Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing, although they sometimes do go hand in hand. As described by MindPath's Monique Labombard, LCSWA, "Alone is the state of being, loneliness is an emotional response".
Many are questioning if what they are feeling while in quarantine or being physically more isolated is perhaps more serious than just a bad day.
Here are some indicators that it may be time to reach out for help:
- lacking the trust of others
- thinking it's never going to end, that the negative feelings are definitive
- sleeping abnormal amounts for you
- not communicating with others very much
- lasting sadness, disconnection, or feelings of hopelessness
"Loneliness is harder to remedy because it goes so much deeper," says MindPath's Sonia Harris, MEd, LCMHC, but there are resources, and you are not in this alone. For more information, visit mindpathcare.com or contact MindPath Care Centers at 919-261-3958 for telehealth and in-person resources near you.
For Ms. LaBombard, her patients always come first. Often, at the beginning of her work with people, they feel that they have no control over their lives at that moment. Therefore, Monique strives to allow for an environment where her patients have complete control over their care, encouraging them to set the pace for therapy, to decide what they want to work on or talk about and helping them be the catalyst for change in their lives. As a therapist, she is most passionate about helping others overcome difficulties and grow from their experience. It's very important to her that her patients truly recognize their own self-worth, regardless of whatever struggles they are facing. She often integrates personalized and unique therapeutic elements into sessions, offering patients the option to bring objects such as musical instruments, art supplies or tools from hobbies such as knitting into their sessions. Monique appreciates how this flexibility often allows patients to be more comfortable and to transfer some of their pain, stress, or emotions into something beautiful. She draws on training from a variety of modalities, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), person-centered therapies, play therapy, art therapy, crisis intervention, and safety assessments.
Ms. Harris is most passionate about helping those who have been injured in their hearts and minds by life circumstances and situations, or as she says it, to help those who have "hurts in their hearts." Through the therapeutic process, Sonia guides clients to re-discover their worth, heal and hope for the future. Knowing that the healing process is reciprocally nurturing, she collaborates with clients to achieve desired outcomes. Proficient at skillful, compassionate listening and recognizing opportunities for positive change in the clients' circumstances, she views her professional passion, skills, and experience as a "Gift from God"- an indication that she must be intentionally thoughtful with these gifts and how she shares them with the world. To do this, Ms. Harris concentrates her talents to benefit her clients, knowing that she'll be most effective when dedicating sustained attention to those who need it. Sonia has a special aptitude for those seeking Christian-based counseling. She has spent over 16 years working with university students, families, communities, and administrations to ensure positive community growth and psychologically healthy environments. She is inspired by Ernest Hemingway's quote, "it's good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.