Diseases of hope and the work of despair

Haim Omer, Robert Rosenbaum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Hope is not always an asset for the client or the psychotherapist: many difficult conditions can be described as diseases of hope. Hope becomes diseased partially as a function of its unlikelihood, but also when it leads to disparagement of the present, to mindless sacrifices, and to rigid attitudes or behaviors. We suggest that at such times therapists may need to assist clients to let go of their hope. Far from discouraging the client, this 'work of despair' can prove energizing and liberating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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