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The Transformative Power of Hope Laura Basili, Ph.D. Contact: 802-989-8976

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Presentation on theme: "The Transformative Power of Hope Laura Basili, Ph.D. Contact: 802-989-8976"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Transformative Power of Hope Laura Basili, Ph.D. Contact:

2 Musings on Hope Complex & intangible in the coping and healing process –Involves physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and spiritual aspects of our being –Involves believing, feeling, and doing. It is part of our mind, body, heart, and soul

3 Musings on Hope Experienced in situations that have elements of uncertainty and/or captivity –Illness –Loss and Bereavement –Transitional times in our lives

4 Musings on Hope Experienced in the context of time: Hope draws on the past, is experienced in the present and is aimed at the future. “Hope begins when the mind begins to see a different future.”

5 The Hoping Process Hopes and Desires Desire: desiree – of the stars (David Whyte) –When you have a desire you are keeping your star in sight... –If you are following a star you can go through incredibly difficult territory on the surface... –The star may disappear or reappear but it is always there to be followed...

6 The Hoping Process Specific Hopes Can be similar to goals, desires, dreams “I hope for...” Directed toward: concrete/abstract explicit/implicit serious/trivial

7 The Hoping Process The evaluation/judgment error Differences in client and care provider Choosing to assess life from a different orientation or perspective

8 The Hoping Process General/personal hope Described as the “hoping self” Sense of hope that is present in a person or a situation that conveys a sense of the possible

9 The Hoping Process Hope is basically a shared experience whether or not the “other” is physically present. The “other” can be a beloved who is deceased!

10 The Hoping Process Hope is an imagination activity... It calls for suspended imagination! Imagination – in the poetic tradition (David Whyte) –Not the ability to think of new things, but –The ability to form images which make sense of all the images you are surrounded by at any one time

11 The Hoping Process Hope elicits possibility thinking: What can be? What is? What is becoming?

12 Hope Enhancing Strategies Care and communicate your caring –Mindful attention, genuineness –Unconditional positive regard, immediacy How do we communicate? How do we build trust? Do we carry through? Are we creative problem solvers?

13 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hear the narrative –Script the story to hope –Journal –Write a letter to a person of choice –Tape/video/web page –Draw map – instructions for getting here –What are the narrative themes that are emerging? Where is hope?

14 Questions to Explore Hope What do I need to know about you that would help me understand your hope? How do you look for hope in a difficult situation? What is the smallest thing that could happen here that would strengthen your hope?

15 Questions to Explore Hope Think about a time in your life that you felt hopeful. What was it like? What were you thinking and doing? What were you hoping for? What were you excited about? What could you use from that experience now? What would need to change?

16 Hope, Grief, & Despair Ted Bowman Attend to the loss that undermines hope Listen for the loss of dreams Assist in the grieving of shattered/lost dreams Remember anger and grief are common companions Sit with silence and uncertainty

17 Exploring the Loss of Dreams When you pictured this time in your life, what did you picture? Is there anything about your situation that is confusing or difficult to grasp? Tell me about the plans that you had...

18 Hope Enhancing Strategies Make Something Happen –Quickly, noticeably touches foundations of hope! –Time –Authenticity –Advocacy –Risk

19 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope Stories: help us to practice naming and attending to hope! –Family, friends, care providers... –Generate one a day/week/session –Concrete or specific –General or metaphorical –Write down, tape...

20 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope Rituals: using the intentionality of ritual to be a voice and catalyst for hope –What rituals does the family engage in daily, weekly, routinely that could be transformed into hope enhancing rituals? –Ex. Angel cards, breathing, stretching

21 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope Images & Symbols : Explore images that touch the symbolic, creative aspects of hope and participate in meaning beyond the concrete –How do they/we notice signs of hope? –What images/symbols are in their/our rooms, homes, offices? –Do their/our images/symbols need to be changed or revitalized?

22 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope Models: Real person, story book character, cultural icon that serves as a model of hope –What attributes do you most admire? –What are their strengths and weaknesses? –How are they similar/different from you? –What can you borrow from them or others in your life with similar qualities when you need a boost of hope?

23 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope Suggestions: Touching the foundations of hope with our daily actions and choice of language - spoken & written When you return to work in the fall... I trust you will find the strength to get through this... When you go to Italy... Be wary of Platitudes! –Inspirational words, poetry, prose

24 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope Music Explore music that touches the symbolic, creative aspects of hope and nurtures the spirit What music is relaxing peaceful hopeful energizing Can music be created?

25 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope in Nature : The natural world is a valuable resource for hope –“The peace in wild things” Wendell Berry –What places are considered sacred? –When was the last time they were visited? –Where are the nearby places to connect with nature and hope? –Making connections through guided imagery

26 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hope in the Present Moment: live as fully as possible in the moment –Mindfulness (meditation, contemplative prayer, guided imagery, body work, energy work, yoga, accupuncture, massage, reiki, therapeutic touch, etc.) –Create space that encourages being in the moment –Readiness for the unplanned or spontaneous –Seize moments!

27 Hope Enhancing Strategies Hopeful Humor: using humor therapeutically to tickle hope! –Understand your client’s sense of humor –Understand their cultural background –Look for opportunities to share humorous experiences

28 Hope Enhancing Strategies Continually explore your client’s perspective on hope –Where can you take a risk around hope? –Can you encourage a hope journal? –Can we break the silence in sharing grief and despair?

29 Questions to Explore Hope What is my client hoping for? How committed are they to that specific hope? On what basis are they adhering to that hope? Have I let them know I understand what they are hoping for? What hope(s) do I have for them?

30 Questions to Explore Hope To what extent is their hope that I am the answer? How do I feel about their expectations? Have I let them know what interventions/assistance I can offer? Have I provided alternative/additional targets for hope? Do I have a story or an image to share?

31 Hope Enhancing Strategies Sustain your own hope: –Nurture yourself –Explore your beliefs on hope –Take care of yourself –Make yourself a hope survival kit

32 A Hope Survival Kit List 5 -6 words/phrases that describe you What has meaning to you? What have been some special moments? What do you need for a sense of well being? What is important to you? What soothes your soul? What tangible reminders can you use to capture the essence of your answers from above?

33 A group of kids who had cancer were asked one day to describe hope. Let’s imagine that Hope is an animal. Now what does it look like?” “Hope is about two feet tall.” “He is covered with fur and it’s fluffy.” “When it talks, you’re the only one who can hear it.” “Hope raises its voice sometimes. It has to talk louder than fear.” “Occasionally, Hope is shy and likes to hide.” “Yes, sometimes you can coax it to come to you, but most of the time you have to be patient and wait. Then it will come to you.” “It has to sleep with you as it’s too fragile to sleep outside.” “It’s an animal you can’t buy or cage. You have to keep looking until you find it.” “Hope has offsprings like any other animal. They’re called ‘Hopelets.’ You don’t keep them. You share them with other people who need one.” Erma Bombeck


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