As the work of counselling progresses some clients will say that they feel lonely. It can be very painful to realise that we feel lonely and it takes courage to let someone else know that this is how we are feeling.
Clients may say things like:
- I’m in a relationship but I can’t talk to my partner about how I am feeling.
- No one has time for me.
- Other people expect me to be cheerful all the time.
- No one wants to know you when you are feeling down.
- I’m good at keeping people away from me. I only let them get to know me up to a point and then I back off.
- I feel uncomfortable around other people.
- I’ve got a lot to hide. If I avoid others then they can’t find out.
- I’ve got nothing to say anyway. I might as well be on my own.
How can Counselling Help?
In counselling we can explore the feelings of being lonely and the thoughts that accompany these feelings. This can help us to gain a new perspective and to challenge some of the ways we feel and behave. Increasing our awareness enables us to recognise the choices we make. Often clients are able to make changes as a result of their counselling to lead a more fulfilled life.
In addition, there is much evidence to suggest that the therapeutic relationship in itself facilitates a process of change (for further reading see Clarkson, 1996; Natiello, 2001). Many clients find that the learning they gain from the therapeutic relationship can used in relationships outside the counselling room.
Clarkson, P. (2003). The therapeutic relationship (2nd ed.). London:Whurr.
Natiello, P. (2001). The person-centred approach: a passionate presence. Ross-on-Wye:PCCS Books.
Copyright Christine Bonsmann. All rights reserved.