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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Hope at work : the storied experience of hope for frontline workers who counsel in forensic settings Jacquard, Frank Stillman


This qualitative research study explored the lived experience of hope and the role it plays in the lives of ten frontline workers (psychologists, social workers, counsellors, probation officers, and correctional officers) who counsel in forensic settings. The research followed a narrative inquiry approach within a paradigm of positive psychology. Participants (N=10) were nominated by peers as exemplars of hope. The results suggest that incorporating hope into interactions influences both the work and the well being of the frontline worker and has inferences for developing therapeutic rapport with clients. Results revealed that exemplars of hope are involved in the being and doing of hope in specific ways. In hopeful being, frontline workers incorporate empathy, live compassionate awareness, advance humbleness, invite metaphor, sense humor, and acknowledge spirituality and religiousness in their everyday lives and in their work. The research suggests that frontline workers possess a wealth of professional experience and a clear understanding of their role both within the forensic setting and within that of society. The research also suggests that the doing of hope involves engaging in working sideways, hope bonds, hope scaffolding, hope incubation, hope hooks, and attending to rhythms. Implications from the study apply to the training of frontline workers, professional development and future research considerations in the field of hope research.

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