Faith, Hope and Love; the second greatest of these is Hope.
Hope is believing that we can reach a future as we would like it to be.
As a healer, or carer, hope is something we should nurture in our clients. Often we focus too much on what is wrong (symptoms) with the person, which can lead to feelings of helplessness. Being hopeful is to believe that the client already has the skills and knowledge to move towards their future aims. The healer’s role is to motivate and facilitate the process.
The first stage is to ask the client what is the most helpful way for them to think of the future, and what does that look like in terms of them being in better health. Encourage them to be specific, and set a time frame. Ask what difference it would make to their life if they are to achieve their goal.
Next explore with the client what already is working for them, or what has helped them in the past. There may be people who can support them. Follow that with asking what small step could they could take to make some progress, and what they might notice as a result.
Helping people manage an adversity, such as a terminal illness, with hope involves discussing with them their present reality and the various scenarios of how they see their future – which will not be their expected future – and what can be best hoped for in their circumstances. It takes experience and practice in consultation skills to facilitate realistic hope in clients, yet with compassion it can be achieved.
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