Denise J Larsen

Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept
Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Education - Deans Office


Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept
(780) 492-5897
6-123E Education Centre - North
8730 - 112 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G5

Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Education - Deans Office



My primary research interest is in the study of hope as it relates to counselling psychology and educational practices. I co-ead Hope Studies Central, a research unit with a 31 year history in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. I am a Registered Psychologist and former elementary classroom teacher. My research focuses on the role of hope along with its effective use and benefits in various contexts including in individual, group, couples, career, and peer counselling contexts. I also research the intentional and explicit use of hope in classroom contexts, exploring experiences of hope, its roles, and potential benefits with children/youth and educators. I take an integrationist theoretical approach to research and have employed many different qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methodologies.

Over the past 21 years I have enjoyed various collaborative projects with colleagues and with graduate students both at the University of Alberta and around the world. I publish regularly and am delighted to see graduates and postoctoral fellows now holding academic positions in universities as well as working in diverse educational and counselling/clinical contexts. Unfortunately, I am not taking on any new graduate students for the 2024-2025 academic year. For prospective students interesting in studying hope in applied contexts, you might reach out to my co-director at Hope Studies, Dr. Rebecca Hudson Breen.

Keywords: hope, counselling psychology, school, eductaion, health psychology

Featured Publications

Hope processes in therapy

Larsen, D., Hudson Breen, R., Murdoch, K., & Hobbs, C.

Oxford Compendium of Hope. 2022 February; S. vanden Heuvel and A. Scioli (Eds.).

Imbuing occupations with spiritual significance increases hope

Redlich-Amirav, D., Larsen, D., & Taylor, L.

OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health. 2021 January;

The school-to-work transition for emerging adults formerly in care: Activating hope in support of effective transitions and positive futures

King, R., Arsenault, C., & Larsen, D.

Oxford University Press. 2021 January; Handbook of Young Adulthood

The Effectiveness of the Strength, Hope and Resourcefulness Program for People with Parkinsons (SHARP-PWP): A Mixed Methods Study

Murdoch, K., Larsen, D., Howell, A., Joyce, A., Edey, W., Arsenault, C., Sandham, T., Miyasaki, J.

Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2020 January; 70

Development and validation of the Multidimensional hope in counselling and psychotherapy scale

Larsen, Denise J.; Whelton, William J.; Rogers, Todd; McElheran, Jesse; Herth, Kaye; Tremblay, Jake; Green, Jill; Dushinski, Karen; Schalk, Kyle; Chamodraka, Martha; Domene, Jose

Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. 2020 January;

Larsen, D., Stege, R., King, R., Egeli, N.

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. 2018 January;

Experiences of hope for youth workers engaging at-risk and street involved young people

Murdoch, K., and Larsen, D.

Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy. 2018 January;

Experience of hope in an arts-based hope activity for individuals with chronic pain

Larsen, D., Stege, R., King, R., & Egeli, N.

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling.. 2018 January;

Edey, W., King, R., Stege, R., & Larsen, D.

Journal for Specialists in Group Work. 2016 January; 10.1080/01933922.2016.1146378

Howell, A., Jacobson, R., & Larsen, D.

The Counseling Psychologist (Special Issue on Positive Psychology). 2015 January;

Howell, A., & Larsen, D.

SpringerBriefs. 2015 January;

Down in the endlessly falling snow: Canadian healthcare professionals' expeirence of compassion fatigue

Austin, W., Brintnell, B., Goble, E., Kagan, L., Kreitzer, L., Larsen, E., & Leire, B.

Wilfred Laurier University Press. 2013 January;

Larsen, D., & Stege, R.

Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. 2010 January; 20 (3):271-292

Larsen, D., Flesaker, K., & Stege, R.

International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 2008 January; 7 (1):18-37

Larsen, D.J., Edey, W., & LeMay, L.

Counselling Psychology Quarterly. 2007 January; 20 (4):401-416

‘I am a puzzle’: Adolescence as reflected in self-metaphors

Larsen, D., & Larsen, J.

Canadian Journal of Counselling. 2005 January;