I have just discovered that there is such a thing as an Interior Therapist. The first thought was this is a person who would help to explore your inner thoughts and feelings but no.

This is a person who works on extracting money from you in exchange for tips on how to decorate your home, your bedroom or your office to reflect the person you want other people to think you are.

I guess they look at the interior of your house and then interrogate the interior of your ego to find the colour-blind spots.

The online examples I have seen of Interior Therapist interiors were hideous and OTT to the point of parody.


Naming this work "therapy" smacks of a need to elevate its status to something deep and meaningful in case it is mistaken for frippery.

There is certainly some truth in the observation that the furniture we live with does say something about who we are. It is not clear what Jungle themed bedrooms and living rooms with mounted heads of dead animals says about a person but they certainly might need actual therapy to live in it.

Meanwhile the Interior Therapist can post it all on social media to the amazement and possible envy of those who need a themed backdrop to their lives. A tip - a large portrait of yourself is a sure sign you are not as sure of yourself as you think you are.

The recent insurance company reluctance to insure properties in Wellington is all about gambling. The customer pays the premiums - the company gambles on pocketing that money and never having to pay out.

Like a casino the whole structure is based on the house always winning and rarely having to pay for anything.

The landscape has literally and figuratively changed over the last year or two as earthquakes, fires and floods have meant insurers paying out huge sums. While they have been happy to take the premiums, like all gamblers they don't like losing.

The insurance company 'house' in the Wellington region is feeling they are on shaky ground regarding the earthquake risk and shifting the odds by making insuring property either very expensive or in some cases refusing to insure at all.

This could have a major impact on the housing market, making properties in risk areas virtually uninsurable and knock the bottom out of house prices.

What successive governments have not been able to do – make housing affordable - may in fact occur as insurance companies become reluctant to gamble their earnings forcing a change in housing value.

The consequent shift towards negative equity in an overpriced market might also mean the Capital Gain Tax becomes irrelevant?

In one way, seeing insurance has just another form of gambling gives it a somewhat immoral edge but it is an accepted business model.

The customer might pay over thousands in premiums and never make a claim, in which case the insurer is on a winning streak. But as we now know, the insurance industry will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out if they sense potential to dispute a claim.

As we have seen in the years following the Christchurch earthquake this reluctance to pay out can cause enormous distress for people as they attempt to gain a fair response from giant corporations who can afford the legal fees to fight claims in court. Perhaps there is a place for Insurance Therapists to comfort insurance companies as they reluctantly pay out on legitimate claims.

Terry Sarten (aka Tel) is a writer, musician and word therapist.