City Research Online

Hope and the therapeutic relationship: An 'interactive dance'

O’Moore, G. (2014). Hope and the therapeutic relationship: An 'interactive dance'. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City London University)


Within psychotherapy research there is a general consensus on the important role that clients’ hope plays in successful therapeutic outcomes. However little is known about how practitioner psychologists understand and experience their own hope in their clinical practice. It is anticipated that focusing on this under-researched phenomenon will provide initial insight into the role that their hope plays in their work with corresponding implications for practice. This research study investigated practitioner psychologists’ understanding and experience of their own hope in their clinical work. It employed an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology with semi-structured interviews used as the means of data collection. Eight qualified practitioner psychologists (six counselling, two clinical) were interviewed, with the transcripts of their interviews analysed in accordance with the IPA method. Three master themes emerged from the data: Making sense of hope, which explores the participants’ attempts at articulating their understanding and experience of hope in their clinical work; hope is intrinsic, which explores the innate and essential role that the participants’ hope plays in their work; and Responsibility towards hope, which explores the responsibility that participants felt towards sustaining hope. The themes were explored and interpreted using the extant literature on hope. Accounts of the participants’ understanding and experience of hope are presented. The findings suggest a number of implications for the practice of counselling psychology and the wellbeing of counselling psychologists. These include the understanding of the therapeutic relationship as a key source of psychologist hope, the necessity of the psychologist having hope to engage in clinical work and the importance of the psychologist aligning their hopes to their clients’. The findings are discussed as well as limitations of the study and suggestions for future research.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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