Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Thorana S. Nelson


Thorana S. Nelson


Kathleen W. Piercy


Scot M. Allgood


The development of a personal theory of therapy and change is an integral part of the training and educational philosophies of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Utah State University. This personal theory attempts to identify and explain each student's beliefs regarding the specific mechanisms by which change occurs, thus providing a therapeutic backbone from which one may integrate various interventions, ideas, concepts, and approaches to therapy. As one engages in the process of integration, it becomes critical for students to evaluate their performances. A thorough self-evaluation that includes the utilization of scientific methods leads to the development of important scientist-practitioner skills that may be difficult to obtain through any means. This study was designed to elucidate and investigate a single therapist's utilization and integration of hope theory in an effort to increase his ability to find, nurture, and engender greater hope in family therapy. Three individuals who presented for therapeutic services at the Utah State University marriage and family therapy clinic participated in the study. Eight therapy sessions were conducted. Each session was videorecorded and coded with an intervention checklist. The Outcome Questionnaire 45.2, Personal and Family Information Form, case notes, teammate/supervisory observation notes, personal reflection journal, DVD reflection journal, homework assignments, and a hope scaling question were used to assess hope as well as the therapist's decision-making process. The results of this study suggest that the therapist applied and integrated interventions consistent with hope theory during the course of therapy, which appeared to be beneficial to clients. The decision-making process of the therapist and the effects of the integration and utilization of hope theory upon the therapist were revealed. Other findings, implications, and limitations are discussed.