Why Hope?

Admittedly, I’m a big Star Wars fan. The original Star Wars movie, is entitled Star Wars: A New Hope. The end of the new Rogue One movie leads up to a conclusion of establishing a new hope for the Rebel Alliance. After seeing these movies, I got to thinking about our center… The name of our center is Cy-Hope Counseling and our tagline is “Healing Through Hope.” But why hope? Here’s my take:

As a counselor, I see person after person in my office in deep despair who have seem to have no direction or purpose in their lives. Many people come in suffering with depression of which hopelessness is a hallmark. Further, hopelessness is often a contributing factor to suicide ideation and attempts. Establishing a renewed sense of hope is a part of the counseling approach I take.

There are a few ways I may help a client establish their renewed sense of hope:

1.Challenging hopeless thoughts. Often people become so trapped in their depression they simply cannot see anything positive in their life. Through cognitive behavioral approaches, including challenging their negative thoughts, clients can peel back the layers of depression and their negative thoughts can turn in a more positive direction.

2.Visualize a future. When people can envision a future for their lives, it slowly becomes easier to feel more hopeful for their life. Envisioning a future does not come easily and often is slow process for people in the pit of depression. Counseling processes to visualize a future may include goal-setting or more creative visualization exercises.

3.Establish connections. Depression rips people from their family and friends further sending people in despair. Re-establishing connections with people in their life and establishing new connections often provides a sense of hope knowing there are support persons in their life. Reconnecting is a difficult process for people with depression, so counseling approaches may include teach a person new ways to establish connection or learning new ways to communicate.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

Written by: Kristina Zufall, M.Ed., LPC-Intern