I was recently reading an article from the New York Times (which I have attached a link to below) about research findings on estrangement. It is often around this time of year with the post end of year holiday break that people think about issues of estrangement from family and sometimes old friends and it is often a time of year when people present to my practice with such issues. This is often due to not being able to spend time with family members that they have become estranged from and they may be considering if they wish to reconnect with those people or not. Sometimes they may be considering ending a family relationship or friendship that has become seriously toxic, and other times they may simply be thinking about those they have become estranged from and contemplating what this means for their life going forward. The article below is fairly consistent with what people have related to me in therapy and looks at some of the myths that research into estrangement has revealed. Some of these are that estrangement happens suddenly when in reality it is something that usually occurs over a period of time. Another is that estrangement is often thought to be rare, when in actuality estrangement is a reasonably common phenomenon. Many people believe that estrangement happens due to a clearly identifiable reason when in reality it is often the result of many reasons. Finally, the common belief that estrangement is generally done on a whim is debunked, with research revealing that the decision to become estranged from someone is often one that is not made lightly. You can read the full article by clicking the link below.