Basic Helping Process Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Cultures also define significant roles and set up expectations of the behaviors that accompany them. When these role definitions become rigid, they tend to be counterproductive because both individuals and social groups are constantly in the process of change and adaptation to the differences that are part of life (Schein, 2011). For the young child, knowing what is expected can contribute markedly to feelings of security, However, if expectations are too rigid, it can also be inhibiting to growth and lock in the developing individual so that full use of potential for adaptation to change is impossible. Attitudes and behavior develop in response to unconscious needs and drives for protection from pain, preservation of personal integrity, allowance for essential growth, and assistance in dealing with reality (Keith-Lucas, 2010). Coping mechanisms -- denial, projection, regression, fantasy, and so on -- relate to their source of stimulus and may seem inappropriate to the observer. Hence, the helping process is strongly influenced by the desire to be helped.

Problem Defined

This case study involves a 30-year-old Chinese man from Hong Kong (hereafter referred to as Mr. Kong) who is a drug addict, unemployed, abandoned by his family, and sleeps in the streets. Somewhere along the way, Mr. Kong lost his desire to live; perhaps, due to a tragic life occurrence that was difficult to rebound with the necessary support. Clearly, this person needs help to develop a plan for viability and sustainability. However, this is based on if the person desires help and is willing to follow an action plan.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Certain fundamental human needs must be met if we are to survive; the way in which we meet them determines how healthy we are and how we develop and function as total persons. These needs can be considered in two overall categories: the need for security and the need to accommodate the drive toward growth. Five subcategories of needs exists (Saeednia, 2009): Physiological, Safety, Love & Belonging, Esteem, Self-Actualization. A dynamic interrelationship exists in which each type of need is continuously affecting and being affected by the others, and there is no real and complete understanding of what is happening in one area without understanding what is happening in the others.

Physiological, the first category of basic human needs runs the gamut from the material needs to sustain life -- food, clothing, and shelter -- to less concrete needs for loving and being loved, for meaningful association with others, for a milieu that provides acceptance of ideas and feelings regardless of whether they conform to the cultural norms, and for reward for risk. Healthy security provides the firm floor on which individuals can stand with confidence and assurance as they grow.

Six-Stage Model

The Helping Process provides a framework that enables one to structure goals, objectives, and ideas. Insomuch, it is a way of working that can be adapted for use in other areas of one's life such as talking and working through issues. As change agents, the six-stage model serves as a cognitive map that can help establish a good foundation for understanding the different modes of intervening and identifying actionable next steps forward (Mortenove, 2010).

Stage 1: Developing the helping relationship. This includes establishing a genuine relationship based on trust by treating each case and client as unique, suspend critical judgment and the typical "solutions-in-a-box" approach. Listen, learn, respect. The client owns both the problem and the solution, and we are here to join them in their journey.

Stage 2: Helping clients understand the problem situation. Help clients or management assess and clarify their situation within their own frames of reference. Often we can help by identifying patterns, mirror assumptions and provide a new language for "the bigger picture."

Stage 3: Helping clients identify a preferred scenario and establish change goals. This includes developing a range of different scenarios and choosing what goals to pursue. How can we help develop, understand, and communicate the desired end state, benefits and unique drivers internally and externally.

Stage 4: Helping clients plan and take action. Support a highly adaptable and creative approach based on a structured step-by-step plan utilizing well proven methods. Help measure results and gather feedback throughout the project to continuously adjust plans and measures.

Stage 5: Consolidating the change. Find ways of anchoring the changes, reminding, and rewarding the new ways. Here the benefit indicators from the goal setting can be a very useful thing to rigorously track, as well as securing relevant sources of feedback.

Stage 6: Withdrawing from the helping relationship. Ensuring a professional handover and documentation of the journey, the learning, the effect, and the challenges ahead. Ensuring sufficient training and room for reflection.

Pitfalls In The Helping Process

Many, if not most people, welcome and appreciate help...especially in times of deep crises. However, that acceptance can be fraught with problems as well. Should the people receiving the help be very dependent in their personality makeup, the "helping process" tends to become the "enabling process," in which the term "enabling" indicates a basic problem that an individual might have can become exacerbated and, instead of the help working to their advantage, it does the opposite. Some guidelines that can be used to guard against this danger are the following (Bonasera, n.d.):

Helping Makes Us "Good People":

A common perception of helping is that our doing so makes us "good people." What makes us a "good person" is the person or who we are and not necessarily in the role of helping others. Some people believe this to a fault, however. They might even "force" their helping on others who may not really want the help but might accept it in order not to seem ungrateful. What ultimately occurs is a pattern of control being established with the helper in the controlling position. Of course, that is not helping at all but can mistakenly be identified as a good and noble thing.

The Issue Of "Dignity"

One of the most important things to look for in helping others is their sense of dignity. Other words for this concept might be "pride" or "survivor." Many people are too proud to accept help...even when they may need it...because they feel it detracts from their sense of dignity or their feeling of independence. This can be a very important determination to gauge since our "best intentions" might not only fall on "deaf ears" but also become an insult to someone who feels strongly about their being helped by others.

Taking Responsibility:

In a rule him and him order for people to be helped effectively, they must assume full responsibility for the problem-at-hand. Should the "pendulum" swing toward the responsibility being assumed by the helping person, something could be drastically wrong and both the "helper and helpee" need to reassess the process ASAP.

The Helper's Sense Of Gratification:

One of the main incentives that most people want to experience in helping others is the sense of gratification they receive from doing so. However, in order to truly help someone in a manner that his or her personal dignity is maintained, the helper needs to maintain a sense of objectivity. Objectivity allows the helping person to gauge how effective they are in the helping process and whether the people being helped are "truly benefiting" from the help being given. If the helping person tends to place more emphasis on their sense of gratification than on maintaining their objectivity, problems are sure to arise in the process.

Discomfort On The Part Of Those Needing Help:

There is a difference between someone "needing" help and "wanting" help. There are many people whom we might determine "need help" who really do not "want" it. In those cases, our perception of that "need" is not theirs. They might manifest their discomfort by…

Cite This Case Study:

"Basic Helping Process" (2012, February 19) Retrieved January 18, 2018, from

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"Basic Helping Process", 19 February 2012, Accessed.18 January. 2018,