In 2018, Dr. Chan Hellman, the Director of the Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma, and I authored a new book called Hope Rising: How the Science of HOPE Can Change Your Life (Morgan James Publishing). This morning it hit #4 on the Non-Fiction Bestsellers List in the Oklahoma. It is an important book for everyone to read who is focused on healing the impact of trauma from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Hope Rising included this statement: "In every published study of hope, every single one, hope is the single best predictor of well-being compared to any other measures of trauma recovery. This finding is consistently corroborated with other published studies from top universities showing that hope is the best predictor for a life well-lived." We argued that nothing is more predictive of well-being than hope. Hope is measurable, malleable, and teachable. It is not fuzzy like resiliency and does not have a host of definitions. It is clear, teachable, and powerful in its outcomes when increased.
Yesterday, the highly esteemed Traumatology Journal of the American Psychological Association published a new piece of research by Dr. Ricky Munoz and Dr. Chan Hellman that confirms our hypothesis in Hope Rising. Hope should be our goal with trauma-exposed youth and adults. Resiliency is important but hope is the mindset that drives resilient behavior. It is time for the ACES Community to start looking much more closely at hope and how we can teach it and nurture it in the lives of adult and child survivors of trauma, violence, and abuse.
I look forward to all those focused on resiliency in our work to take our challenge. Read our book, read the new research. It is time to broaden our goals and focus in working with trauma-exposed adults and children. Mother Teresa said it years ago, "We must give hope, always hope."