Hope Ray, LPC CSAT CHFP CCPS
Hope is a therapist, theoretician and the pioneer of complex partner trauma (CPT), a complete framework that pinpoints the endangerment betrayed partners face when their significant others use abusive deception to hide fidelity violating behavior.
In 2023, Hope established the Betrayal Violence Institute (BVI) which provides definitions and education for mental health clinicians + coaches, medical + legal professionals, faith-based + community organizations, and general society to better understand the conduct and impact of secret infidelity in intimate relationships.
Hope is the creator of Complex Partner Trauma Magazine, a publication for betrayed women and the host of Women Who Discover, a private podcast about infidelity betrayal available on her website along with other programs and resources.
For over a decade, Hope has walked alongside betrayed partners and couples in her intensive-based practice in Michigan. She is a wife and mother of two, a “foodie”, a piano songwriter and a bird lover with aspirations to someday become a falconer.
The Story We Share
I hurled my wedding ring at the wall once - it was in the middle of another half-truth disclosure; one of those back-at-square-one type of fights where I was being worked over to disbelieve the evidence I had right in front of me. I remember the way my body used to shake during those moments of crisis… the rage, trauma and distrust felt too big for my body.
I used to wake up each morning and the first thing I could feel was my shattered heart. A hundred unanswered questions… a thousand fears… unsafe to connect and yet starving to be feel chosen.
I was sinking under the weight of constantly triggered trauma; the panic of another business trip or a beautiful woman at the grocery store just buying food for her family. One April day my reality collapsed in one fell swoop and I experienced clarity that was sharp enough to cut through all the crazy making. I encountered more evidence of the truth that I was restrained from knowing and I lost what felt like my last bit of sanity, strength and hope.
Desecrated Trust, Broken Vows
As my brain and heart calibrated I felt more pain than I had ever experienced in my life - I never signed up for any of it. And even with divorce, the devastation didn’t disappear along with the relationship. The trauma I had sustained (and old wounds that were reopened) still throbbed inside me from the blunt impact of betrayal.
My healing was a clunky journey riddled with setbacks and financial limitations that made it difficult. I often felt stuck and hopeless. The pictures of me from that time will forever portray my misery; sad eyes, worn out heart, and crumpled shoulders.
What came of it all?
My own experience gave me the eyes and ears to understand this pain but it was the many couples and partners I have worked with over the past decade that have given me the full picture.
Throughout my healing process and into today, I have continued to steadily observe and catalog the gaps in the current field of psychology that leave people feeling stuck, misunderstood and under-resourced in the turmoil of betrayal.
Since 2012, my work has been sharply focused on helping psychology and society get this right. We’re long overdue to move away from the archaic approaches that regard secret infidelity betrayal too lightly, too loosely… inaccurately.
Why these definitions matter
The ins and outs of infidelity betrayal haven’t been clearly defined – until now. Clients and clinicians alike are sifting through myriad resources to piece together the right approach to recovery, relationship healing, and trauma resiliency. Those who have been impacted by BV deserve to be accurately understood by the people they pay to help them. There are many excellent clinicians running effective programs out there and yet each method is unique.
I believe that as the mental health realm embraces the language of betrayal violence we will see more consistent therapeutic assessment and application. I'm inspired to think of the possibilities for standardized terminology that can be understood by people in any discipline who may interact with the problem of betrayal violence. The #timetodefine is now.
It’s #timetodefine betrayal violence
The conduct of betrayal violence hasn’t been clearly defined – until now. This language is meant to provide relief and cohesion for clients and clinicians alike. I’ve pioneered this framework to serve as a springboard of unity and clarity in the mental health realm and beyond. It supports clinicians & coaches, medical & legal professionals, clergy & advocates - along with general society. And most of all it’s here to support you.
No matter which side of betrayal you are on, no matter how far into your journey - understanding BV and CPT is invaluable to healing from the past and reclaiming the future with preventative success. My hope is that every person navigating through this traumatic terrain can feel comprehensively seen, understood, and guided to the right next thing.
We’re leading a movement - initiating promising change… The world will catch on as we keep going.
Imagine the possibilities...
Here are the goals of my work:
- Every gynecologist will be able to identify and provide resources for betrayal violence.
- Every pastor, priest, rabbi, bishop, Biblical counselor, etc. will be able to recognize the presence of abuse dynamics in working with couples where betrayal violence is occurring.
- Every court system will understand the prevalence and influence of betrayal violence dynamics for relevant divorce and child custody cases.
- Psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists will be able to assess for and accurately approach complex partner trauma using trauma-informed and response-based methods.
- Every domestic violence resource center will have programming and resources available for betrayal violence.
- Professors and graduate counseling programs will include betrayal violence and complex partner trauma education in their curriculum.
- Certified coaches will be able to detect elements of betrayal violence and complex partner trauma and offer support and education to their clients.
- Advocates will utilize betrayal violence and complex partner trauma language to promote awareness and non-victim-blaming support.
I’m Hope Ray.
I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor leading a movement to clarify and unify the world's understanding of betrayal violence and complex partner trauma.