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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Yes, Lisa Rinna's Erika Jayne Costume Helped Her Make Peace with Kim Richards — Hear Us Out

Therapists say role-playing can help you say things you never thought you could say.

By Marianne Garvey
Is the Magic of Erika Jayne Responsible for Lisa Rinna and Kim Richards Making Up?

It took an Erika Jayne costume to make peace between Lisa Rinna and Kim Richards.

How to Watch

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A little background: There has been a feud brewing on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills since Season 7, when Lisa gifted Kim a stuffed bunny as a present for her newborn grandson. But after Kim said she heard Lisa talking about her sobriety in a negative light, she brought the bunny to the reunion show to return it to her. Oh, boy. Before Puppygate there was Bunnygate.

Two years later, the two finally ran into each other at Kyle Richards‘ Halloween party, except, Lisa was dressed as… Erika Girardi's alter-ego, Erika Jayne. Following along?

“You know what? I want to say one thing, Kim. You giving Lisa Rinna that bunny was really c---y,” Lisa yelled (in character as EJ). “Giving Lisa Rinna that bunny was really c---y.”

In case you got confused, “That’s Erika speaking,” Lisa said.

She recently said she thinks the costume helped the two make peace. “In costume I was really able to have a good straightforward conversation with Kim that I’d never had before,” she said. (Watch the RHOBH ladies discuss in the clip above.)

Therapists who know about role-playing in therapy explain why that is.

Cali Estes, PhD., Founder of The Addictions Coach, told Personal Space, “Role play in therapy is key to understanding other points of view, especially if you and another person are at a stuck point where you feel you can’t find common ground. I tell my clients to imagine they are hovering over the situation and can see both people talking and they are narrating the story."

“By taking the client out of the situation and allowing them to take a third person role they can see a different side of the situation,” she added. “Imagine if you pick Samuel L. Jackson to narrate the story. It changes the dynamic and allows the clients to get into character and hear something they might not have heard or observed before. This technique works well especially with passive-aggressive people that may not even speak at all and need to need learn communication skills.”

Therapist Jason Eric Ross said role playing is also a useful technique for people to build confidence. “They get practice in a non-judgmental, reduced-stress situation where they can hone their skills and get feedback,” he said. “People are generally afraid of confrontation and remember public speaking is most people’s biggest fear. In my practice, I ask people to write down the script of what they really want to say and then we work at scaling it back if needed to what would be most effective. Then we rehearse and role-play. This tends to lessen anxiety and build confidence quickly. For public speaking it’s the same process and you could literally practice how you would like to sound. Then you can rehearse it and repeat it until it feels like second nature.”

Role-playing sure helped Lisa Rinna make peace. The real Erika Jayne joked she may be inspired to speak at the United Nations after Lisa and Kim made peace. “Perhaps I should do peace talks. I’m building bridges through costume,” she said. “You just need a thigh-high boot, a T-shirt dress, and a wig.”

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