Counseling Department


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Fred A Milacci

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, Social


Alcoholism, Loneliness, phenomenology, Recovery, sobriety


This phenomenological inquiry investigated the loneliness experienced by recovering alcoholics. Select participants responded to open-ended interview questions pertaining to their experience of loneliness as well as its impact on their lives. Moreover, participants were asked to indentify what factor or factors may have contributed to the onset or persistence of their loneliness. Phenomenological analysis of the data revealed that loneliness, as experienced by recovering alcoholics, is a recursive experience that is co-morbid with a number of debilitating affects.

Therefore, the loneliness that was experienced during recovery represented just one part of a combination of painful affective experiences. In addition, the data revealed a number of factors that contributed to the experience of loneliness for recovering alcoholics. Information obtained from this study may allow treatment providers to possess a better understanding of how the lives of recovering alcoholics can be influenced by the presence of loneliness and its accompanying affects.