Hoaxes and obscenities assignments - 2 clients

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Please feel free to post a response to either or both of these clients. Is either a hoax caller?


You may choose to answer either or both of these.

Number 1

Hello, I see from your website that you deal with minds. Well, I have a problem here that I hope you can help with as it is right up your street. My name is Captain Marvel and I have three heads. Normally we all get on great but recently two of us just keep on arguing and it is wearing us all out. What do you think we can do to sort this out? Yours galactically, Captain Marvel

Number 2

My name is Emma and I hope you can help me as I am going mad with worry. My English teacher and I have been special friends for a while now and we are going to marry when I leave school. I started my periods a little while ago but I haven’t had one for weeks and weeks. Can you just miss a few at the beginning? Love, Emma

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001


I do like the sound of Captain Marvel. The voices in his various heads are warring with each other and I can understand the confusion of messages that are coming through. I am aware that here is someone with a great sense of humour and lots of imagination, and who probably likes to make a good first impression. Well,I'm impressed! I would like to get to know what is going on in those various heads. Maybe the next email could be a message from just one head, if the others would just keep quiet for a bit.

(Reflection on this: I was trying to empathise with the need to play tricks, and that such a person may have a real problem and despite the jokes, wants to be taken seriously but just can't come straight out with it.

I know counseling isnt a whole lot of laughs generally, as we tend to get a bit heavy and emotional, so its good to meet qwith captain Marvel and just have some fun. Till next time,


-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

Dear Emma

Thank you for your email. You sound very worried. " Going mad with worry" sounds pretty bad. It sounds like you are worried about your periods. I really dont see how I can help with this problem, because you need to see the school nurse and tell her about all this. There is no need to be ashamed or shy, the nurse will have heard all this before. I am afraid we cant take you on for counselling this time, partly because of the nature of your problem, (and you need a nurse or a doctor, not a counsellor just now) but also because it sounds like you are less than 18 years old and we do not counsel young people on this site.

However, you are free to send me another email if you wish, for which there will be no charge, if you are over 18 and if you feel that your problems are the kind of trouble a counsellor can help with.

( reflection on this: This could have been real, and the only way to respond I believe is as if it were real. The person taking the trouble to " wind up" a counsellor in this way may have a real problem, and finding a sympathetic reply may make a lot of difference to if he or she seeks help from a counsellor. )

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

Reply from Pauline Wyer to Captain Marvel

Dear Captain Marvel,

Yes we deal with minds - well actually, we try to help people who are having problems with their thoughts and feelings.

I understand that you feel as though your mind is split in three. You are tired with all the bickering that is going on in your head.

Maybe you would like to tell me more about these conversations to see if together we can make some sense of them. Sometimes talking to someone else helps to put things into perspective and sort out the mess.

Sincerely, Pauline

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2001

Dear Captain Marvel,

I’m sorry you are having these problems with your three heads. It sounds as though the arguments are very tiring for you. And it must take endless time to take even the most simple decisions if you have to listen to three points of view and decide which one to go with. I wonder why two of your heads keep on arguing at this time? It sounds from your letter as though you used to get on all right in the past but that something has happened to change things.

I would be interested to hear further about this. If you would like to continue emailing me, perhaps you would like to tell me what these arguments are about that are going on between your heads.

Yours in cyberspace,


[Wonderful email to respond to – marvellous imagery which could so easily be describing someone who might be schizophrenic or multiple personality as well as enjoyably eccentric or off his head or just “telling it like it is”. I responded as if it was the latter and would need more exchanges to try and assemble other information before deciding whether or not email counselling was appropriate. Is that ethical? I think so, there isn’t enough in the first email to alert me to more than here is someone with a particularly vivid way of describing his/her situation and who seeks the anonymity of a pseudonym because he perhaps feels slightly ridiculous talking about himself like this. I kept to his imagery in my reply because I wanted to engage with his world in an accepting way but I also liked Pauline’s rather firmly realistic reply so I am torn as to which way is best now. My ending salutation was a feeble attempt to endorse his metier and I can’t think of a better one at the moment.]

Dear Emma,

I am sorry to hear that you are “going mad with worry”. It does sound as though you might have a very real problem with your periods and I wonder if you might be able to talk it through with a school nurse or school doctor. They will tell you what’s wrong and offer you some suggestions about what to do about it.

I am afraid this website does not offer counselling to people under the age of 18 but if you would like more counselling help, have you thought about talking this through with a counsellor in your area, face to face? You could look in the phone book for a counsellor who specialises in talking to young people, or perhaps you have a student counsellor at your school. Or if you email me again, telling me where you live, I will try to locate one for you from this end and send you their name and contact details.

Yours sincerely, Gill

[I think Emma’s problem has to be treated as if it is real and not a wind up. We can’t know for sure, but to point her in the most appropriate directions would seem ethical. It is also clear to me that I am not going to be counselling a person under the age of 18, but if it was the Skyways children’s website what else could be offered? Counselling and support? What about practical advice? They all seem necessary.]

-- Anonymous, July 17, 2001

Dear Captain Marvel,

When I was a kid I read and collected both DC and Marvel comics. For a while I was I guess pretty obsessed by the fantastic and exciting worlds therein. Then I grew up and got more interested in this world, the real world. I know that Captain Marvel was created by a group of writers and artists. I also know he only has one head not three. You’ve read our website so you know that the first email is free and after that you have to pay up front. You may be laughing at all this, having a joke. That’s fine the world needs more laughter. I am happy to get paid for amusing you. If you are not laughing deep down and really want to talk with someone then keep writing. Only let me know what the trouble really is. You don’t have to use your real name. Captain Marvell is as good as any. I can’t promise to sort your mind out because only you can do that, but I will help if that is what you want and if I am able. It may be you need help from another professional other than a counsellor. If help is what you want and you continue writing I may be able to clarify with you the best source of help for your particular trouble.

Best wishes, Jane

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

I feel a bit too close to this to submit an answer but I felt very reassured by reading the existing ones and very impressed. I loved Yours in cyberspace and everyone struck a really good note yet they were all different. Great! Thank you.

-- Anonymous, July 20, 2001

Hi Captain Marvel,

Thanks for writing to me and explaining some of the problems that are occurring in your life at the moment.

As you indicate in your e-mail communication is very important in life and especially important in relationships. Open, clear communication between three people or in your case, three heads, is vital if all three are going to get along in everyday life.

You write that the three of you used to get along OK but recently two of you seem to have fallen out and argue the whole time. If you want to reply to this e-mail could you tell me what you argue about and when those arguments seem to occur the most, i.e. when your tired, or first thing on the morning etc.

You start your e-mail by saying that our website ‘deals with minds’. That is true in some ways but to be more specific we aim to ‘help people help themselves’ and deal with lots of different things that might be happening in their lives, whether physical or mental. We don’t just help people with things that are mental.

Captain Marvel, thanks for writing to me. It must have taken some courage to do so and I hope what I have written might be of some help.


-- Anonymous, July 22, 2001

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