“There are many ways of looking at loneliness, but I wish to focus on two elements of the sense of aloneness which we so often see in our clients and in others. The first is the estrangement of man from himself, from his experiencing organism. In this fundamental rift, the experiencing organism senses one meaning in experience, but the conscious self clings rigidly to another, since that is the way it has found love and acceptance from others. Thus, we have a potentially fatal division, with most behaviour being regulated in terms of meanings perceived in awareness, but with other meanings sensed by the physiological organism being denied and ignored because of an inability to communicate freely within oneself.
The other element in our loneliness is the lack of any relationship in which we communicate our real experiencing – and hence our real self – to another. When there is no relationship in which we are able to communicate both aspects of our divided self – our conscious facade and our deeper level of experiencing – then we feel the loneliness of not being in real touch with any other human being.”
The Carl Rogers Reader: Edited by Howard Kirschenbaum and Valerie Land Henderson
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling in Exeter since 1994