A new therapy for couples having to walk on eggshells offers renewed hope. This has been the central theme most often brought up in therapy—”The tension in the house is like walking on eggshells,” “I feel that I’m walking on eggshells all the time!”—and the focal point of a new study from the Edinburgh of the Seven Seas University (ESSU) psychology department.

“Here at Tristan da Cunha we have 29 couples who are trying to walk on eggshells—that’s 10% of the population. This is a real problem and there needs to be a radically new approach to create transformative change in this population,” said Dr. Thalamus Pointicatus, lead researcher in the study.

In conjunction with the Aerospace Engineering department of ESSU, Pointicatus and his team have developed what they call Reduced Gravity Emotional Therapy (ReGrET) and have conducted several trials on the moon. “We realised that walking on eggshells was the most pressing concern for most couples, and we have carefully designed a therapy that makes walking on eggshells achievable,” said Pointicatus. “The gravitational force on the moon is about 16.6% that of earths—making the act of walking on eggshells quite easy. In our first clinical trials not many eggshells were broken at all, even in the initial session,” explained Dr. Zachirious who lead the first moon-surface sessions with a number of randomly chosen couples from Tristan da Cunha.

The radical new therapy seems to have had enormous success in alleviating the uneasy feeling of walking on eggshells as eggshell walking has been demonstrated to be quite easy on the moon surface. Couples have reported significant improvements in their capacity to eggshell walk and reduced anxiety about the process.

But the new therapy is not without criticism—”The three billion dollar price tag to do these experiments is unsustainable,” protested Margret Smith, part-time librarian at ESSU with little understanding of the ReGrET study. An understandable criticism given the unfortunate fire on the 13th of February 2008 destroying the fishing factory and two power generators—causing catastrophic difficulties for Tristan’s economy and ability to fund the massive space/psychology project. Other comments have been equally scathing of the research, with claims that the cost of the project is unlikely to produce a practical therapy that will be accessible to most of the Tristan da Cunha population.

Everyone in the ReGrET study agrees that the difficulties of walking on eggshells is a significant challenge and has to be addressed by new and more effective therapies. ReGrET has proven to be effective, albeit expensive, therapeutic process and may hold the key to even more progressive therapies in the future.