Three Spheres of Hope

Hope can be an elusive concept owing to the fact that it has many aspects. This paper identifies three related but different types of hope and outlines their respective contribution to human wellbeing. 

O’Hara, D. J. (2014). Three spheres of hope: Generalised, particularised, and transformative. In Lisa Ortiz and Denis J. O’Hara (Eds.), Phoenix rising from the contemporary global society (pp. 3-14) Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press.


Therapist Hope

This paper reports on (i) how therapists conceptualise hope and (ii) how they operationalise and work with hope in therapy. The research identified many common conceptualisations of hope  and a range of therapeutic practices focused on engendering hope as part of the therapeutic change process.  

O’Hara, D. J. & O’Hara, E. F. (2012). Towards a grounded theory of therapist hope. Counselling Psychology Review, 27(4), 42-54.


The Self: Reflective, Relational, and Embodied

The nature of the self has intrigued philosophers, theologians, and scientists since inquiry began. After extensive investigations we are still trying to answer such questions as “What is the self?” and “How does the self develop?” Understanding the nature of self is fundamental to mental health work.

O’Hara, D. J. (2016). The self: reflective, relational, and embodied. Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia.


Psycho-educational Assessment of Specific Learning Disabilities

This paper reports an investigation of the views and practices of 203 Australian psychologists and guidance counsellors with respect to psycho-educational assessment of students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLDs). Results from an online survey indicated that practitioners draw upon a wide-range of theoretical perspectives when conceptualising and identifying SLDs, including both response to intervention and IQ – achievement discrepancy models.

Meteyard, J., & Gilmore, L. (2015). Psycho-educational assessment of specific learning disabilities: Views and practices of Australian psychologists and guidance counsellors. J. Psych. Couns. In Schools. 25(1), 1-12.


Community Counselling: Direction and Focus

Community counselling shares much in common with individual and family counselling but incorporates a scope of practice which is broader in nature. It has a community focus which . often takes practitioners out of the four walls of the counselling room. This paper examines the philosophical and practice priorities of community counselling.    

Meteyard, J., & O’Hara, D. (2016). Community Counselling: Direction and Focus. In C. Pratt (Ed.). The diversity of university-community engagement: An international perspective (pp. 83-94). Pinang, Malaysia: Asia Pacific University-Community Engagement Network. 


The Relationship Between Anxiety and Managing Interpersonal Difference

This study investigated the relationship between the capacity to manage and tolerate difference in others and trait anxiety. Results reveal that trait anxiety when measured by both the STAI-T and DSI-R Emotional Reactivity Subscale, is a significant inverse predictor of the capacity to tolerate interpersonal differences within close relationships.  Implications of these findings for the practice of couples therapy, including the role of relationship counsellors in helping their clients learn to more effectively manage difficult emotions like anxiety more effectively, are explored.  

Meteyard J., Andersen, K., O’Hara, D. (2013). The relationship between anxiety and managing interpersonal difference: Implications for couples counselling. Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia.