Hope Couples Project


Dr Jennifer Ripley, PhD   757-352-4896  marriage@regent.edu

Regent University campus; Classroom Building

The Hope Couples Project is a research study investigating the Hope approach to couples intervention.  The project recruits couples at certain times of the year who are willing to participate in the research. 

Is the couples counseling really free ?  Yes, your couples counseling would be free.  The counseling, if offered in the community, would be valued at $1500.00 (typically the counseling is eight 90-minute sessions plus assessment).  There is no cost to the couple for their counseling while in the project.

What is the Hope approach?  The Hope approach works to build Hope for couples using positive interventions, a short-term strategic approach that is tailored to the relationship needs of the couple.  Our Hope lab also works to tailor the treatment to the religious needs of couples.  The Hope approach is an approach that focuses on assessment, feedback, creating commitment, communication, problem solving, understanding each others' pasts, apologies and forgiveness.  Our goal is to support you in using these principles to change the patterns in your relationship to be more healthy. 

How much of a commitment are we talking about here?  The intervention is tailored to your needs. Generally, we ask that you commit to one standard workweek worth of work in your relationship- 40 hours.  Considering all the work you've put into your relationship couples are usually willing to put in just one week's worth of work.  What that means is generally 10-12 hours of counseling and 30 hours in your relationship with homework and positive time together like datenights or communicating positively together. 

Our relationship is in trouble, will this work for us?  The hope approach will work with a wide variety of couples problems.  It's not magic, but you both can choose to make effective decisions that will improve your relationship.  However, there are some situations or psychological problems that we recommend individual treatment either simultaneously or before beginning couples therapy.  In addition the approach can be tailored to some couples problems but is not designed to help with all problems.  For example, current or recent infidelity requires specific attention to the infidelity and this approach is not designed for that particular problem.  The hope approach has an intake trial period where both partners and the therapist are deciding whether this approach will work for you.  While we want many couples in our research, we wouldn't recommend an approach to you that is unlikely to be helpful to you.

Where are the meetings?  Our offices are on the Regent University campus in the Psychological Services Center which is in the classroom building Suite 188.  You can download a campus map here in pdf.  Appointments can be scheduled weekdays and some evenings.  For those that live outside the Virginia Beach area we can arrange for a one-week or weekend intensive intervention if appropriate.  If interested in this more intensive option, please call our offices to discuss it.

What is the process to register and begin?  One person needs to click on the link below to complete the registration and initial screening.  One of our staff will review your answers and either call you if we have further questions or send you an email with a link to a more extensive assessment that both partners need to complete.  Once completed we will assign you to a therapist who matches your availability time who will call you to schedule your first appointment. 

If you have further questions and would like to speak with a staff first please call 352-4896.

The MMATE Center is a research and outreach center at Regent University, approved by Academic Council.  The Center is housed within the APA accredited Doctor of Psychology Program.  The Hope Approach to couples counseling has proven efficacy in over 15 years of research in academic journals and professional conference presentations.  Portions of the approach have been seen on CNN and Good Morning America.  The research for 2009-10 focues on the unique needs of couples in couples counseling.