What is the secret to living a happy and healthy life? It could be that the answer is as simple as having warm, trusting relationships with significant others, family, friends, and community. In fact, in the link below is a brief video in which a researcher whom has followed more than 700 people over the arc of their lives found that the major determining factor in which people grew happily and healthily into their 80’s was having good relationships. In his words, “social relationships are good for us, loneliness kills”.
It is no coincidence that loneliness and social isolation are two of the hallmark signs of depression. We, as human beings, need companionship to survive…it is in our DNA. However, many times people find themselves lacking the skills, confidence, or experience to form healthy connections to others and therefore find themselves bearing the negative consequences. This is where talk therapy can help tremendously. At its essence effective therapy always involves forming a safe and trusting relationship between client and therapist. In research this has been called the therapeutic alliance, and it is often found to be the most important factor in whether therapy ends successfully. Forming this relationship can be difficult and uncomfortable for some at first, but inevitably it is an extremely valuable learning experience. This process, along with learning social cognition, emotional expression, and self-regulation skills, can form the foundation of a new way to connect with others. In turn this will lead one down the road to a much happier, healthy life, one filled with quality relationships to significant others, family, and friends. Check out the link below and feel free to comment!