Hope Alive is a program of intensive counseling for small groups, couples and individuals. It was designed for those who have been damaged by a combination of childhood mistreatment and pregnancy losses, particularly abortion. The program is now being used in about twenty-seven countries and is rapidly gaining respect among professionals and laymen. It is unquestionably very hard work for counselees and counselors, but outcome studies have indicated major improvements in many areas particularly self-respect, depression, relationships and the ability to grieve difficult losses. The results of an outcome study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (May 2000) and were well appreciated. The theoretical framework is based equally on “hard-nosed” science and sound Christian teaching.
A Canadian Child Psychiatrist, Dr. Philip Ney, first began using group psychotherapy for people damaged by abuse and abortion in 1987, but that was not really where the history of Hope Alive began. Philip Ney graduated as a physician from the University of British Columbia , trained as a Child and Family Psychiatrist at McGill University and the University of London ( England ), and as a Developmental Psychologist at the University of Illinois.
As a teacher (5 universities in 3 countries, full professor four times, University and Hospital department Chairman) and researcher (66 scientific papers) and author (6 books), he insists on high academic standards. As a Child of God, he knows that Christ is Teacher and Healer.
He began practice as a consultant with the Department of Mental Health and teaching at the University of British Columbia in 1968. He soon discovered there were difficult to treat psychiatric conditions not described in the textbook. On one occasion, a mother complained about not being able to touch and, therefore, not being able to bond with her child. All the usual factors associated with poor bonding (which is associated with child abuse) were not present. Upon more careful inquiry, he discovered that that mother had aborted her previous child. He had to wonder and later investigate, whether there was any connection between child abuse and abortion. From clinical observations and research data that he collected over the years, he had to conclude there was a cyclic connection:
Those who had aborted babies were significantly less able to bond to their subsequent children and therefore there was a higher chance of child abuse and neglect. Those that had been abused and neglected as children were more likely to have abortions.
Dr. Philip Ney’s first paper on this subject was published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (1979). He treated most of the difficult problems arising from a combination of childhood mistreatment and pregnancy losses in family therapy, later returned to his earlier training as a group psychotherapist. Under God’s guidance, he put together the Hope Alive program.
It was painfully obvious that many of the people who had abortions had been dehumanized by the early experience of childhood mistreatment and further dehumanized by dehumanizing their unborn baby in order to abort it. If there were to be an effective treatment program, it would have to deal with this progressive and cyclic problem of dehumanization. Dr. Ney who had spent years writing scientific papers in the area of child abuse and neglect, now began publishing in the area surrounding the connection between child abuse and abortion. About the same time he discovered that children who grew up in families where there had been abortions, and people who grew up in countries where abortions were frequent, had the signs and symptoms of those who survived concentration camps and major disasters. He called this the Post Abortion Survivors Syndrome.
In 1992 Dr. Ney was invited by S.P.U.C. (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) to train counselors in England . The same year he was invited by Dr. Marie Peeters to present his research and group counseling program to some carefully selected professional people at Saint Felicite Maternity Hospital in Paris . From those two early beginnings, Hope Alive has, under God’s guidance, spread to many other countries. For many serious minded counselors this was the type of program they were looking for. The usual quick fixes for problems associated with child abuse and abortions resulted in incomplete healing and illness chronicity.
The Hope Alive Program deals with men and women who suffer from PAS ( Post Abortion Syndrome), children and adults who have PASS (Post Abortion Survivor Syndrome) and men who are affected by LOPS (Lack of Partner Support) and everyone damaged by mistreatment especially childhood abuse and neglect (CAN). This program does not involve hymn singing, prayer and Bible reading so that all hurting individuals feel welcome. Because it is so thoroughly Christ centered, people will readily come to know Him personally.
Hope Alive was sponsored by the Institute of Pregnancy Loss, Child Abuse Research and Recovery (IIPLCARR) founded by Dr. Philip Ney and Dr. Marie Peeters-Ney. It is now taught at the Mount Joy College and the graduates form the International Hope Alive Counsellors Association (IHACA) It now has affiliates in 27 countries with invitations to train in many other places. After maturing and achieving good results and good experience these counselors are invited to train as supervisors and then later to train as Hope Alive trainers for their own countries.
MJC is situated on 149 acres atop a small mountain top with 360 degree views of forests, ocean and snow capped peaks. It thoroughly teaches and rigorously trains people in exquisitely beautiful surroundings. As a registered private post secondary teaching facility, MJC offers a growing selection of residential and day credited courses.