Friendships / Relationships
Mental Health Therapy for Loneliness
Someone can have many friends, know people everywhere they go and even be in a loving relationship and still feel lonely from time to time. Loneliness is often a sign that we need to reconnect with ourselves, especially if we already have an established support system in real life.
Sometimes, loneliness can also be a wake-up call that we’ve outgrown our current friend group or relationships. Ongoing feelings of loneliness can also be linked to mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety.
For some people, when they feel lonely, reaching out to a friend or family member helps the feeling pass. But if you struggle with feelings of loneliness most of the time and aren’t sure what to do, therapy can help.
Is There Therapy for Loneliness?
Therapy in and of itself can help combat loneliness as you are able to connect with your counselor. They listen to you, take interest in your feelings and help you begin to explore the role that loneliness has in your life and how it is affecting your well-being. In many cases, loneliness comes from self-isolation, which is a coping mechanism many people adopt when they’re suffering from other mental health symptoms.
Feeling lonely is complicated, and you may even feel guilty for your feelings if you have other people you could talk to. But loneliness has nothing to do with your love for your friends and family. Certain relationships in your life may simply be lacking in ways you need to feel fulfilled; you could also be going through a difficult period and not feel like anyone understands you.
Talk therapy explores loneliness to get to the underlying cause. How is it serving you, and what is it protecting you from? Sometimes, isolation and loneliness serve as barricades to connection when you are afraid of vulnerability or intimacy. Therapy helps you identify beliefs and behaviors that might be making your loneliness worse and replace them with healthy alternatives.
How to Cope With Loneliness
Loneliness can trigger other feelings too, including worthlessness, hopelessness and despair. For someone struggling with depression, loneliness can worsen their symptoms and even lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide. The most important thing to do is recognize you’re lonely and acknowledge that feeling. Rather than try to suppress or ignore it, think of loneliness as a messenger that you need to connect.
Engage in meaningful activities with others; if you are trying to make friends, then you may have to start with smaller engagements. Even smiling at the barista or drinking your coffee at the cafe around others can be helpful. It’s also important to look for new opportunities to meet people. You can do this in person and through online communities.
It’s also important to address how your beliefs affect your idea of loneliness. Someone with social anxiety likely sees themself as shy and awkward, which makes them less likely to socialize with other people. If you don’t trust easily or have a hard time getting close to others, then you may have habits that make forming relationships a challenge for you.
You May Feel Lonely, But You Are Not Alone
At Caring Heart Counseling, we are always here to listen and help. Reaching out to a therapist for the first time can be scary, but we are available to answer any questions you have. Contact us today and learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed therapists.
Counselor Blog / Specialties
What is EMDR?
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy, or EMDR Therapy, is a psychotherapy used to treat troubling symptoms, like anxiety, guilt, anger, depression, panic, sleep disturbance, and flashbacks that are a result of traumatic experiences.
When a disturbing event occurs, it can get locked in the brain with the original picture, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. EMDR seems to stimulate the information and allows the brain to reprocess the experience. This may be similar to what happens during REM or dream sleep. The rapid eye movements can help to reprocess the traumatic material; Your brain does the healing and you are the one in control.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR therapy uses eye movements to help you unlock certain memories and reprocess it so that it is no longer a sensitive memory for you. You are often asked to rate the memory on a scale of 0-10, where 0 is neutral and 10 is extremely disturbing. At each session, you will continue to use this scale throughout the EMDR process as one way to assess your progress. This is because EMDR allows your brain to heal itself, meaning that the processing and healing can continue between sessions. You may be in a different place at the next session than you were at the close of the previous session. We continue to process the memory until it is no longer bothersome to you.
How long does EMDR therapy take?
This depends on several factors including the nature of the problem being treated, the client’s history, and the client’s ability to tolerate high levels of disturbance. In some cases, one EMDR treatment session is enough. Usually, it takes weeks to months of treatment. When EMDR therapy is used appropriately it can significantly shorten the overall length of time in therapy.
If you are having nightmares or flashbacks, or are having trouble getting a disturbing picture out of your head, EMDR therapy may be able to help. Give us a call at 303-429-5099 or email email@example.com to learn more about EMDR Therapy can be effective for you.
Counseling / Getting Help
The truth is, all of us could use some counseling or therapy at some point in our lives. It just feels so comforting to us to have the experience of someone really “getting it.” We need an empathic and objective observer; someone who will tell us the truth and affirm us. We want to know that we are not alone and not crazy. It is so easy to feel isolated in this culture of ours.
So, how do we know when the time has come to find a counselor/therapist?
There are so many signals and so many reasons. Maybe life feels out of control and you are overwhelmed by anxiety and worry. Perhaps you are not where you thought you would be at this stage of life. You don’t feel motivated to do all the things you should be doing. I feel lost and alone. I don’t know what I value. You can’t let go of control. You are avoiding stuff. How do I navigate life as a parent? My relationship is not working like I thought it would; we want different things and we fight a lot. You’ve lost someone. I’m so hurt. You’re afraid. Why do I feel so sad? You’re angry. You stuff your emotions and then explode. My emotions feel really big and powerful and I can’t seem to calm myself down and stay in charge of what I say and do. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I want in life. I know what I want, but I feel powerless to make it happen. You are self-critical; your own worst enemy. Shame overwhelms us. Life overwhelms us. We need to learn to cope, let go, accept, forgive, heal, move forward, and discover peace and maybe a little joy.
And there are many other reasons that people seek therapy.
Once upon a time, seeing a psychotherapist (then called an Analyst) was in vogue for the wealthy. Then, as the therapy world changed, counseling carried with it a lot of secrecy and shame – for the wealthy and for everyone else. I can do it on my own; solve my own problems. We don’t need a therapist butting into our lives! If others knew I was seeking help from a professional… well, what would they think? I’m so weak for having to pay for help; I should be able to do it on my own. In the last couple of decades, therapy and counseling have become much more acceptable and accessible. People, again, are happy to share that they are in therapy or have seen a counselor. This is good news!
There are so many good helping professionals in our city: Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Psychologists and Psychiatrists, along with any number of supporting professionals in the mental health community. And we are all here to support each other and the clients we serve.
Caring Heart Counseling is a truly gifted group of practicing professionals in the field of counseling and psychotherapy. We truly want what is best for our clients and we have clinicians on our team who are able to work with all of the issues listed above, and more. In the first session, you will get the sense that we really get you, we understand where you want to go, and we know how to help you get there. And if we are not the right fit for you, we happily refer to a number of other mental health professionals out there in the Denver counseling community. Because, the truth is, we are not the only good clinicians out there! And we want to help you find the best!
So, if anything in this blog resonates with you, take the first step. Call us at 303-429-5099 and we will get you on the right track for getting where you want to go. We can help you learn to cope, let go, accept, forgive, heal, move forward, and discover peace and maybe a little joy.