THERAPY FOR LONELINESS
Loneliness may not always be obvious. Many people protect themselves from this painful feeling by keeping super busy or getting easily distracted by the next new device. And some people find themselves going from relationship to relationship without a break — pulled to seek out another as soon as one ends. The feeling may just be a “need” to always be on the go to the next thing one “must do”.
But we are social beings. We need to connect to others. Running frantically from thing to thing or person to person are ways to ensure that deep connection will not happen.
On the other hand you may feel your loneliness. You may feel like you don’t belong, or don’t feel connected to others. Maybe you are feeling isolated, like an outcast, or just plain unwanted. You may find yourself believing your friends don’t really cate about you, or like you can’t seem to find people who will connect with you, or that you have no one to call on in a time of need.
But loneliness is a feeling … yes, you feel poorly, but amazingly you are not alone. We all have these feelings at times, but when it is chronic and you can’t seem to shake it, or you isolate yourself for real, or cannot stop running from thing to thing or person to person, it is likely time to get some professional help.
Loneliness can make people feel anxious or depressed, or keep us up at night. It even can effect one’s immune system. These feelings can make one retreat into oneself making the problem even worse. People can then convince themselves they don’t have a security net or people to lean on, or they stop looking for help — but these are the folks who need it the most
Loneliness also feeds on negative information .. like from having a bad experience with someone or from being criticized. The lonely person can use these experiences as evidence that there is really something wrong with them. Some may even seek out negative experiences or rejection in the present to affirm their erroneous beliefs about themselves.
What lonely people truly need is a person to keep their thoughts, reactions and feelings clear. By identifying negative thoughts as they occur, we can learn to get control over them — see what is truly going on and what is not true. Mindfulness and a competent therapist can facilitate such awareness.
The best therapist for someone in such distress is one who understands what it feels like to have no one, isolated and without help. We need someone who can fully empathize with the plight of the person who feels lost at sea, set adrift alone, and help them to navigate back to the security of the truth … that loneliness is not a condition but a state of mind.
If you are in the Berkeley area, Dr. Lynn Winsten is a great resource for such work. She can help you uncover the roots of your lonely feelings and find a way out of this misery. She has dedicated herself to helping people piece together their own life stories so that they may find good strong connections,
and thus feelings of peace, calm and security.
It is never easy to reach out for help and admit to such vulnerability, but isolating oneself will just make the feelings intensify. Many folks suffer in this way, more than one may expect, but there is real help for loneliness in therapy .. especially relational psychotherapy. Your story is worth being told, and your life is worth living. You deserve to feel better and embrace the truth that you can develop the skills to overcome this. With the help of Dr. Lynn Winsten in Berkeley, you can truly change your life and how you experience yourself and the world around you.