Jungian Therapy, Loneliness and Life Transitions
Loneliness is often the frequent companion of major life transitions; Jungian therapy recognizes that finding ways to cope with it can be essential at key turning points in life.
Recently, I’ve been struck by the number of clients who have come to see me in the course of undergoing very significant life transitions. The situations of these clients bring home to me a lot of significant truths about the loneliness experienced at such times.
Here are 4 ways in which people can find themselves alone in the midst of such life transitions.
Not Being Understood or Accepted
Individuals can experience great loneliness in the course of life transitions when a previously taken-for-granted level of acceptance, understanding or connection is no longer present in a relationship. The individual may feel that he or she has been understood and accepted for who he or she is, only to discover that those who previously seemed to accept them now can no longer do so. The spouse who follows the inclinations of the inner self, and finds themselves in a place to which their partner simply cannot relate, would be a prime example.
Isolating Events or Circumstances
Intense loneliness can result for individuals when a life altering event fundamentally alters perception or consciousness. Such individuals can feel completely isolated from others, even though they may previously have been close to them. Serious illness, injury, job loss, or other personal tragedy would all be prime examples.
Difficult & Profound Transformations
Life transitions can stem from situations where an individual realizes that “I can’t go on living like this anymore”. Often this type of loneliness occurs when an individual feels that they can no longer live confined by a given social mask, or persona. Changes in professional, sexual or gender identity would all be prime examples.
Faced with Difficult Choices
Often a deep loneliness can result from struggling with major moral choices. The need to courageously make a decision that transcends black and white moral answers, such as whether to keep and raise a child suffering from serious developmental issues, or to give up the child for adoption, would be a case in point.
Often connecting with someone empathetic skilled in /a-midlife-transition or Jungian therapy, who understands the issues around the loneliness of life transitions, can be of great assistance.