Day 62 of Believing the Girl – Rearrange the House

One of yesterday’s topics in my session with E. was planning for the return of Doubt on September 1, after her two months at the beach. What role will she play, now that she’s no longer allowed to dominate? How can I keep her from trying to re-establish her old position? And how do I protect the wounded little girl, who is rather nervous about Doubt’s return.

It’s been working well for us to play with metaphor and personification of the different parts of myself. So E. suggested that I create a new room that Doubt can move into when she comes back. It should be a comfortable room, she suggested, with a view. That way Doubt can look out the window and check to see if there is any nonsense coming my way that she should warn my about. She can have a big cozy bed with a soft comforter, so she sleeps a lot. It should be a big room with cupboards for all her things. That way she has somewhere to put her stuff, instead of strewing it all over the house, leaving traces of herself in the living room.

I like this idea that the various parts of me all live in a house that I can set up as I choose. It’s probably a bit rundown, that house, and it needs a lot of work.

But even before it’s all fixed up, now seems like a good time to rearrange the rooms. Doubt gets her pretty room with the view, but it’s up in the attic, a little tucked away. The girl gets her own room on the second floor, between the Wise Woman and Hope. The girl needs to get to know Hope better; Hope can help lift her heart. I can also move Intuition and Authenticity to the second floor near her. The girl can put locks on her room when she needs to, and only the Wise Woman can open the locks. Her room is decorated with things she likes: a canopy bed, a mural of unicorns and fairies on the wall. (I can’t help it; I loved all that stuff when I was young.)

After I get the bedrooms rearranged and decorated appropriately for the many residents (fortunately it’s a very big house, expandable even, and lucky for me, the mortgage is paid off), I will need to make some house rules. It’s my house, and residents need to follow the rules.

I like this idea and will play with it some more. Where will Anxiety stay? If Depression is a mermaid siren as I imagined her, the house can have a basement tunnel out to sea. She can swim around in the waters, and if she comes back in the house too often, I will have to figure out a way to block the tunnel.


Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash



  1. Beautifully articulated!

    Anxiety? In my house I would lock it in the car trunk. The only time I open my car trunk is when I do my grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is one of my greatest joys. I think anxiety would suffocate amidst my happiness.


    • I use to scoff at the use of metaphors and imagery in therapy. Too New-Agey for me, and my scientific self. And now, strangely enough, it is the imagery and personification of different components of myself that is helping me make more progress than I ever did previously.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really resonate with putting the little girl between hope and wise woman – that is so much what I am working on right now in therapy. Thank you for sharing. It seems creating space for all things does help expand the space even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that part too. I’m just thinking that I can’t allow space for the parts that just promote negativity (“you’re so bad”). Those parts have to stay out or be contained or somehow transformed. I haven’t figured that out yet though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this house imagery, too. Have you seen the movie Inside Out? The emotions live at “headquarters” and they all work together to keep the main character safer. Anger makes sure things are fair, fear makes sure she is safe, disgust makes sure nothing makes her sick, joy keeps her happy, sadness is kind of like the therapist who helps her work through things. It put a very different spin on emotions than I tend to, or than my family did growing up. Bea always tells me that anger is energizing, it gets people moving, and that when someone is depressed, anger can get them motivated. So maybe some of those ideas are ways those feelings are parts can be used in new ways. I don’t know if any of that will resonate with you…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t seen that movie, but people keep talking about it, so maybe I should. I do agree that anger can be a helpful thing, but I seldom feel much anger (wasn’t an approved emotion at our house). I should make a good space for Anger in my house though. A room with padded walls, maybe, so she can rant and pound things but not hurt herself?


  5. I LOVE this idea! Really helps to look at things objectively with a sense of control…who doesn’t want that? lol I look forward to reading more about the house 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] For many years, this was how I lulled myself to sleep. Strange, I know, that this would put me to sleep. But for a long time, I never even questioned this pattern. It was just what I did. Later, I started to connect it to my own past but I still did it. And over the last year or more, I have mostly let it go. Instead I read until I am nearly asleep or I visit the girl in my “house.” […]


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