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Do we really need another reason to obsess about what we wear, and consequently, are driven to shop?

“What you wear can reveal more about your inner turmoil than you think”, says psychologist Jennifer Baumgartner. Her practice involves making house calls to analyze wardrobes and provide treatment (only $150/hour) like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to solve issues like a perfectionists’ clothing rut (i.e., only wearing neutral colours rather than make a fashion faux pas).

“Closet dysmorphia” is the most common issue, like a Mom dressing in oversized clothes to hide the body she thinks she has. Here’s the process: empty the contents of your closet on the bed and try each item on one at a time. The Mom in oversized clothes was dressed in her daughter’s tank top and a tight pair of jeans and taken to the mall. The intent was to confront her fears using exposure therapy (maybe some things shouldn’t be “exposed”?). Back at the house, the Mom was asked to make a list of hurtful criticisms, and the psychologist, in her best “mean girl” voice, called her every name on it. It’s called “deflective therapy” (I’d call it reliving high school). Mom had to generate responses to the criticisms, while learning to maintain a sense of dignity. Finally, they went shopping for clothes that flattered her figure.

Do you dress like your teens? Maybe you’re swapping your maternal role for a friendship role with your daughters. Dressing inappropriately? Could it be a love-hate relationship with a body that developed early? “Bending, leaning over and sitting should not reveal your underwear.” ‘Nuff said!

Of course, after reading this you’re probably expecting me to divulge what’s in my closet…but that, my friends, is a project for another day. Oh, I started to go there. I went upstairs, I stood there for awhile, and then I went and tackled Little Guy’s clothes instead. He isn’t interested in fashion. He usually wears what I lay out for him, or I let him opt between a few choices. It’s easy – if it doesn’t fit, it’s history! Once that was done, I also tackled the hall linen closet – all those lumpy sheets and leaning towers of towels! It was an ugly job, but someone had to do it!

I will tackle my closet, especially now that I’ve shared all this cool information, but I have to work up to it, maybe set aside some time this weekend. If my garden is such a mess….you should really see my closet….

References: http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/04/30/the-clothes-psychologist-is-in-2/