Loneliness is something many of us are likely to experience at some point in our lives, yet it also seems to be something many find hard to acknowledge or name. Feeling lonely doesn’t necessarily equate to being on our own. It is possible to be on our own yet feel comfortable with this and not experience feeling lonely; by contrast some people can be surrounded by many people and yet experience feeling alone.
In my experience as a counsellor, clients have expressed feeling lonely in more commonly recognised situations such as after the loss of a partner or a pet, following the end of a relationship or during ‘lockdown’. However, clients have also come to the realisation that they feel lonely in other less commonly identified situations, such as after retirement, when children have ‘flown the nest’, when there is a communication breakdown with a partner, following the birth of a baby, or feeling an inability to relate to those around us, for example. This list is by no means exhaustive but I believe there is a common thread that runs through them all and that is experiencing a lack of emotional connection on some level. The antidote to loneliness is often therefore to experience feeling connected and this is where counselling can play a role for some people who may be struggling to find that vital emotional connection that can plug the gap felt by loneliness. Counselling can therefore often provide that stepping stone to understanding and processing feeling lonely and moving beyond it.
Angela Pixner (MBACP) is a qualified counsellor who works with adults at RightMind Therapy & Training in Sevenoaks. Angela has volunteered as a counsellor at the ellenor Hospice and has varied experience in working with the bereaved, those caring for others and those facing health challenges themselves.
To arrange an appointment with Angela please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health Awareness Week
9-15 May 2022 – Loneliness
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago. Each year the Foundation continues to set the theme, organise and host the week. The event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.
Loneliness is affecting more and more of us in the UK and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic. Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and we need to find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness. We can all play a part in this.
So, in May 2022, we will be raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.
Reducing loneliness is a major step towards a mentally healthy society.
To get in touch please email email@example.com