Paul giving a session

Common: The SUDS and SUSHI Scales

AUDIO: "All right. Rate your topic on a scale of Minus 10 to Plus 10 as it seems to you right at this moment."

Response Options:

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Minus (SUDS) and Plus (SUSHI) Scales

Minus (SUDS) scale##Plus (SUSHI) scale
Feels unbearably bad, beside yourself, out of control as in a nervous breakdown, overwhelmed, at the end of your rope. You may feel so upset that you don't want to talk because you can't imagine how anyone could possibly understand your agitation.-10+10Totally calm, serene, expansive, "blown out." Nothing short of an utter disaster could conceivably shatter this state while it lasts (hours at least).
Feeling desperate. What most people call a 10 is actually a 9. Feeling extremely freaked out to the point that it almost feels unbearable and you are getting scared of what you might do. Feeling very, very bad, losing control of your emotions.-9+9Like +10, but briefer in duration. Impossible to find any charge on anything, although if you take a break for half an hour you might be able to find something later on.
Freaking out. The beginning of alienation.-8+8Can't find any charge right this moment, but feels like you'll be able to dig some up in a few minutes.
Starting to freak out, on the edge of some definitely bad feelings. You can maintain control with difficulty.-7+7Very hard to find anything that is charged, and if you do it will tend to go away quickly.
Feeling bad to the point that you begin to think something ought to be done about the way you feel.-6+6You can find charged stuff to stir up, but it is hard. Feeling good to the point that you begin to think nothing could immediately knock you down from the way you feel.
Moderately upset, uncomfortable. Unpleasant feelings are still manageable with some effort.-5+5Can stir up and discharge stuff OK. Moderately happy, but can still stir up a new hot topic by putting attention on it and working out how it applies in one's own life.
Somewhat upset to the point that you cannot easily ignore an unpleasant thought. You can handle it OK but don't feel good.-4+4Can stir up and discharge stuff OK. Feel somewhat good to the point that anything unpleasant that came to mind could be easily dismissed if you wanted to.
Mildly upset. Worried, bothered to the point that you notice it.-3+3Can stir up and discharge stuff OK. Mildly happy, to the point that you notice it.
A little bit upset, but not noticeable unless you took care to pay attention to your feelings and then realize, "yes" there is something bothering me.-2+2A little bit happy, but not noticeable unless you took care to pay attention to your feelings and then realize, "Yes, I don't actually feel bad."
No acute distress and feeling basically good. If you took special effort you might feel something unpleasant but not much.-1+1No particular feeling obvious. If you took special effort you might feel something pleasant but not much.
Relief. No more anxiety of any kind about any particular issue.00So-so, feel neither good nor bad. No particular attention above this point on topic just flattened, although it is OK to have it in mind.

Negative section (SUDS)

The scale from -1 to -10 is taken directly from the Wikipedia SUDS (Subjective Units of Disturbance/Distress Scale) article.

From Wikipedia:

There is no hard and fast rule by which a patient can self assign a SUDS rating to his or her disturbance or distress, hence the name subjective.

Two guidelines are:

  • The intensity recorded must be as it is experienced now.
  • Constriction or congestion or tensing of body parts indicates a higher SUDS than that reported.

Positive section (SUSHI)

There is no Plus scale in Wikipedia. All the positive points are smushed into the one point that scores "0" and says:
Peace, serenity, total relief. No more anxiety of any kind about any particular issue.

SUE scale

A Subjective Units of Experience scale was suggested in 2011 which goes from -10 to +10, but this seems to consist of merely a chart of the bare numbers with no description of any of the items, not even the negative ones.

SUSHI scale

So a Plus section of the scale has been created for PaulsRobot. SUSHI = Subjective Units of Session Harmony and Insight.

Basis for guidelines

The individual SUSHI points have been differentiated mainly on their use in and applicability to sessions, and not so much on how one feels (although that does play a part too).

The new client

First off a new client would discharge any topics she already has her attention on, more or less permanently. That does not mean a topic is in full clamour every waking moment (although it could be), but it means that it takes very little to "set one off." In other words there are lots of triggers around in her life for such a topic. Topics like this should be the first point of address for a new client.

Selective stirring up of a hot topic

After a while such topics will have been discharged to a large extent, and the constant triggering will no longer occur. When such a point has been reached, the client will have much more choice over what she addresses in a PaulsRobot session. At this time, she would start off the session feeling fine, with her attention on nothing in particular. One way or another she will select a topic to address. The instructions usually include a step of deliberately "stirring up" the topic in question so that it impinges heavily on the person. At this point the topic can be in one of three states:

  • Undercharge — Nothing happens. In other words, the topic isn't hot enough and isn't worth addressing, at least not right now. The topic may be available at some future time.
  • Overcharge = Shut down! The client will start shutting down, going unconscious. This condition requires immediate action on the client's part before she goes to sleep. It's not dangerous, but it wastes session time if you get overwhumped and fall asleep, and isn't particularly therapeutic either. The usual remedy (if done!) will keep the client awake and will transform the state into the next one, namely
  • Just right — Topic starts to discharge, with yawns, sighs etc.
In brief, the session action here is:
  1. Start off calm
  2. Deliberately stir up something heavy to address
  3. Work vigorously to discharge that stirred-up topic using whatever the session action happens to be
  4. End off calm again.
The big difference between (1) and (4), assuming the session actions were done correctly, is that the topic addressed will have permanently lost its power over you to some (possibly large) extent. In addition, the calm state one will achieve after a hectic session is far more so than the before state, although this temporary state is a bonus and not the main purpose of the activity.

Plus (SUSHI) section points

A normal session should go along fine with items being addressed and discharged. After an item has been discharged the usual state of the client will be shown by one of the Plus points. The big question is, how easily is the client able to stir up another item to address? At the bottom of the positive scale, the client will have no problem at all in stirring up something else to address. At the top of the scale she won't have a snowball's chance in hell of doing so. In the middle of the scale, maybe she will and maybe she won't.