HOPE Program

The HIV Office for Psychology Education (HOPE) Program endeavors to enhance psychologists' ability to competently and compassionately respond to people infected and/or affected by HIV.

The HOPE Program is funded by a five-year contract (No. HHSS280200900004C) with the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The American Psychological Association (APA) Office on AIDS administers the HOPE Program’s network of HIV/AIDS Trainers.

Program Goals

HOPE Program Goals

The primary goals of the HOPE Program are to:

  • Improve HIV treatment and prevention services by educating psychologists and other mental health practitioners about effective and ethical ways to deliver mental health services to people with HIV/AIDS;

  • Increase the number of psychologists who work with persons living with HIV/AIDS and the number of psychologists who have specialized expertise in training mental health providers about delivering mental health services to people living with HIV/AIDS; and,

  • Improve HIV-related education for psychology students in graduate programs, professional schools, and internship programs.

To meet these goals, the APA HOPE Program conducts the following activities:

  • Deliver HIV-related mental health training to more than 1,800 psychologists and other mental health providers through HOPE Program trainings per year;

  • Train mental health providers on the Ethical Issues & HIV/AIDS: A Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Services Curricula;

  • Provide technical assistance to HOPE Program trainers involved with developing and implementing HIV/AIDS workshops in their area; and

  • Develop new curricula that incorporate state-of-the-science knowledge associated with mental health care for persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Using a train-the-trainer model, the HOPE Program has trained and certified more than 490 HOPE Program volunteer trainers. These trainers have in turn delivered interactive HOPE curriculum training workshops to more than 29,000 mental health professionals since 1991.

HOPE Trainings

Who are HOPE Trainers?

HOPE trainers are leaders within their respective fields, and have significant experience working with HIV infected or affected individuals. HOPE trainers are professional psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health clinicians who volunteer their time to provide their communities with the knowledge and skills necessary to better serve their clients. HOPE trainers are located throughout the United States, in 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

The HOPE Program utilizes a train-the-trainer model for training our volunteers. After the successful completion of a rigorous HOPE Program skills building train-the-trainer workshop, the volunteer becomes a certified HOPE trainer. Only certified HOPE trainers are able to conduct training on the behalf of the program.

Types of Training

HOPE trainers design their workshops, based on APA-approved curricula, to reach a diverse group of participants including: psychologists; psychiatrists; social workers; nurses; educators; administrators; doctors; graduate students, and lay people.

Trainings are custom-tailored for a variety of settings including: military; school-based programs; community meetings; graduate courses; hospital in-services; and professional conferences.

HOPE trainers have the expertise in providing trainings to a variety of audiences addressing issues on various topics relating to clients who are infected or affected with HIV/AIDS. HOPE trainers are specially trained by HOPE to provide highly informative, engaging, and skills-building workshops. Trainings may include the HOPE Program's Ethical Issues and HIV/AIDS: A Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Services Curricula, or the mental health service delivery training that include topics useful to clinicians serving clients who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Delivery of these dynamic, interactive workshops can be arranged by contacting HOPE Program staff.

Opportunities for Training Delivery

HOPE Program trainings are suitable for delivery to diverse audiences including: psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, direct care givers, and others.

These professional level trainings are designed for use in:

  • Local, state, and provincial psychological association conferences; 

  • Mental health association meetings; 

  • In-service training for psychiatric facilities, mental health clinics, hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, and juvenile care facilities; 

  • National professional association conventions; 

  • Continuing studies programs for graduate credit; 

  • Staff retreats; 

  • Graduate courses in psychology, counseling, nursing, and social work; 

  • Community health educator training; 

  • VA medical centers; 

  • Correctional facility staff; 

  • School faculty and staff; and, 

  • Drug treatment and intervention staff. 

HIV Mental Health Service Delivery Training

The APA HIV Office for Psychology Education (HOPE) Program offers a selection of nine topic-specific modules designed to further develop knowledge, and practice skills, for clinicians working with those infected or affected with HIV. To identify specific training and topic needs, an extensive training needs assessment is conducted between the HOPE trainer and organization staff. The needs are integrated into a training workshop or series of workshops. Standard workshops range in length from approximately one-hour to half-a-day, depending on site or conference needs. The workshops are designed to build clinical skills and to develop participants' insight into the psychological and counseling challenges they and their clients face.

In order to assist HOPE trainers in delivering highly informative trainings, the HOPE Training Resource Package is designed specifically for HOPE Trainers as they endeavor to train their fellow mental health professionals about the psychological, psychosocial, and neruopsychological issues associated with HIV.

The Training Resource Package includes nine topical modular components. Each module is flexible and intended be integrated with other topics so that HOPE trainers are able to provide a training experience that is responsive to the needs of an individual site, group, conference, or academic institution. View the HOPE Program Training Resource Package Modules.

The nine modules include: 

  1. HIV Virology, Clinical Course, Medical Treatment, Epidemiology, and HIV Testing; 

  2. Integrating Primary and Behavioral Health into HIV/AIDS Care; 

  3. Mental Health Assessment Issues and Strategies for the HIV-infected Population;

  4. Mental Health Intervention Strategies for the HIV/AIDS Population;

  5. Prevention Issues HIV/AIDS for Mental Health Providers; 

  6. HIV/AIDS and Families;

  7. Work in the Lives of HIV-infected Individuals: Roles for Psychologists;

  8. Drug Use, Abuse, and HIV/AIDS; and,

  9. HIV/AIDS and the Transgender Population.

Ethical Issues and HIV/AIDS: A Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Services Curricula

The systematic decision-making process on which the Ethical Issues and HIV/AIDS: A Multi-Disciplinary Mental Health Services Curricula is based, offers several advantages over less structured methods of analysis. The curricula address ethical considerations of HIV-related health services and teaches a model for ethical decision-making. Because it requires mental health providers to analyze cases from a variety of perspectives while carefully documenting each step of their cognitive process, it serves to reduce impulsive judgments that frequently occur when they feel pressured to act quickly due to the worries about the possibility of HIV transmission or law suits. The systematic decision-making process within the HOPE Ethical Issues training also helps to sharpen thinking and clarify many of the clinical issues that arise when working with HIV/AIDS infected and/or affected individuals by requiring the clinician to perform separate, sequenced analyses.

There are three versions of the Ethical Issues Curricula:

  1. Half-Day;

  2. Two-Hour; and,

  3. 60/90 Minute Workshops.

Overall objectives for the curricula include:

  • Learn a model for ethical decision-making; 

  • Learn how to analyze complex HIV cases in terms of five foundational ethical principles in conjunction with professional ethics codes; 

  • See how the ethical decision making model applies to a case study (60/90 Minute and Two-Hour versions); and, 

  • Apply the ethical decision making model to an HIV mental health case study (Half-Day version).

Training delivery of the Ethical Issues and HIV/AIDS Curricula can only be conducted by a certified HOPE Program trainer and is not available online. For more information regarding the curricula, and to locate a trainer, please contact HOPE Program staff.   

Short Term Evidence Based Counseling Intervention Tools for People Living With or at High Risk for HIV (coming soon)

These curricula, developed specifically for mental health clinicians, will provide evidence based counseling intervention tools for teaching clients living with or at high risk for HIV skills necessary to maintain their health, reduce HIV and STD transmission, and improve their quality of life. The tools presented during this HOPE sponsored training have proven to be effective in one-on-one counseling sessions and can easily be adapted and integrated into clinical treatment plans and therapy sessions. Trainings are dynamic and skills-based. They provide opportunities for participants to apply the tools in a systematic integrated way using a clinical case study.

There will be two versions of the curriculum:

  1. 4-hour training; and,

  2. 60-90 minute sessions.

Overall objectives for the curricula include:

  • Explain the theoretical basis for successful application of tools from the evidence based counseling intervention, entitled CLEAR;

  • Describe how to use evidence based counseling tools from CLEAR to more effectively assist clients in coping with the challenges of living with or preventing HIV; and, 

  • Use evidence based tools from CLEAR in a systematic, integrated way to maximize their effectiveness. 

Need Training?

Opportunities for Delivery

HOPE Program trainings are suitable for delivery to diverse audiences including: psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, direct care givers, and others.

These professional level trainings are designed for use in:

  • Local, state, and provincial psychological association conferences;

  • Mental health association meetings; 

  • In-service training for psychiatric facilities, mental health clinics, hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, and juvenile care facilities; 

  • National association conventions;

  • Continuing studies programs for graduate credit;

  • Staff retreats;

  • Graduate courses in psychology, counseling, nursing, and social work;

  • Community health educator training;

  • VA medical centers;

  • Correctional facility staff;

  • School faculty and staff; and,

  • Drug treatment and intervention staff.

Benefits for Training Attendees

The HOPE training program is unique in that it features a variety of learning formats, as well as comprehensive participant handouts, and resource materials. Trainings are individualized to particular attendee needs providing a sound basis for HIV-related mental health practice. Additionally, HOPE trainings offer state-of-the-science information, ideas, and renewal for attendees.

Participants attending HOPE trainings will:

  • Gain relevant knowledge about issues of living with or coping with HIV/AIDS;

  • Evaluate personal issues and attitudes about HIV and people with HIV;

  • Become aware of, and examine psychosocial issues confronting clients;

  • Practice HIV-related psychotherapy, counseling, and case management skills;

  • Identify barriers to effective practice;

  • Increase networking opportunities;

  • Expand awareness of local resources for clients;

  • Obtain tools available to more easily work with clients; and,

  • Address AIDS-related grief, loss, bereavement, and ethics.

Locate a Trainer in Your Area

HOPE trainers are located in 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. HOPE staff will assist you to identify the most appropriate HOPE trainer for your training needs. Email HOPE staff.