When I get off work at 8 pm I usually turn into the Oprah channel on the XM radio and listen to the Jenn Berrman show. Dr. Jenn is a psychotherapist who gives advice to people who call in with relationship problems. She's not necessarily a kinder, gentler Dr. Laura, but I don't think she's as in your face as Dr. Laura could be.
On almost every show I've heard, no matter what the problem, Dr. Jenn suggests a full year of weekly individual therapy. I happen to know the power of this kind of intensive self seeking therapy. I just wonder who's got that kind of insurance and time anymore.
The other night Dr. Jenn talked to a woman who asked whether or not she should stay with a person who wasn't as clean as she is. After asking some questions, Dr. Jenn told this story about how she and three other people did a show on A&E. They'd go into a person's house and after a day or two, they could tell what that person is like. I may not have all the details right, but that's the gist of it.
Dr. Jenn said that it never failed that the house was a reflection of the person, i.e. if the house was in disarray, chances were pretty good that the person was in chaos of some kind. I can see how that would be true and I'm no psychotherapist. It seems like a no brainer. For instance, the couple I work for keep a very neat and tidy home. Everything is in it's place. If it's not, it's being used and will replaced as soon as its need is complete. It is also true that they are the most regimented people I've ever met. They have a schedule and they stick to it. It was hard for my fly by the seat of my pants, don't close a door, drop things on the first flat surface I see pile making personality to get used. But I've learned order is nice. It's easy to find the key when it is always put on the same hook. Go figure.
So I started wondering what my house says about me. In general my house is clean - not spotless, but clean. Except for the aforementioned piles, I'm really not that disorganized. Well, my closet might make Dr. Jenn scratch her head, and the Tupperware drawer is not part of this discussion. Now Sweetie, who I'd call very linear, is a different story. He likes to line things up. He organizes his closet by color and style. Dress shoes wrapped in flannel sacks are kept in a separate closet than casual shoes. Even though he has as much "stuff" as I have, I admit his looks neater in a straight line than in a jumble.
I guess those differences could also be attributed to our personalities. Sweetie is logical, analytic, straight thinking. I'm more like a whirling dervish. Not so much on the outside as on the inside. Talk to anyone who knows me and they'd say I'm calm and cool. Unless, of course, I'm having a meltdown.
I wonder if I got back into weekly therapy if I could turn things around. The thing is, I kind of like the way I am.
What does your house say about you?
PS. I googled it and this is what I found about the A&E show:
During each episode of Family Forensics a family vacates their home for the weekend. Dr. Jenn goes into their home with a Detective Scott DeFoe, Forensic Expert Heather DeBevec, and Computer Specialist Nick Glassman knowing absolutely nothing about the family. The team has 48 hours to go through the family’s belongings and profile each member. In order to gain insight about the family, the forensics team goes through all of the family’s belongings including closets, drawers, boxes, diaries, garbage and home computers. Family Forensics takes a “no holds barred” approach to exploring the dynamics within today’s nuclear family.
On the third day host, Rob Nelson, brings Dr. Jenn to the family’s home to meet. During that session Dr. Jenn shares the profile that has been developed about the family based on the discoveries in the home. She then discusses the family dynamics and performs family therapy.