Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Post-traumatic stress disorder-Treatment, Hope, Goal (Psychology), PTSD, Trauma, Treatment goals, Goal setting


The purpose of the current study was to determine the way that therapists view the role that hope plays in the treatment of clients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, specifically in regard to the treatment planning process and attainment of treatment goals. This exploratory qualitative study aims to contribute to previously existing literature about hope and its influence on treatment processes and focused on the areas of: (a) the role of hope in the therapeutic process, (b) hope and PTSD, (c) the assessment of hope, (d) fostering hope, (e) PTSD and treatment goals, and (f) hope, PTSD, and treatment goals. Ten therapists from two agencies in Connecticut participated in audio taped interviews in which they answered questions regarding the topics above. A major finding of this research is that clients with PTSD generally have lower hope and often times this hope must be fostered by the therapist. Further, many clients with PTSD have a foreshortened sense of future which can inhibit goal setting abilities. Suggestions for further research included focusing more closely on the role of avoidance in these clients and how the targeting of this symptom might increase hope early in treatment.




iv, 46 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 38-40)