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Title: The role of hope for people who contact the Samaritans : a grounded theory analysis
Author: Baxter, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 447X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2010
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The concept of hope has historically been neglected in the field of psychology, but has begun to receive considerable attention in recent years. This is due to the growth of the positive psychology movement and the recognition of hope as an important element in psychological therapy. Various authors have put forward theoretical ideas regarding the role of hope in different therapeutic approaches and research exploring these ideas with both clinicians and service users has begun to emerge. However, the existing literature is limited in its exploration of hope from the perspective of service users and fails to explore the role of hope in the face of challenging life circumstances, and in situations where it is difficult to sustain hope. Participants for this study were recruited through the Samaritans, a voluntary organisation which provides confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing varying levels of emotional distress. Seven people with experience of contacting the Samaritans were interviewed to explore the role of hope in their contacts with the organisation. Specifically, this research set out to investigate how these participants spoke about hope, what enabled them to have hope and what role Samaritan volunteers may have in this. A grounded theory analysis resulted in a grounded theory consisting of one core category; 'searching for hope in the context of despair', and three main categories; 'defining hope: the context of despair', 'attuning to hope' and 'fostering hope'. For the participants in the current study, hope was understood in relation to the opposite experience of despair and was something which could only be fostered through a process of attuning to this despair, before then fostering hope. The findings have implications for the training of Samaritan volunteers and contribute to the literature exploring how clinicians can work with hope in practice
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available