Singles Counseling Austin TX

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Claudia Byrne, PhD
(512) 328-2563
7004 Bee Caves Road, Suite 2-105
Austin, TX
Abuse Issues,Abuse issues,Couples,Family,Child,Adolescent,Sexual Issues,Adjustment Disorders,Adults,Anxiety,Anxiety,Depression,Intimacy issues,and Singles Dating Issues,Bariatric,Behavioral Medicine,Breast Cancer Survivor,Brief Psychotherapy,Cardiac,Chronic Physical Illness / Disability,Clinical,Cognitive,Cognitive Therapy,Consultation / Liaison,Couples,Couples Therapy,Depression,Diagnosis,Disability,Divorce,EMDR,General,Geriatric / Elderly,Grief,Group,Groups,Health Insurance Preferred Provider,

Austin Hypnotherapy
(512) 478-6256
2630 Exposition Blvd
Austin, TX
Deep Eddy Psychotherapy
(512) 469-6008
508 Deep Eddy Ave Suite 1A
Austin, TX
Anne Byrd-Garofalo, LCSW
(512) 732-2158
2499 S. Capital of Texas Highway
Austin, TX
Dr. Jennifer L. Imming, Ph.D.
(512) 374-4900
1600 W 38th St Ste 420
Austin, TX
Cynthia L Benton, MD
(512) 239-8943
3625 Manchaca Road, Suite 202
Austin, TX
Addictions,Adults,Anxiety,Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorders / ADD,Bipolar Disorder,Chronic Mental Illness,Combination Psychotherapy and Medication Management,Depression,Eating Disorders,Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual Issues,Medication / Psychopharmacology,Mood Disorders / Affective Disorders,Panic Disorders,Psychopharmacology,Psychotherapy,Schizophrenia,Self-Injury,Social Phobia,Substance Abuse Disorders,Womens Issues / Therapy

Setne Verlis PhD
(512) 480-0212
1823 Waterston Ave
Austin, TX
Johnson, Michael A
(512) 928-4357
101 W 6th St # 604
Austin, TX
Austin-Bee Caves Counseling Center
(512) 828-7195
3534 Bee Caves Rd., Suite 114
Austin, TX
Watterson, John PhD
(512) 306-0663
4101 Parkstone Hts # 260
Austin, TX

Only the Lonely

The pain of social isolation can be harmful to your overall well-being.

by Claire Sykes

May 2010

It’s Saturday night and, once again, you’re home alone; your mind drifts to that party where everyone seemed to be having more fun than you. And then there’s all those overtime hours and solo drive-through dinners. It’s enough to make anyone feel downright lonely.

If you often feel lonely, you’re not alone. Roughly 60 million Americans are lonely right now, says John Cacioppo, PhD, a professor at the University of Chicago and author (with William Patrick) of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection (Norton, ). Everyone can feel a little isolated sometimes. But when loneliness becomes chronic, interfering with daily life and hindering happiness, Cacioppo says it can “become a risk factor for illness and early death.”

Broken Connections

Being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely. “Loneliness is the emotional pain you feel when your need for connection isn’t being met,” Cacioppo says. “What matters is your subjective response to the situation.” It’s normal to feel lonely when your daughter takes off for college, your husband divorces you or your doctor tells you you’ve got cancer. If you live alone and have neither an intimate partner nor a satisfying social network, or if you struggle with money or health problems, you are also more likely to feel lonely. But if you enjoy being by yourself for hours or even weeks on end, that’s not loneliness—that’s solitude.

Humans are built to feel loneliness because we are basically social animals who need to bond and cooperate with others—as couples, families, communities and cultures—in order to thrive. It comes from our prehistoric days, when being alone meant getting eaten by that saber-toothed tiger.

“Our research today with brain scans and physiological markers suggests that loneliness is a biological construct, much like hunger, thirst or physical pain,” says Cacioppo. “It has evolved as a signal to change behavior, to prompt one to build or renew connections, and to promote social trust, cohesiveness and collective action, in order to ensure survival.”

In loneliness, perception is everything. “Some people are more sensitive to the pain of perceived isolation,” says Louise Hawkley, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Chicago. People can feel lonely even when they’ve got friends and family around. “There is some indication of a heritable component to loneliness,” notes Hawkley. “An insecure maternal-attachment bond as an infant or a negative event in childhood can trigger loneliness in genetically susceptible individuals.”

Because we’re wired to experience loss of social connection as a threat to our well-being, feeling lonely can also leave us feeling scared. “This may translate as a hypervigilance about others and their perceptions of you,” says Hawkley. “Without necessarily being aware of it, you m...

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