Marlise Meilan, Registered Psychotherapist

M.A. Psychology, Registered Clinical Counsellor, Canadian Certified Counsellor

Therapy for Adults in Ottawa Centretown

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SOCIAL ISOLATION & LONELINESS

Sometimes when something difficult has occurred in our lives we find ourselves avoiding activities, people, or places for fear of triggering unexpected, sudden, debilitating symptoms such as:

  • timidity
  • shyness
  • shallow breathing,
  • sweating
  • heart racing or pounding
  • dizziness
  • a loss of a sense of reality or personhood (derealization/depersonalization)
  • trembling
  • chest tightness
  • fear of dying or losing control
  • muscle tension
  • hypersensitivity to criticism or disapproval from others

These conditions can interfere significantly with our ability to go about regular routines. We might become fearful or avoidant of particular bodily sensations, need to have a "safe person" accompany us to be able to travel or shop, or increasingly isolate ourselves in order to stay in "safe environments" like our homes or those of other "safe people." Maybe we avoid situations that require interpersonal contact at all, or reluctantly join social situations but only with a fear of saying or doing something foolish or being "emotional" in front of other people. 

Psychotherapy can help you to:

  • Interact with others with less fear or anxiety
  • Develop social skills that enhance relationships
  • Reinforce your social support system
  • Attain a balance between solitude and interpersonal interaction
  • Increase comfort in public environments
  • Decrease -- and learn to manage -- occasional symptoms and fearful thoughts

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