In a recent newspaper article in The Mail newspaper spoke of “Lonely UK” and that the number of middle aged people who are now living on their own has been rising, due to a decline in marriage with the office of National statistics giving the number of middle-aged people living on the own as almost reached 2 ½ million, giving specific figures for people aged between, of 45 and 64 with a number of men far outstrips the number of women, who are now this position. The article goes on to say that one the reasons that middle-aged women are not forging good relationships, after middle age, is that they are better qualified, with jobs that have rewarding career paths, as opposed,to the rising number of low earning men.
This has had a marked increase in the price of homes with a rapid rise of middle-aged single people stoking the requirement for homes pushing up prices and demand. The piece goes on to comment about the benefit system, which may be the real point of this article, missing ,what I would auger, is the real story that such a section of society feels that marriage or forming a relationship is not worth the effort. An interesting aside to this is what is happening to society? Could this be that there is a reluctance to form relationships after one has had a long term relationship go bad? Could psychotherapy have some of the answers?
There is a growing number of divorce recovery workshops which have been springing up throughout the country these serve some purpose but maybe they fall short to do what is really necessary and for some that is group or individual therapy to find out where, why and how the last relationship ended, and what lessons could be learnt this is not to a tribute blame but to realise that there was a part to play in both parties this does not give licence to any abusive relationships, such as domestic violence.
For instance, if someone has been in a 20 year plus relationship and that should end, they may be looking for the same form of relationship but may find that some form of change must take place. Through therapy or group therapy a person can explore and make meaning of their experience, furthermore, this can help a person not to repeat past mistakes.
Psychotherapy obviously has a large role to play in sense making of past relationships. What can so commonly happens’ is that a person expects the relationship to be the same as their previous relationship, but with a different partner. This can happen for both parties and evidently needs’ will not be met and thus the potential for another failed relationship. I have heard one therapist use a brilliant metaphor in saying that the dancers change and so has the tune. To prolong this metaphor, if a person was used to fox trotting with a former partner and their partner new partner is used to tangoing, in his or her previous relationship, then the two will be out of step with each other and the inevitable will happen toes would be trodden on ,as a consequence,feelings damaged. What individual or group therapy can do is explore the learning of different steps to different tunes, essentially, to learn a different dance. This is, indeed, could be an oversimplification, there are much more complex issue, but it this metaphor gives say graphic mental image, of truly what could happen. I think the challenges that psychotherapy therapy needs to be adaptable to the needs of society rather than the other way around. Could it be that an imagination from of coaching is needed? It may well we UK does not adapt very well to group therapy, unlike our American cousins, who find group therapy and support groups a normal part of society. It could in the UK group therapy is more associated with support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. One thing is for sure psychotherapy/counselling must, indeed, adapt to the changing patchwork quilt of society.
I would be interested to hear your comments if you’d like to post comments on my blog site, all comments will be very much welcome negative or positive.