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H is for Hope

Author: null null Published: 25th November 2012 21:23

Light at the end of the tunnelWhat do we mean by hope? It's about believing in a positive outcome for ourselves, the feeling that events will turn out for the best, anticipating a desirable change in circumstances, looking forward with confidence.

Hope is important when things are not going well, when there's a lot of uncertainty, confusion and negativity. Hope is the antithesis of despair.

Hope is now recognised as a guiding principle of the recovery concept for people experiencing mental ill-health. The ‘recovery philosophy' developed from accounts of people, particularly in the 1980s and 90s about their own journeys of recovery from often very severe mental health problems.

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott
In the UK, there is increasing interest in mental health services taking on the ‘recovery model' to redefine how services and support are provided. If the process of recovery is fuelled by ‘hope', this is not the same as everyone having to remain ‘hopeful' at all times, even in the face of insurmountable difficulties. Hope is not the same as naïve unrealism.

However professional judgements about what is ‘realistic' have often underestimated people's potential and focused on dysfunction rather than strengths and opportunities. Low expectations can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies, just as encouraging peoples' hopes and dreams can!

If you knew that hope and despair were paths to the same destination, which would you choose? ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com





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