Isolation of one individual.How Do We Combat Loneliness?

I just finished an article entitled Loneliness Rivals Obesity, Smoking as a Health Risk by Nick Tate. A survey was conducted by Cigna and Tate reports that,

“Douglas Nemecek, MD, Cigna’s chief medical officer for behavioral health, said the findings of the study suggest that the problem has reached “epidemic” proportions, rivaling the risks posed by tobacco and the nation’s ever-expanding waistline.

‘Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity,’ he said in releasing the report.

The article goes on to say that nearly half of Americans report that,

“…they feel alone, isolated, or left out at least some of the time. The nation’s 75 million millennials (ages 23-27) and Generation Z (ages 18-22) are lonelier than any other U.S. demographic and report being in worse health than older generations.”

This is a problem that warrants attention. But how do we combat loneliness? We can’t do it by cruising social media unless it is for the purpose of connecting offline with our ‘friends and followers’.  Connecting by text isn’t the answer either. In my experience, there is a huge risk of miscommunication associated with text messaging that does not occur in the presence of body language and personal discourse.”

Connect, communicate and collaborate. That’s how we combat loneliness. It’s why we created  BounceBack.  The concept is to bring people together to share in managing challenges through practice applying the Skills & Attitudes of resilience. I would say that it’s designed to combat loneliness caused by a plethora of challenges including but not limited to: adolescence, addiction, being different, chronic pain, disability, divorce, emigration, health/mental health, occupation, socio-economic status, geographic location, past trauma, and many other challenges that may lead us toward isolation.

The Skills & Attitudes of resilience combat loneliness by encouraging people to connect/communicate w/others, problem solve both alone and w/others and by taking the time to care for others.


Why Peer Coaching?Open hands reaching skyward through bed of flowers.

“A man falls into a hole so deep he can’t get out. A doctor walks by, and the man calls for help. The doctor writes a prescription, tosses it into the hole, and walks on. A priest walks by, and the man tries again. The priest writes a prayer, tosses it into the hole, and walks on. Finally, a friend walks by, and again the man asks for help. To his surprise, the friend jumps in with him. “Why did you do that?” the man asks. “Now we’re both in the hole.” “Yes,” the friend responds. “But I’ve been in this hole before, and I know the way out.”

—Rebecca Clay, SAMHSA News 2004

Peers have a unique ability to connect and communicate in a more intimate and empathic way than professionals who must adhere to principles such as objectivity, boundaries, chain of command. My intent is not to devalue these principles for they foster healthy relationships between professionals and their patients/clients. But there is something to be said about the powerful impact of having someone jump into that hole with you and guide you through shared their experience.

Peer-to-peer support has been effective throughout the years in programs such as A.A. and the vast number of support groups that address common challenges from ones’ health to academic achievement. We learn from others who are willing to share their stories. Familiar challenges present along with a chance to explore the skills & attitudes used by others to manage that challenge. We can then think about how we can apply what we learned to our own experiences.

Unfortunately, we don’t see much peer coaching going on with adolescents. We’d like to see that change. With a bit of training, adolescent peer coaching could be the strongest tool in the box when it comes to our fiercely independent youth finding their way out of the hole.

Ethics & AI: How a Startup Builds Ethics Into Its Development

Originally posted by Pocket Confidant 

At PocketConfidant AI, we believe Artificial Intelligence can help humanity. This is why we are building the first AI-coach based on the fundamental principles and concepts of coaching: active listening, questioning, rapport, and goodwill.

Ethics matter and matter increasingly in a world where technology is developing so quickly that it is hard for people to stay abreast of the changes and the potential risks associated. We use tools and resources every day that we cannot know the origins of our mindset of those who developed them. Whether we talk about Artificial Intelligence or other types of products and services, ethical behaviors need to be developed and maintained to ensure that any delivered product or service has a positive impact and brings value to its user. Ethical comportment is important to us and aligns with our values.

Posted by PocketConfidant

“Resilience is the power to adapt well to adversity. It is the process of coping with and managing tragedy and crisis in your life. It is ‘bouncing back’ from hard times

The above quote is taken from “Duct Tape Isn’t Enough” by Dr. Ron Breazeale. Dr. Breazeale has spent many years in the work of building resilience in individuals, communities and regions. We assert that resilience is a skill that can be learned and offer services and tools to do so.”

Read the four-part series “11 Competencies for Building Resilience in a Digital World”.

Printed in Monitor on Psychology.

“Hold training workshops for teachers and others who can pass along resilience skills, stressing how people need to learn to be flexible and take risks, suggests Ron Breazeale, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Portland, Maine.”

Read more of the article “How to Foster Resilience.”

Posted by Integrated Counseling and Wellness, written by Luke Elnerson.

“Dr. Ron Breazeale, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today that you need to dispute catastrophic thinking to overcome it. This involves understanding what could be the “best-case scenarios.” Are there any logical answers that you can find to address this issue?”

Read more of the article “What is Catastrophic Thinking and How Can You Control It”

Posted by Iinblog: Blogs Current, Health, Money, Love and Sex.

“Dr. Ron Breazeale points out, ‘Resilience is not about avoiding your own feelings, it is about confronting, managing, rethinking and following.'”

Read more of the article “Resilience and adversity: coping and coping with difficult times”

Posted by, written by Chris Blank

“Optimism manifests itself as a willingness to make an effort and take a chance, rather than assuming that your efforts will be unsuccessful or that your circumstances will never improve.”

Read more of the article “The Characteristics of a Positive Attitude”

Posted by Maria Shriver: Powered by Inspiration, written by Ann Marie Termini

“It is common to react to hardships with emotional pain, grief and a range of other emotions as well as a sense of uncertainty. Dr. Ron Breazeale notes, ‘Resilience does not involve avoiding one’s feelings, it involves confronting and managing them’.”

Please follow this link to read more of the article “10 Ways to Build Resilience in the Face of Adversity”

Posted by Cooperative Parenting Institute: Recognizing the Unique Needs of Separating Families, written by  Ann Marie Termini

The road to resilience is often characterized by working through emotional distress and painful misfortunes. Dr. Ron Breazeale notes, ‘Resilience does not involve avoiding one’s feelings, it involves confronting and managing them’.”

Read more of the article “Resist Throwing in The Towel: Building a Co-Parenting Relationship”

Posted by Dr. Margaret Rutherford: Helping you Believe in Yourself.

“All of us have handled some kind of disappointment. Some accident. We have worked through mistakes either that we have made, or something that has happened to us.”

Read more of the article “3 Steps To Stop The Exhausting Work Of Worrying”

Posted on Bottom Line Inc: Our Experts, Your Bottom Line!

“So I called Ron Breazeale, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Portland, Maine, who has helped catastrophic thinkers throughout his career. He gave me some simple and creative ways to break this bad habit.”

Read more of the article “How to Avoid Assuming The Worst”

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