From Learned Helplessness to Hope: A Case Study

From Learned Helplessness to Hope: A Case Study

It may call for different actions though. According to her, in this concept of human-interrelatedness hope, we each have a role in its manifestation. Our positions in relation to hope determine what we must do; for those who are hopeless, the task is to resist the temptation to withdraw from others and to resist isolation. Conversely, those who witness despair must refuse indifference. That is, those who are hopeless and those who witness their despair have different tasks. The challenge is to make visible the different tasks that hope and hopelessness perform in lives and relationships.

Encouraging and supporting others to resist isolation is a way that we can do hope together. Weingarten believes “it is important to do, since hope confers so many advantages, for individuals and societies”.

Only there was no way to reach out to the youth of the LGBTQ+ community at that time. ‘Doing hope’, Savage thought that if older gay people offered hope and encouragement to gay teens, the teens would realize that their lives were worth living. He was aware that “schools and churches certainly were not going to let us anywhere near their children. But in the age of the internet, we COULD reach out and there was nothing queasy teachers and intolerant parents could do to stop it.”

“I was riding a train to JFK Airport when it occurred to me that I was waiting for permission that I no longer needed. In the era of social media — in a world with YouTube and Twitter and Facebook — I could speak directly to LGBT kids right now. I didn’t need permission from parents or an invitation from a school. I could look into a camera, share my story, and let LGBT kids know that it got better for me and it would get better for them too. I could give ’em hope.” (Savage and Miller, 2011)


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About the Author

Vered StolarskiDr. Vered Stolarski was born and raised in Ramat Gan, Israel. She had a career as a teacher and educator in public and private schools in Israel and the United States. She obtained her PsyD in Clinical Psychology from The Professional School of Psychology, Sacramento, California in 2019. She is a lifelong yoga practitioner and instructor and has a special interest in movement, yoga therapy, and body intelligence. She draws ideas from positive psychology and the wisdom of body-mind integration philosophies. Dr. Stolarski is bilingual in Hebrew and English.

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