Hope & Expectancy
Building the client's hope is one of
the essential tasks of therapy
Clients frequently enter therapy when their efforts to improve have been unsuccessful, leaving them feeling demoralized and hopeless. In this state, there is less motivation and agency to do the work to make things better. Alleviating a client’s hopelessness and instilling renewed hope is a primary task of psychotherapy (Frank & Frank, 1993). When therapy rekindles hope that a better future is possible, the client is re-energized to make positive changes - often in unique ways not specifically prescribed by the therapy.
What it Means for Therapists
Therapists should assess, at the outset and throughout the course of treatment, a client’s level of hope for improvement and their expectancy that the therapist and treatment are credible and will be benefit them. Therapists should take deliberate steps to build the client’s hope and foster belief in the therapy process and therapist.
Recommendations from the Research
The research on hope was synthesized in two
2018 meta-analytic studies.
The studies found outcomes are strongly impacted by the client’s treatment expectations and how credible they perceive the treatment and therapist to be.
(Constantino, Coyne, Boswell, Iles, & Vîslă, 2018; Constantino, Vîslă, Coyne, & Boswell,2018; Swift & Derthick, 2013).