PDF Loneliness, Stress and Well-Being: A Helpers Guide

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Teaching a client how to create their own happiness alone is a key part of building self-confidence and overcoming fears of rejection and loneliness.

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As long as they do not believe that they can create their own happiness and enjoy life alone, then the client will be less confident and more dependent on others creating their happiness. The feelings associated with loneliness are a self-perpetuating cycle — the lonelier a client feels, the harder it is to take steps to break out of their loneliness, and the harder it is for them to commit to change. As with changing any patterns of behaviour, it takes effort and commitment for the client to begin to move out of feeling lonely. From a counselling perspective, breaking the cycle of loneliness requires finding its cause, then identifying any existing dysfunctional ways the client deals with it hiding away, drinking alcohol, sleeping.

It should be remembered that feeling lonely is a common human emotion experienced by everyone at times it is not a defect.

Loneliness, Stress and Well-Being: A Helpers Guide

Intimate friendships take time to develop, and sometimes it is useful to help deal with the loneliness by having clients share their experiences with someone else Aspel, Encourage the client to think of themselves as a whole person. Not to neglect their other needs just because their social friendship and companionship needs are not being met. Some points for counsellors to consider when working with the lonely client is to encourage the client to:. If a client panics when left alone, and constantly seeks others out in order to avoid inner loneliness, it might be worth spending some time teaching them how to feel relaxed in their own company.

Spending time alone may involve facing the difficult feelings that relentless socialising keeps at bay. It may also enable them to focus on the kind of person they really are, and what they really want to do.

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It can also be worth encouraging a client to spend time concentrating or participating in something that really interests them, which they can enjoy as an end in itself. Focus on the pleasure it gives them and the fact that periods of time spent alone can be rewarding. Does your client feel uncomfortable in situations such as meeting new people, speaking in front of groups, and dealing with someone who is upset, having to tell someone about a mistake, or divulging your inner feelings? Fear of rejection may underlie all of these situations.

Loneliness, Stress and Well-Being: A Helper's Guide, 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge

Work with the client on their self-esteem, confidence and possible self-image. If your client experiences difficulty overcoming fear of rejection as means of overcoming their loneliness, the following can be considered:. Small group counselling can be helpful in providing an opportunity for clients to fully realise that other people suffer difficulties which may be similar to their own. They can compare notes, offer each other support, and learn, in a safe context, something of how other people see them.

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The counsellor could facilitate a self-help or psycho educational support group for example. The prospect of joining a group can feel a bit intimidating for the lonely client initially, but it can be a positive morale booster to realise that they are not alone in your feelings; that they are not weird; that people can respond to them with warmth and understanding; and that you have things to offer other people.

Teaching the client assertiveness skills can also be an important tool. The most successful relationships are assertive-assertive ones Murphy, Teach the client how to be both an understanding listener who can communicate their own feelings in a direct, empathetic, and assertive manner to others Counselling loneliness, In summary, teach and encourage your client to not define themself as a lonely person.

No matter how bad they feel, loneliness will dissipate when they focus their attention on the needs they currently meet and how they can develop new ways to engage their unmet needs through the counselling process Counselling loneliness, Mary is a 38 year old, single, professional woman. In her childhood Mary experienced rejection by her father when he walked out on her mother and was eventually bullied at school. Mary tells you in counselling that she can only be happy if she marries and has children by the time she is She fears becoming too old to have children and not having a loving partner forever being alone.

She now has a desperate need to get married; she comes to you for counselling to learn how to avert her fears of loneliness coming true. It is important for you as the counsellor to understand and apply professional boundaries and ethics when working with clients from any client group. Type Book Author s P.

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Murphy, G. Library availability. Buy on campus from Blackwell's.

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Loneliness, Stress and Well-Being

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