What is loneliness?
We can all be affected by loneliness at some stage in our lives, so there is nothing abnormal about it. Sometimes a feeling of loneliness can lead to other distressing emotions. Many people in this position benefit from counselling/psychotherapy.
Loneliness can occur as a result of many circumstances, such as the death of a loved one, relocation, a job change, retirement, divorce or the ending of a significant relationship.
Those suffering from loneliness can feel a strong sense of emptiness. It can also make people experience other negative emotions like feeling unwanted and unloved.
Loneliness vs. solitude
Loneliness isn’t the same as solitude. Being physically alone can be a positive experience and many people choose solitude at times.
But contrary to this situation, lonely people dislike being on their own. It may make them feel unwanted or insignificant. They can even experience a sense of loneliness when surrounded by other people.
Those who experience chronic loneliness are sometimes unable to connect with other people or form real relationships.
How psychotherapy can help
Counselling/psychotherapy can help lonely people feel listened to. But beyond this, it can sometimes get to the root of the problem and identify what is causing someone to be lonely.
Loneliness can be caused by an inability to connect with people. This can stem from experiences of exclusion or bullying in childhood or adolescence. Young people in these situations can feel isolated and believe they don’t belong. Then, as adults, this can lead to a reluctance to engage with people for fear of social rejection.
In these cases, loneliness is often exacerbated by avoiding social contact. This can lead to a further deepening of loneliness, as well as other knock-on effects such as low self-esteem and depression.
Want to talk to someone about loneliness?
At the FORD Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre, our professionally trained therapists are experienced in helping people who suffer from loneliness. They can help you identify the root cause of your loneliness and teach you the skills needed to change your life.