Addressing Loneliness through Group Therapy


Loneliness is a universal emotion experienced by individuals in various situations and at different times. Despite being in the company of others, this emotion can persist, causing internal distress. There are moments when this sense of isolation intensifies, leaving us in solitude and affecting various aspects of our lives. 

To overcome the grip of loneliness, it is essential to understand what can be done and how we can liberate ourselves from its clutches. Many of us have distanced ourselves from our true selves, contributing to the profound sense of isolation. Let's honestly acknowledge our feelings: 'I feel lonely because I have distanced myself from my true reality.' Healing from this self-inflicted estrangement and the resulting painful loneliness can be achieved through group therapy. Within the supportive environment of a group, individuals can confront their loneliness and work towards healing. This article underscores the significance of group therapy as a critical space for overcoming loneliness. If you find yourself grappling with loneliness and are seeking ways to heal, this article offers insights.


1. Understanding Loneliness:

Loneliness manifests in various forms, with emotional loneliness reflecting a lack of emotional bonds, social loneliness indicating a deficit in friendship connections, and existential loneliness signifying a disconnection from the world that aligns with our true selves.

The heart of loneliness lies in the concept of connection, surpassing mere communication. While communication involves interacting with others, true connection involves deeper communication. Indeed, loneliness emerges when this connection is absent, highlighting the importance of forging meaningful connections.

The key to navigating and coping with loneliness lies in our ability to connect. The strength of our connection to a community, a partner, family, or a group influence how we perceive and manage our loneliness.

To establish connections, it is imperative to understand ourselves first knowing our qualities, acknowledging our weaknesses, and cultivating a connection with our inner selves. This self-awareness becomes the foundation for identifying individuals with whom we can genuinely communicate and then, connect.

In essence, to prevent, navigate, and cope with loneliness, the initial step is connecting with others. However, any meaningful connection with external entities necessitates a prior connection with ourselves. Therefore, the journey towards alleviating loneliness begins with self-connection.

2. Consequences of Loneliness:

Human beings are intricately connected entities, and when one side grapples with an issue, the repercussions extend to other aspects of their existence. Loneliness, as a significant problem, brings forth a spectrum of consequences that impact various dimensions of well-being.

Negative Mental Health Effects:

Loneliness contributes to a lack of joy, fostering conditions ripe for depression, anxiety, and diminished self-esteem. It corrodes self-worth and erodes self-confidence.

Physical Impacts:

Physiologically, loneliness weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses. Cognitively, it is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, particularly in older adults.

Behavioral Challenges:

Loneliness can trigger unhealthy coping mechanisms, leading to issues such as substance abuse or overeating as individuals grapple with their emotional isolation. It can strain existing relationships, making it challenging to establish and maintain meaningful connections.

Sleep Disturbances:

Loneliness disrupts sleep patterns, contributing to difficulties in falling asleep or maintaining a restful night's sleep.

Negative Impact on Productivity and Performance:

Loneliness can seep into professional and academic domains, hampering concentration, productivity, and overall performance.



3. How Group Therapy Facilitates Healing from Loneliness:

Group therapy serves as an effective platform for individuals to navigate and overcome loneliness through a series of significant steps:

Step One: Communication - Inward and Outward:

Fear often hinders communication, preventing individuals from taking the crucial first step towards alleviating loneliness. Group therapy provides a supportive environment where participants can confront and conquer their fear of communication. By engaging in open dialogue within the group, individuals gradually dismantle the barriers that contribute to their loneliness.

Step Two: Understanding about themselves 

Group therapy encourages members to share their stories, feelings, and concerns. Through this sharing process, individuals not only learn about each other but also gain insights into their own lives. Each member has the opportunity to get feedback in a safe and non-judgmental environment from other members to learn more about themselves.

Step Three: Self-Acceptance:

As individuals receive feedback from group members, they embark on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. The varied perspectives offered in a non-judgmental setting contribute to gradual self-acceptance, allowing individuals to embrace different facets of themselves.

Step Four: Deepening Connections- Inward and Outward:

Loneliness is counteracted by connection, whether to oneself or others. Group therapy initiates this process by facilitating communication. Now that participants can effectively communicate; they explore self-discovery and gain insights into both themselves and their peers in the group. Expressing thoughts and practicing communication becomes a form of self-review, offering valuable reflections. Subsequently, receiving feedback from peers enhances their understanding and facilitates further self-learning. The deeper our understanding of ourselves, the stronger our connection to our inner selves becomes. Further, as each member takes the opportunity to express themselves, they enable others to learn about them. This reciprocal learning builds a foundation for a deeper sense of connection with the group members, as well.


Group therapy aids us in honing our communication skills, both with ourselves and others. This practice enables us to deepen our understanding of ourselves and those around us, fostering the ability to connect both internally and with others. As we embark on the journey of connecting with others, the experience becomes a powerful remedy to please click here to register.the pangs of unhealthy loneliness. The therapeutic group environment supports us in reconciling with ourselves, establishing meaningful connections, and discovering a positive approach to embrace our moments of solitude. Simultaneously, it empowers us to become more socially adept, engaging with others more effectively. Undoubtedly, the essence of connection stands as the antithesis to loneliness. This conviction forms the basis of our belief that relationships hold healing potential.

If you're interested in joining our bi-weekly Group Therapy sessions titled "Healing Relationships" to address concerns such as loneliness, please click here to register.

Seyedmohammad Kalantar
Ph.D., RCC
Kalantar Counselling
Suite 500, Park Place, 666 Burrard St., Vancouver, V6C 3P6

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