Reasons people come to counselling – Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness


…and welcome back to my blog.

Following on from my last post, this is the first in my series of reasons people come to counselling – and I’m starting off with feelings of isolation and loneliness.

We are social beings – this means we all need social interaction and relationships. To lead a healthy and fulfilling life we crave close interpersonal relationships. Literally from the moment of birth our very survival is dependent on others for care, developing bonds and relationships.

And while we need to develop these bonds and relationships, people will have different social needs – do you prefer a small number of close friends, or do you need a large group of people in your life to feel satisfied?

What happens when you aren’t satisfied with your social relationships?

This is where loneliness and isolation can play a part.

What is the difference between loneliness and isolation?

Loneliness can be categorised as feeling sadness and distress of being by yourself, being disconnected from the world, while experiencing feelings of emptiness, helplessness and hopelessness.

Isolation is where individuals are separated from others.

Being alone however doesn’t necessarily mean you are lonely, while you can be surrounded by others yet still feel lonely – perhaps you don’t feel close, understood or cared for by those around you?

Feelings of isolation and loneliness therefore relate to the gap between our desired social contact/intimacy and what we actually have, or to the perceived quality of our relationship.

These feelings can arise from a multitude of reasons:

  • Being away from home
  • Relationship issues with friends and family
  • Relationship break-downs
  • Being bullied
  • Unemployment
  • Retirement

This can result in feeling like an outcast, and thus finding it difficult to build meaningful relationships.

Such feelings of loneliness and/or isolation can be stressful and impact our wellbeing, resulting in:

  • Feeling unmotivated
  • Alienation
  • Loss of confidence
  • Poor sleep and/or eating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance dependency

It is in these times that counselling may help to lessen those feelings of isolation and/or loneliness. To perhaps work through the root causes, to establish a meaningful therapeutic relationship, in order to help repair existing or develop new meaningful relationships.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships


Why do people come to counselling?


… and welcome back to my blog.

One of the questions I seem to get is ‘why do people come to counselling?’, and the simple answer is, for many reasons!

Sometimes people know exactly what’s bothering them:

  • Isolation and/or loneliness
  • Stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Expected or unexpected life changes
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts

But sometimes people aren’t sure what’s ‘wrong’ but just know that something isn’t quite ‘right’:

  • Loss of control
  • Feeling overwhelmed with life
  • Feeling ‘stuck’ but unsure why
  • Sleep difficulties

They may try and speak with family, friends or loved ones but find there help just isn’t enough, or they feel too embarrassed or ashamed to speak with them at all. This is when counselling can help.

My first experience resulted from an intervention from a friend which led me to the doctors and finally to some counselling. I was one of those people who didn’t know what was wrong, but acknowledged I needed some help outside of friends and family, they were just too close. It was only during my counselling sessions that I realised I had social anxiety, and together, we were able to help me move past that chapter of my life.

Coming to counselling doesn’t have to be seen as a ‘negative’, there are those individuals who simply just want to:

  • Understand themselves better
  • Find better ways of relating/communicating
  • Get the most out of their life

Have you ever considered going to counselling but been concerned that your ‘issue’ isn’t big or worthy enough to talk to someone about?

Well I’m here to say, there is no reason to think or feel like that!

There is great strength in asking for help and that first step can make a huge difference in helping you find resolution.

My hope is that soon there won’t be this stigma surrounding mental health issues – after-all do we judge people for focusing on their physical health?

Seeking help for you mental health shows your emotional intelligence –  that you are aware of your own needs and that should not be regarded as a weakness by any means.

The above is literally just a brief snap shot of possible reason’s people come to counselling, it is by no means an extensive list and I’ll be tackling some of these issues in further detail in my coming posts.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships