Loneliness is among the most common and challenging client problems presented in clinical settings. Loneliness is often a factor in many other disorders, including depression, one of the most frequently diagnosed conditions in the US. Contemporary research reflects the impact of loneliness and its various forms on social, cognitive, behavioral, physical, and spiritual domains, identifying the experience as a common predictive and mediating factor of other mental and physical disorders. Nonetheless, clients and practitioners often struggle to identify the significance of loneliness during initial interviews and subsequent sessions.
The authors provide mental health practitioners with a framework for understanding loneliness and relevant sequelae. They approach the subject from multiple perspectives, including psychoanalytic, humanistic, existential, cognitive, and behavioral systems and solution-focused theories. Definitions, measures, and relevant case studies are provided to better equip clinicians to identify, assess, and treat loneliness in children, adolescents, and adults.
“An excellent primer on loneliness, this book by Rainer and Martin offers a refreshing summary of research, clinical experience, theory, and therapeutic suggestions for mental health professionals. The authors describe the relationship of loneliness with other mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, and with quality of life, general health, financial status, LGBT status, and social media, among many. Specific interventions and case examples are plentiful.”
-Leon VandeCreek, PhD, Professor, Wright State University School of Professional Psychology, Dayton OH
“The book, Isolated and Alone: Therapeutic Interventions for Loneliness, is impressive in the breadth of knowledge presented. The authors provide important detail of research and clinical theory in a readable, user-friendly manner.”
-Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, ABPP
“The authors have provided a book that meets a missing component in the clinical literature. . . . After the reader has a firm grasp of the nature of loneliness and the ramifications in treatment, then research based interventions are provided which give the therapist many more tools for helping patients deal with issues related to loneliness. . . . I would highly recommend this book to therapists who work with all ages and all disability groups.”
-Frieda Farfour Brown, PhD, Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gardner-Webb University; author of Crisis Counseling and Therapy
"Perhaps no issue is least discussed and is most important than a client's sense of loneliness. This book helps practicing clinicians to understand how to recognize the impact of loneliness may have on their clients and provides useful tools for overcoming this problem area. If you want help your clients to be less lonely, read this book!"
-Steven Walfish, PhD, The Practice Institute
Table of Contents
LONELINESS AS A PSYCHOTHERAPY ISSUE
What is Loneliness?
Who is Lonely?
Impact of Social Technology and Social Media
Privacy and Loneliness
A BRIEF HISTORY ON THE CONSTRUCT OF LONELINESS
Brief and Solution-Focused Models
LONELINESS, LIFESTYLE, AND MENTAL HEALTH
Loneliness and Depression
Family History and Loneliness
Peerage and Loneliness in Children and Adolescents
Shyness, Loneliness, and Depression
LONELINESS AND PATHWAYS TO DISEASE
TESTS AND MEASURES
PSYCHOTHERAPY CONSIDERATIONS, TRAJECTORIES, AND INTERVENTIONS
A Working Definition of Psychotherapy and General Treatment Hypotheses
A Case Study: The Rugged Individual Rides Again
The Experience of Loneliness
Loneliness and Isolation
Reframing Isolation Into Solitude
A Case Study: Water, Water Everywhere
Solitude and Healing
Loneliness, Spiritual Well-Being, and Narratives on the Quality of Life
Meaning and Meaning-Making
A Narrative Protocol
Listening for the Metaphor
A Case Study: A Cupcake Destroyed Me
Increasing Coping Strategies
Social Skills Deficits
Mastery of Personal Craft
Satisfying Time Alone
The Yin and Yang of Experience
Meditation and Mindfulness
Help Seeking and Social Skills
Change in Relational Contexts
Access and Development of Confidant
Conclusions: Renewal and Aloneness as a Healing Experience
About the Authors
Jackson Rainer, PhD, ABPP, is a board certified clinical psychologist who completed his doctorate in counseling psychology in 1986. He is nationally known and respected as a psychotherapist, teacher, and supervisor. In urban and rural settings, he has directed community mental health institutions and agencies, practiced psychotherapy with children, adults, couples, and families, and taught in universities and professional settings for a practice life that spans more than 25 years. His hybrid of professional service is now consolidated into a national consulting practice for psychotherapy and supervision. Dr. Rainer serves as Department Chair of Psychology and Counseling at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia. He is a former chair of the Publication Board for Division 29, Psychotherapy, of the American Psychological Association, and is on the editorial and publication boards of seven psychology journals. He specializes in work surrounding the crisis of loss due to catastrophic, chronic, and terminal illness.
Johnathan Martin, EdS, is an emerging psychologist, currently in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Georgia Southern University. Over the past 5 years, Mr. Martin has enjoyed opportunities to work with children, adolescents, and adults in both individual and group settings. The breadth of his experience spans inpatient, community mental health, independent practice, and college venues located in rural settings of western North Carolina and southern Georgia. Now entering into his fourth year of teaching as an Adjunct Professor, Mr. Martin is the recent recipient of the 2011-2012 Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies Excellence in Instruction award for Georgia Southern University.