Friendships have been declining for the past 30 years, resulting in severe mental and physical health consequences. However, multiple barriers prevent individuals from initiating and maintaining connections. This paper highlights the individual and societal-level challenges that limit social connection including fear of rejection, insecure attachment style, structural racism, and increased use of technology. To help clients make friends, we recommend clinicians assess loneliness, social competency, and attachment style; administer cognitive behavioral or behavioral activation therapies; and guide clients to assume others like them and be self-compassionate.
- Identify factors leading to loss in friendships and social relationships.
- Assess loneliness and other social indicators in clients.
- Apply evidence-based treatment approaches to improve clients’ social cohesion.
Thompson, S., Deaner, K., & Franco, M. G. (2023). How to Help Clients Make Friends. Journal of Health Service Psychology, 49(2), 77-85. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42843-023-00085-w