Couple HOPES

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common and disabling condition associated with intimate relationship problems and mental health problems in partners of those with PTSD. Recognizing the need to improve access to evidence-based interventions for those with PTSD and their families, our team has developed an Internet-delivered, self-help intervention to improve PTSD, enhance relationships, and improve partners’ mental health: Couple HOPES (Helping Overcome PTSD and Enhance Satisfaction).

Couples HOPES is an online guided self-help intervention for couples including a partner with PTSD symptoms to improve PTSD and enhance relationship functioning. Couple HOPES is comprised of seven interactive modules that systematically target PTSD symptoms and enhance relationship functioning through the use of web-streamed videos, activities, and messaging with a paraprofessional Coach. Couple HOPES was built to overcome the stigma associated with seeking mental health services and the logistical, economic, geographic, and social barriers to help.

Please visit the Couple HOPES website or email couplehopes@ryerson.ca, to learn more about the program or if you require additional information. Otherwise, feel free to visit Couple HOPES on Youtube to see what the program is all about.

The IMPACT Lab is currently recruiting couples for this study where at least one partner is a Canadian or American military member, veteran, first responder or healthcare worker. Please visit the Couple HOPES website to complete eligibility screening.

Couple HOPES Training Initiative

Recognizing the need to improve access to evidence-based interventions for those with PTSD and their families, our project team has developed an internet-delivered, self-help adaptation of the Cognitive-Behavioural Conjoint Therapy (CBCT): Couple HOPES (Helping Overcome PTSD and Enhance Satisfaction). There are Canadian veteran and military members with PTSD who desire support in established clinical and peer-support settings, but there are minimal evidence-based services being offered, and peer-support providers (PSP) feel less comfortable or experienced in providing such services.

This is a program evaluation project which involves partnering with peer-support organization to help train their workers as coaches for CH. The team is currently looking at multiple MVFR (military, veteran, first care responders) peer-support organizations to train and deliver CH to their couples. This includes all types of loved ones dyads (romantic partner, chosen family, siblings).

This project seeks to mobilize knowledge to increase PSP’s competencies, address gaps in existing services, increase access, reduce burden on the mental health system, and recognize the need to support the partners of those with PTSD. These PSP will conduct support sessions in-person or via telephone or video and messaging to those with PTSD and their partners. Potential benefits of this project for PSP may include an increase in their repertoire of skills to provide couples struggling with PTSD symptoms and relationship difficulties. The couples who participate may learn new skills to reduce PTSD symptoms and enhance relationship functioning.