Contact with others is considered a fundamental human need. We are designed to live in connection with others and tend to thrive physically and psychologically with good quality social support. There may be lots of reasons why someone becomes socially isolated and it can lead to chronic feelings of loneliness. It is also possible to feel lonely when you have people around you but feel disconnected from them. There is a lot of evidence that chronic loneliness is associated with poorer physical and mental health, with one study finding that it increases your health risk as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or having an alcohol use disorder (Holt-Lundstad, 2015). The toll it takes is clear and the pathway to improve your level and quality of social connection and the sense of satisfaction that you get from that connection depends on your individual circumstances. Social isolation and loneliness is a serious problem and psychological therapy can support you to work on some of the barriers to improving social connection regardless of the cause of the your loneliness.