Dr. Yamada was exceptionally dedicated to her job. She was willing to lecture Chevalier for breaking her rules, and to work with numerous dangerous parahumans.
She was an expert in parahuman psychology; providing information on Trigger Events that Weaver was unaware of, and sitting in on PRT meetings as a consultant. Her focus was mainly on child parahumans.
She disliked much of cape culture, such as the names they would choose. She encouraged her patients to use their real names, feeling that the use of codenames to refer to patients took away their humanity.
Dr. Yamada disliked lying to her patients, but was willing to do so when she felt it was necessary. She disapproved of the PRT's policy of therapists rotation, but did not voice this disapproval when it was brought up.
She felt that she had encountered more monsters than Legend, which let her stay calm in dangerous situations with patients.
Jessica smoked in grad school, a habit she didn't return to until 2011, when she was overwhelmed by the state of the Brockton BayWards.
After a meeting with then distraught Victoria Dallon, she attempted to persuade Amy Dallon to seek professional help and maintain distance with her sister. Instead, Amy suggested introducing Victoria back into hero business and warned Jessica about Jessica's impeding burnout. In subsequent days, Jessica started reducing her workload and recovering her private life.
As the therapy group increasingly gained the ambition to become a hero group, Jessica reached out first to Weld and then to Victoria to speak to them. As Victoria spent more time with the group, she noticed something wrong with the group, a feeling Jessica agreed with but could not discuss due to confidentiality.
Jessica became unresponsive to calls and texts immediately following the portal sabotage by The Fallen. In her absence, Victoria tried to fill her role in helping the therapy group.
Jessica survived the sabotage and was stranded alongside Riley, Jamie Rinke, and multiple other Wardens' personnel and ex-prisoners near a frontier settlement. Meanwhile, her notes about Breakthrough get delivered to Victoria Dallon as a contingency measure.
Jessica was second in command of the group, and was assigned to keep an eye on parahumans.
Shortly after Valkyrie's arrival, Jessica had and ugly fight with Bonesaw because of mutual suspicion and both of them being on the end of their wits. She was injured during the fight and, feeling inadequate, quit her job shortly after returning to The City.
Jessica assisted Wayne Darnall during his evaluation of Victoria Dallon at the start of the second Shin crisis. Later that day, she explained to Victoria why she brought her into the therapy group and what happened after the portal incident.
“We might be very different people in that. There’s something fun about them. They’re revealing.”
“They are, but they often reveal just how badly the patient wants to escape, to leave their humanity behind and dive into something well beyond humanity. Some don’t surface completely. Some hurt others on the way down. Some drown in that vast, incomprehensible sea.”
I drew in a deep breath, then sighed. “Feeling poetic?”
“My own kind of escapism, maybe. I think sometimes about a world where all of my patients can go by their real names.” - Excerpt from Flare 2.5
↑Weld closed the door and settled in the reinforced chair she’d brought into her office in anticipation of the appointment.
“Have you picked a name?” she asked.
He chuckled lightly. “I’m Weld. That’s it for now.” [...] He was at the door when she called after him, “and Weld, I want you to pick a proper name!” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑“What should I call you?” Jessica asked. “I prefer to use real names wherever possible, but I understand if you’d prefer the confidentiality of a codename.” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑Jessica didn’t correct the head nurse. She hated using the codenames; it reinforced the idea of the patients being less than human. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑“We rotate. The PRT doesn’t want any therapist developing a bond to the point that they could manipulate a cape. By rotating through three or four for a given area, they can ensure that one therapist will be able to identify manipulations on the part of any of the others.”
“Doesn’t that kind of defeat the point? Not letting us develop a bond, no trust?”
Yes, Jessica thought, but she said, “It’s not my place to say. Is that what you’re hoping to get, here? A one-on-one relationship? A bond of trust?” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
“Because I have no reason to be,” Jessica lied, meeting the girl’s eyes.
The truth is that it’s because I’ve spent more time in the company of monsters than Legend, she thought. Trust me, honey, you aren’t the scariest I’ve run into, not by half. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑ 12.012.1Waiting nervously, restless in her inability to offer any assistance at all in a crisis like this, she headed up to the roof and bummed a cigarette from one of the interns, smoking for the first time since grad school. [...] Jessica sat on the edge of the roof, legs dangling. She was on her fifth cigarette. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑Nothing that graphic, but the penalties are severe, and they include extensive jail time, and forfeiting the credentials it took me eight years to get. - Interlude 18.z
↑“I’m so sorry I’m late. I never do this,” Mrs. Yamada said. She entered the office, a raincoat, boots and a messenger bag in her arms, her hair a touch damp, clearly flustered. “What a way to start us off. I’m so embarrassed.” [...] “It’s a matter of professional courtesy,” she said, more like she was talking to herself than to me. She was still getting herself sorted out, her raincoat hung up, rain boots replaced with slippers she’d been holding beneath the coat. “Being prompt, it indicates that I respect and value your time. You can’t confide in me if I don’t respect you.”
I looked down at the floor for a moment. She was looking at me when I raised my eyes to her. “With all sincerity, it was due to forces entirely out of my control, with complications at every turn.”
“Bureaucracy,” I said.
“You’re not wrong,” she said, “But it was something else. A patient of mine, institutionalized, she’s reacted badly to certain events in the last month. Someone she idolized left the Wards, and-”
I could see her stop, composing herself, the stress and preoccupied attitude melting away.
↑“Sveta idolizes me. She sees me as a hero, a spokesperson for our kind. Her therapist asked me to come visit, because she heard about what happened in the Echidna attack, what Cauldron was doing. All of her progress, gone. So her therapist wanted her hero to show up. Give her guidance, support. It worked.”
“That’s a good thing, isn’t it?” I asked. I saw Eidolon open fire, not a dramatic attack, but a subtle one, a series of darts that left dark streaks in the air. My entire body tensed, as if I could jump into the fight. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
↑Taylor was Yamada’s patient, for most of her stay in the Wards. - Comment by Wildbow on Teneral e.1
↑“With the full-time position I’m taking with the Wardens, I have the chance to help a lot of critical individuals. The people I’ll be helping will be people who can help a lot of people in turn. An incredible number, in some cases. As attached as I am to my current patient caseload, and as much as I would like to take you on as a patient, it made the most sense to go this route.” - Excerpt from Flare 2.5
I stared out over the water. There was something sinister at play with the team. [...] “Double agent? Someone under the influence of another?” I asked.
“Telling you would be telling you who,” Jessica said. “Which, unfortunately, would be betraying confidence.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.1
↑Each and every one of us had one name in common, someone they cared about, and for some, one of the only responsible adult figures who cared about them in turn. She had every reason to be right at the epicenter, which didn’t make it better.
Today had proven more than anything that these guys still needed her. What the hell was this team going to do without its therapist? - Excerpt from Pitch 6.9
↑I don’t know how I’m going to help these guys, Jessica.
I found myself actually hesitating before approaching Sveta, Tristan and Chris. The group had lost two of its members and its mentor in a matter of nine days. - Excerpt from Torch 7.5
↑Jessica nodded. “I was second in command of our little group. Leader when Van- when the self-elected leader wasn’t around or when he was sleeping. There were other, more distant camps, and he’d visit them. The parahumans who had previously been prisoners or test subjects were in an isolated camp as well, about twenty minutes away from the main camp. I was in charge of that one. Making sure they were happy, keeping an eye out for danger.” - Excerpt from Sundown 17.6
↑This- a whirl of intensity, Jessica reaching out with a bleeding arm, grabbing a thin wrist, slamming it down into rocky ground until the attacker dropped the blade. Frantic, even though it meant losing traction, Jessica reached out and swiped the knife, sending it flying ten or fifteen feet.
The hands that grabbed her arms were small. Fingernails dug into forearm, and came away with fine white lines caught beneath small fingernails that had been painted pink.
Jessica knelt on the offending hand, pinning it down, and strangled-
Strangled Bonesaw. [...] Bonesaw never came back. Jessica quit being a therapist. - Excerpt from From Within 16.12
↑“But that was what I felt in that moment. In working with people with criminal inclinations, part of my job is to protect society, and working with five people with powers, only two a real and present concern, I’d failed to protect a tiny, primitive microcosm of society. I got angry. Desperate. I tried to make her show me. And somewhere in the midst of it, she lashed out, I grabbed her, or the other way around.”
“Are you okay?”
“She dug her fingers into my arm,” Jessica touched her sleeve. “And used contacts on her nails to manipulate my nerves, trying to make my arm turn against me. Tensed muscles until they tore from bone. I still don’t have the strength I did, I still have constant pain, and that may be a reminder of my lowest moment, furthest from the person I wanted to be.” [...] “I can’t support or help anyone until I relearn how to support and help myself,” she told me. “I know you want and need me to be my old self, but I need to rediscover her, first. For myself first, then for others. If that’s even possible.” - Excerpt from Sundown 17.6