A feeling of loneliness comes with both emotional and physical baggage. Loneliness can lead to (or worsen) depression and other psychological struggles, and it’s also a recognized risk factor for high blood pressure and heart problems. A major piece of new research looks at dozens of different loneliness studies
to find which treatments are most helpful to those who feel lonely. The conclusion? Teaching social skills, encouraging social interactions, or even providing social company are not the most effective in making people feel less lonely. Rather, helping people change how they think about and perceive others (by thinking less negatively) had the greatest impact. This research is expected to help therapists, counselors, and others whose clients struggle with loneliness and similar feelings.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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