Our New Name: From Wishing to Hoping

Welcome The Wishing Star Lapointe Developmental Clinic! Formerly “To the Moon and Back” in South Surrey, British Columbia, we have renamed our practice to reflect our desire to expand our capacity to support, nurture, and empower children, parents, students, and professionals.

The choice of our new name was not a difficult one – we knew immediately that our name must carry with it a message of hope. Whether a parent calls our office out of concern for their child’s well-being, a professional organization calls wanting more information for their staff to support children who are struggling, or any other number of reasons we might be contacted, the most important “service” we might offer is to impart hope – hope that things can and will be better.

Vancouver Sun columnist, Douglas Todd, wrote a fascinating article in the Easter Weekend edition (April 23, 2011) on the “Biology of Hope.” Todd presents how philosophers, theologians, and biologists have long tried to pinpoint exactly what hope is. Most definitions revolve around the idea that hope is “a desire that is believed possible of realization.”

But more than being “just” a feeling, hope actually impacts us biologically. Todd cites Denise Larsen in his article, a University of Edmonton researcher in charge of the Hope Foundation, an organization home to the world’s largest library on hope (with more than 4000 academic papers to date). Larsen comments, “When you are hanging on by your fingernails and someone says, ‘I believe you can do this,’ it actually gives you a physical lift. Despair physically deflates us. But hope can raise your serotonin levels.”

In fact, as Todd points out, renowned Harvard University psychiatrist George Vaillant says the emotion of hope operates in the limbic system and the frontal lobes of the brain – the most evolved part of the human body. Vaillant also cites the well-known child psychologist, Erik Erikson, who put the virtue of hope at the beginning of life, as “the earliest and most indispensable virtue.”

It is clear that hope is essential to our will and desire to live on. As we contemplated our new name, we thought about how “wishing” is perhaps a precursor to “hoping.” Indeed, Todd cited Vaillant who writes “Wishing are words and left brain. In contrast, hope is made up of images and is rooted in the right brain. Wishing on a star takes no effort. Hope often requires enormous effort and shapes real lives.”

At The Wishing Star, we recognize that many of our clients are in the “wishing” phase when they initially contact us. We also recognize that it is sometimes difficult to “get your hope on” without feeling and knowing the support of someone who respects you, who understands you, who hears you, and who supports you.

At The Wishing Star, we cherish the opportunity to join our clients as they wish on that star, and to begin to move forward with the realization of that which is desired. We view it as such a privilege and an honour to be invited into the lives of our clients, to walk alongside you, and to begin the work of turning the wish into a hope. It is our ultimate goal that your wish will become a hope, a hope that then becomes part of your biology, and finally, that that which is hoped for then becomes possible.

Welcome to our practice!

This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.