It’s been said by many that hope is an essential life force. With hope, we are able to look to the future with motivation, energy, and a sense of what is possible. Hope can be experienced in many ways. For some, hope is a thought process related to a meaningful goal and a focused means to actively achieve that goal. For others, hope is a feeling anchored in relationships with self, others, nature, and/or a higher being. While there are several ways of understanding hope, it is without question that it often plays a role in how we see the world and experience ourselves and others.
People tend to seek support and counselling at times when their hope feels threatened, or the outcomes they hoped are not possible, and as a result are in a place of hopelessness. With hope out of reach, many experience sadness, anxiety, and depression. Years of research show that hope is extremely important in the counselling process and in promoting positive client change and improvement.
Hope focused counselling is not so much a specific therapeutic technique, but a fundamental and unifying framework across most therapeutic approaches. Some therapists and researchers claim that regardless of the system of therapy utilized in counselling, beneficial change may be accounted, in part, to hope. In short, hope focused counselling intentionally makes room for conversations about of one’s experiences of hope and/or hopelessness.
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