Loneliness, Stress, and Well-Being: A Helper's Guide

Loneliness, Stress, and Well-Being: A Helper's Guide

Loneliness, Stress, and Well-Being: A Helper's Guide

Loneliness, Stress, and Well-Being: A Helper's Guide

Synopsis

Provides a simple method of assessing the degree and nature of loneliness and includes practical strategies for helping clients to manage their social problems. The book will be of particular benefit to counsellors and psychologists.

Excerpt

Unlike the common cold, most people claim never to have experienced loneliness. When a representative sample of 9,003 British adults were recently interviewed, 65 per cent said that they had never felt lonely. While 27 per cent admitted to feeling lonely sometimes, only 5 per cent said they had often felt lonely and less than 2 per cent reported that they had always been lonely. However, as pointed out by the authors of this book, people may be reluctant to confess to experiencing a feeling which may portray them in a socially negative light, particularly when talking to a stranger. Consequently, surveys may underestimate the extent of this distressing problem.

Somewhat surprisingly, social scientists have only recently begun to investigate this important issue and our understanding of it is still limited. This book is a welcome step in the direction of furthering knowledge on this subject. the first part provides a conceptual framework for investigating loneliness, drawing upon a broad body of primarily social psychological research and incorporating some original material. One difficulty with discussing emotional experiences such as loneliness, is that the exact nature of the feeling and the conditions under which it occurs need to be known before practical steps can be taken to alleviate it. the second part of the book offers a detailed explication of mainly cognitive-behavioural techniques which can be used to help clients overcome this problem. Since methods of tackling loneliness have received relatively little attention from mental health experts, this section should provide a valuable addition to the armoury of therapists and counsellors.

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