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Question Of The Week

Next Week's Questions: Dear Professor Shekel, A colleague recently raised an interesting issue in discussion. I provide it below. I wonder if you could clarify this issue for me and my colleague?
"In researching mind control a couple of years ago, I came across an older volume on autogenic training. The text was a compilation of then current international research (1961) and previous data gathered by German scientists in pre-Nazi Germany circa 1933. The ideal and target state, if I remember correctly, for autogenic training occurs between the drowsy state and the first stage of sleep. The interesting thing that stuck with me since then is that some of the original and subsequent research noted that there was a drop of at least a degree in rectal temperature (a probe was used to monitor this) that indicated that the autogenic training was being effective. Certainly, this is not my area of expertise, but it does raise some interesting possibilities for future research concerning body temperature, effectiveness, and therapies which are as powerful as Yours. I am sure that it is one of Your areas of expertise (tm). Dr I Ozzy Lating (B.S.E., C.J.D.)
P.S. When I change my baby son's nappy/diaper, I use a product called "Sodocreme" on the appropriate region. This has the marvellous property of dealing with nappy/diaper rash, is protective and so on. Is it by any chance connected to my colleague's  ideas about temperature and the well established effectiveness of Sudotherapay?

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24th September 1997
I shall endeavor to answer this week's question throughout the text, for ease of erudition. I shall also answer the question gradually over the next week as I am currently taking time to work with some prominent people to overcome a recent trauma.
Dear Dr. Shekel: Several years ago, You made a Grand Discovery when You observed that Your cat Sudo was cured of canine-related PTSD when she happened to be chasing a butterfly. Your Grand Discovery led to the development of a Grand treatment, Sudotherapay. According to Your theory, chasing the butterfly around caused Sudo's eyes to move from side to side in saccades that were really not saccades according a scientific definition but were called by You (in Your great understanding of these matters) saccades anyway. Indeed, I refer to the term "saccades" for ease of understanding and to allow my fellow 'traumatologists' to have a common language. This avoids all the confusion that occurs when describing the difference between smooth pursuit eye movements and saccadic eye movements. Furthermore, "multi-saccadic" is far more appealing, in a literary sense, than "multiple smooth pursuit". I am attuned to these things as I also have a degree in English.
As I further understand it, Sudo's non-saccadic saccades acted in a manner similar to rapid eye movements during sleep, allowing her negative canine cognition to be processed. Since then, I've learned that non-saccadic saccades are not essential to the processing, and that squeezing Sudo's paws in a gentle, alternating rhythm, or even having Sudo alternately stimulate her own right and left paws herself (e.g., by walking on them) would have produced the same benefit. However, I've never heard of a cat's paws moving alternately during REM sleep. In fact, I understand that paws are paralyzed during REM sleep.
The above considerations lead to the following questions:
1. Cats have only two eyes but four paws. How is it that the paws can substitute for the eyes? Which do You think are critical, the forepaws or the hindpaws? A very good question. As I said at your training, Sudotherapay is a relatively new and extremely powerful technique. As yet we do not entirely understand the mechanisms at play, but we can advance possible solutions and incorporate all new evidence into our base of operation. Furthermore, I believe that it is the scientific community's duty to test Our claims. We are a non-profit making organisation and We are in the private sector (this is not as oxymoronic as some other therapies). It is not Our duty to research. However, if you would like to test the hindpaw / frontpaw hypothesis, We would be more than happy to negotiate a grant, particularly if you are attached to a wall-less University and in need of the appropriate encouragement to publish at least one article during your life.
2. Clams have no eyes and no paws. Would Sudotherapay work for them? Our initial trials have suggested that tapping on alternate shells could have the same therapeutic effect.
3. I have a cat's paw in my toolbox. While using it, I forget my troubles. Is there a connection? Are carpenters good Sudotherapayists?  I believe that this may be due more to context specific memory. We have found that just the word "Sudotherapay" is beginning to have unusual effects on some. Sudotherapay is, as I have said before, amazingly powerful. This has ranged from a complete abreaction followed by tranquil acceptance to a type of dissociative calm with an inner understanding. As for carpenters being good Sudotherapayists, it could be argued that one exceptional carpenter was the instigator of a Sudotherapay - type approach.
4. How is it that Your Grand Treatment works despite the fact that Your Grand Discovery has been found not to be so Grand? Is Sudotherapay so powerful that it works even though there is no longer a reason for it to work? Do not listen to those people! They are stuck in their ivory towers and have no idea of what actually happens in therapay. These people are the rear-guard of a dying breed. They need Our understanding, although I still soldier-on until Sudotherapay is recognized officially. I shall lead us into a new era, one where "Master Practitioners" receive the respect they deserve.
5. Wile E. Coyote is able to continue running after he goes off a cliff until he realizes that he's not standing on the ground anymore. When he realizes this, he lands on his butt. Is this what the future holds for Sudotherapay? Wile E. Coyote displays unusual self-awareness and insight into his plight during these occasions, yet it is exactly these properties that are responsible for his eventual misfortune. Here at the "Sudo" Foundation We concentrate on cause - consequence correlations only when they are interpreted within Our own paradigm.  In the case of Mr. Coyote, he perceives that he is above the ground and that both he and the ground are real, and hence falls. However, We at The Foundation only perceive Our own existence and therefore, with such ontological reasoning, can never fall. The writing may well be on the wall in your world, but in Ours We are both the wall and the scribe.
Anonymous

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29th August 1997
"Dr. Shekel, When I learned of Sudotherapay I dropped all other academic activities and began to research your powerful method in a controlled outcome study. I employed conditions very similar to Condition A and B in your outcome trials. My question is this: when I submit my study for professional peer review, can I request that you be one of the reviewers?" Prof Plissy Mentionher

My dear Dr. Mentionher, I would be only too happy to review your manuscript, if ethics did not forbid this. However, I would recommend that you only submit your article to one of the two TOP journals - namely, The Journal of Behavioral Sudotherapay & Experimental Metababble, and The Wimminger Press. I know the editors of these two journals personally and heartily recommend them. This would also mean that I need not trouble you to send me a copy when you finish your work.

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3rd August 1997
"Dear Dr Shekel, In the excellent training offered by Dr Plonk, it was made clear that I should; ask my client to form an image of the traumatic event, keep in mind a phrase summarising how Sudo would feel in that situation, and keep in mind a phrase summarising how Sudo and the butterfly would like to feel about the situation. My question is: might it be helpful to have the client perform another task, say serial sevens, to keep them occupied? It occurs to me that I could drop my fees to $100 per 5 minutes, so this exercise would not only keep the client from getting bored but also serve a useful accounting function". With the greatest admiration and respect, Dr I. Ozzie-Lating

This may well be found to be the case, sometime in the future. However, the first goal of any study should be to replicate Sudotherapay's efficacy in various populations, so we can further our claims and spread the benefits of this paradigm shift in the helping profession. Therefore, I must advise against placebo controlled investigations that directly test the mechanisms of change and instead suggest pre- to post-treatment outcome studies with univariate statistical tests and large conclusions. Don't forget, My interest returned reviewers are everywhere!

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21st July 1997
"Is it true that moths do not work as well as butterflies, and that the butterflies need to move at a particular speed for maximum therapeutic effect?" Dr. Tom Jones, Colorado Springs.

Yes, that is a very important question which deserves a very specific answer. However, I always find that a long pointless narrative manages to avoid commitment to any specific theory or opinion and cannot be really held against you at a later date. In this way One's foundation continues to thrive and the suffering of unfortunates is met by the new throng of traumatologists which flock to the altar of Sudotherapay. But this doesn't really answer your question does it?

Initially we trialled the Moth 2000TM and found it's efficacy sufficient. However, upon further research we found that this was not sufficient to replace the clinical skill and personal acumen that develops with Sudo training. Therefore, while we cannot advocate the use of moths per se, we find that if you were to invest in the Moth 2000TM AND be trained in the "butterfly technique" this would be quite adequate.

As for the speed of the butterfly we find that about 6 flaps per second, seems to be the optimum rate. However, don't forget... "Sudotherapay is not just a simple 'cookie-cutter' but an integration of 9 therapeutic phases".

Dr. Fatima Shekel.
The Sudo Foundation.
The Metababble Corporation.
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If you would like to ask Dr. Shekel a question about Sudotherapay (or psychiatry / psychology in general) email Her with "Question Of The Week" in the subject title.