Healthy adults are independent AND dependent. Most of us have anxiety as we shift between what we fear is dependency on one side and isolation on the other. Health isn’t overcoming the temptation towards either, but instead it’s learning to thrive in the tension between them.

This week I have had several conversations around loneliness vs solitude. At some point during grad school, a professor invited me to consider the difference between loneliness, aloneness, and solitude. Somehow, giving myself permission to enjoy being alone, helped me grow in so many ways: kinder to myself, more adventurous in my solitude, and able to participate more meaningfully in relationships that mattered to me.

 

 Healthy adults are independent AND dependent.
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Good therapy is revival, not survival. It’s not about symptom reduction, it’s about flourishing.

Good therapy is revival, not survival. It's not about symptom reduction, it's about flourishing. ........#psychology #psychblr #psychotherapy #studynotes #handwriting #studyspo #handwritten #psych #illustration #recovery #mentalillnessawareness #staystrong #fixyourwings #psychblr #gradpsych #psychotherapy #counseling #psychiatry #psychoanalysis #bodypositive #sketchbook #doodles #classroom #lecture #notestagram

In considering individuation, I think it’s valuable to consider reflecting on the difference between loneliness and solitude. Often, people seem to seemed to equate aloneness with loneliness, but that’s not necessarily the case. The primary tool, in clinical psychology, for assessing loneliness is the UCLA loneliness scale. But the UCLA loneliness scale doesn’t measure aloneness- it seems to measure distress in aloneness. In other words, aloneness is not pathological- destress in aloneness is what creates anxiety and loneliness. Giving ourselves permission to enjoy aloneness as solitude can be an opportunity for adventure and growth.

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