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Posted 02/01/2021 in Category 1

Is all hope gone? No, we can create hope!

Is all hope gone? No, we can create hope!

Many people live their lives thinking there is no hope: no hope of change, no hope of recovery and no hope of success. Yet, many psychologists and psychotherapists spend their lives working to help people find hope in their own lives. In theories of emotion and hope, we see emotions can change by addressing the evaluations of effectiveness in the goals we pursue. This therapeutic process is about helping clients to create goals, consider all the ways to reach one’s goals and revving up one’s engine to pursue the goals which changes how the client sees himself or herself. What we mean here is that alone, we might feel stuck with no way of getting out of a situation. This feeling of hopelessness is a feeling – it is nothing more than a feeling. What the feeling is telling us, however, is that we cannot move, we cannot help ourselves. Our feelings often give us unhelpful information, but they are not giving us directions. With help from a psychologist or close friend, for example, we can create goals, find all the ways to achieve the goals, increase our motivation to pursue the goals and then realise we are capable and resourceful. 

Our hope develops when work to focus on successes from our past. Though we might feel like a failure, the feelings are miscalculating all our past successes, however small or big. There are four key processes in here: hope finding, hope bonding, hope enhancing, hope reminding. Hope finding is exploring stories from the past that highlight hope. Hope bonding is fostering a strong, working alliance with clients to plan their treatment and outcomes. It can be quite challenging for clients at all stages of this process, especially setting goals that are suitable, challenging yet attainable. Hope enhancing is creating hopeful thinking and setting goals that allow clients to see a way forward.

Focusing on positive behaviours helps the client to move forward step by step. Some clients are not sure what motivates them. With careful understanding, clients can learn from their experiences to harness the power of motivation. These processes are about processes. The client is working on simple processes to bring about change. Hope reminding is a process where clients can monitor their own thinking and learn to help themselves long after they have left the psychologist’s office. There are lots of ways to remind us about hope. We can connect with more hopeful people. We can generate stories of hope. We can remember times when we have showed change and hope in the past. We can write about the barriers to our hope and work around them. 

There are barriers for everyone in everyday life that halt our progress. They might halt our progress; but they do not need to stop our progress. Each person living her life in her own way in her own culture and context will have barriers and knock backs to their hope. We do not dismiss any of these; rather, we learn about them and work with the client to manage them. Some issues are unchangeable, but we can manage most issues. 


Magyar-Moe, O. (2015). Positive psychological interventions in counseling: What every counseling psychologist should know. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(4), 508–557. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000015573776

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