Hope and Rehabilitation Counseling: Measuring, Building and Nurturing Goal Attainment in Clients

In Featured, Findings, News, Psychosocial Adjustment, Research Findings, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Skills and Competency by SVRI

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Many factors contribute to adjustment to disability; however, people with higher hope have been shown to adjust better to disability and the challenges that come with it.  Often in rehabilitation counseling it may be difficult to understand why one client has successful outcomes, while another one does not. Since goals are what drive hope, and identifying and reaching goals are a key component to successful rehabilitation outcomes, understanding clients’ level of hope is critical.  Snyder’s Trait Hope Scale is an effective tool to measure and understand clients’ levels of hope, including those with depression.


Studies have shown that people with a higher level of hope are better able to deal with depression.  Individuals who have sustained a traumatic physical disability and have lower hope have been found to have higher depressive impairments.  Additional studies with older adults and depression found that those who received hope-focused interventions significantly decreased depressive episodes.


  • Identify client hope at beginning of rehabilitation process (Trait Hope Scale)
  • Identify what areas clients struggle with (goal setting, goal attainment)
  • Teach hope to clients (effective strategies for goal setting and/or goal attainment)

Bottom Line

Snyder’s Trait Hope Scale has been used with multiple populations, and with different types of disabilities, to better understand levels of hope.  The Trait Hope Scale can assist rehabilitation counselors in identifying and finding solutions in goal attainment of clients.

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Source: Coduti, W.A., & Schoen, B. (2014). Hope Model: A method of goal attainment with rehabilitation services clients. Journal of Rehabilitation 80(2), 30-40.

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