiers, Aboriginal Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Pulphouse, and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. His first novel, Petrogypsies, was published in 1989 and was recently reissued by Dark Star Books.

Harper currently blogs at the zombie-themed site eatourbrains.com, where this story originally appeared. Also of interest to zombie lovers might be his two zombie songs, “Fast Zombie Blues” and “Nothing Else Better to Do,” both of which are also available at eatourbrains.com.

Some of the major schools of psychotherapy are psychodynamic, psychoanalytic (e.g. Sigmund Freud), Adlerian, Cognitive-behavioral, Existential, and Rogerian or Person-Centered Therapy (PCT). In PCT, the therapist repeats key phrases that the client has said, which invites the client to elaborate and gradually reveal a wide swath of their thoughts and feelings. Author Blake Charlton, whose parents are both therapists, recently wrote a humorous piece about the first time he had a girl over for dinner, and how his parents would ask her things like, “Tell us about your relationship with your mother” and “So you’re disappointed that your mother works so hard in the city?” which finally led Charlton to exclaim, “No Rogerian therapy at the dinner table!”

Our next story also deals with a counseling scenario, albeit one that’s a bit more macabre. The author says, “Zombies are on my mind pretty often. I was also an addictions counselor for about seventeen years. A lot of my sessions bore some similarity to what takes place in this story—more so than you might think. There are a fair number of counselor in-jokes in this story, and one reader suggested that it be made into a short film for counselors in training, because of the way it illustrates proper responses to common issues, and illustrates how good counselors offer empathy and unconditional positive regard to their clients.”

Even if your client is a zombie.