Podcast: Loneliness and Litigation: A Lawyer’s Case Study

Chronic loneliness is on the rise. But how can this be when we’re more connected now than ever? In today’s show, Dr. J.W. Freiberg, a social psychologist-turned-lawyer, explains that loneliness is not an emotion like happiness or anger. It’s a sensation like hunger or thirst. 

Join us for an in-depth discussion on the cost of feeling disconnected even when we’re surrounded by people.



Guest information for ‘Loneliness’ Podcast Episode

J.W. Freiberg studies chronic loneliness through the unique lens of a social psychologist (PhD, UCLA) turned lawyer (JD, Harvard). A former assistant professor of social psychology at Boston University, he served for decades as general counsel to more than a dozen Boston social service agencies, adoption agencies, and scores of private mental health practices. In his new book, Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation, Dr. Freiberg shares case studies mined from his law practice to illustrate dysfunctional bonds that can lead to chronic loneliness. In the book’s award-winning prequel, Four Seasons of Lonelinesshe explored chronic loneliness resulting from isolation and disconnection. For more information about all of his books, visit www.thelonelinessbooks.com


About The Psych Central

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Remote School as the Gateway Drug to Social Media

Instead, Dr. Shapiro suggested, parents can incorporate digital play as part of family time, and “interact with your kids, get involved with your kids — especially when they’re little.” At this critical time (typically before the age of 12), kids yearn for conversations with their parents — whether it’s about the latest YouTube video they’ve seen or a new video game they’ve played — and parents should seize the opportunity to interject themselves into the development of their child’s inner dialogue.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also endorses the idea that parents should serve as media mentors to their children.

Part of the exploration parents can engage in with their children could also include interactions on a family social media account where parents “talk about how to share photos with relatives and ‘what is the appropriate way we comment on Uncle Joey’s posts,’” Dr. Shapiro said. This modeling of appropriate behaviors happens all the time in the physical spaces kids occupy and is just as crucial to model in their digital spaces.

Although parents who see kids typing silly messages to each other — lines of emojis without words, a string of ha’s that take

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