“A Personal Model of Helping” Every day, we learn something new, whether it is about ourselves, our clients, family or friends. Learning is an everyday process of life. We have to learn in order to explore, to teach, but most importantly to help others. We as human service professionals must decide which technique in which we can help others best, then decide what it is about ourselves and our clients that needs the most attention, therefore proper help can be done to improve our client as a person, onto bigger and better things.
By helping others, we are not only rewarding them with great things, but it’s a reward for ourselves knowing we have done something positive for someone else. Depending on what particular skills a person possess, their lifestyle, their background and approach, can all make a difference on how a person helps another person. But most importantly, there has to be a willingness to want to help others, or else the point becomes moot.
Empathy is the projection of one’s own personality into the personality of another in order to understand the person better; ability to share in another’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Moore, L. ) With empathy, a human service professional really isn’t able to relate to a person’s choices or circumstances in which they may be under. Clinicians define empathy as an important factor to establish rapport with their patient or clients. (Moore, L. ) When trying to help a client change, or stray away from their current lifestyle, a human service professional must first try to put themselves in the client’s shoes. Understanding why they did the things they did, for how long, and who else was involved and why.
Empathy can improves patients’ feeling of satisfaction with care, improves pain management and allows them to feel more in control of their own treatment. (Moore, L. ) By carefully assessing each situation, we can get a clearer understanding, and then begin working on proper goals to change. By setting goals before assessing what is wrong, or needs to be changed, chances are the goals will be unrealistic or unnecessary. By staying aware of the real issue and the circumstances around the issue, human service professionals can focus on what really is important and determine the underlying causes and effects.
In life, we will face battles in which we may have little or no control over. Our fate is not guaranteed, nor is it predictable. When a person has control over themselves and their environment, they are more capable of doing better for themselves and their surroundings. When a person lacks control, they allow others to interfere with their own well being. The realistic theory is leading clients toward reality, while grappling the tangible and intangible aspects of the everyday world. (Glasser, W. ) I chose this as my favorite theory, because I think in reality, it is the some simple to use when helping, teaching, and listening to others.
It’s the easiest to learn, and when trying to change something in one’s life, why not try to accept things from a simpler point of view. Our clients are going to be frustrated at times, unreasonable, and have a strong unwillingness to change and accept what it is they may need to change in their lifestyle. Personally, I like this theory because when one is aware of their surroundings, and reality, they are more likely to make real life choices, rather than choices that are unrealistic or relevant. One needs to understand why things happen, and how. That is reality, whether we agree with it or not.
Some things we can’t control, some things we can. But as for the things we may not be able to control, by using the realistic theory, one can still control the final outcome by doing something about the circumstances surround the issue. Meaning, the way we look at situations and the way we react to them can really impact the final outcome. For example, losing a family member can be very difficult for someone to overcome and deal with. However, rather than feeling sorry for yourself and shutting people out, a person can approach the difficult situation differently, affecting the outcome.
We can’t decide when we may lose someone, or how, but we can decide how we are going to deal with the issue and how we will let it affect our life. The control theory, often associated with the realistic theory of helping, states a human is born with five basic needs; belonging, power, fun or enjoyment, autonomy, and survival. (Glasser, W. ) When one tries to help someone, we often are trying to help someone find one or more of these needs. By helping them acquire these needs, we also help them keep these needs within themselves. Human service professionals can be very useful tools when trying to help others with all types of issues.
Helping others can be done in all forms. Helping in this field can be offering guidance or recommendations, finding shelter or jobs, or just being an open ear for people to vent to. There are many different things we can do to help others, but overall if we have done something positive to change or assist in the change for the better of a person, I think we have helped someone. There will constantly be struggles when helping people, especially those who don’t feel they need assistance or are too independent. As our text book states, human behaviors are composed of doing (acting), feeling, and physiology.
When helping our clients, we want them to not only do something, but feel differently about their change as well. We want to help them live productively and constructively in a safe environment. However, we also want our clients to take responsibility for their actions and behaviors. One thing I disagree with this theory is that Glasser assumes that everyone wants to be different. In today’s society, I think many people want to be alike. We see too many people wanting to look like celebrities, or act like a certain group in school, or dress like someone because they think it is the cool thing to do.
I do however agree that negative identities are created when one is unsure of themselves, feels bad about themselves, or do not feel like they have any type of identity at all; meaning they may feel lost. I think this theory can be helpful for all types of people, once they accept what is real, and what is not. Once a person understands that they can’t control everything, yet gain control over themselves, opinions, behavior, and actions; this theory is successful. Those who can’t accept change, reality, and make things too complicated than they really are may not be able to be helped using this approach.
I don’t believe this theory can be used for everyone, or every situation. However, if used properly, it can be extremely helpful. When both sides of the relationship become comfortable with what the actual issue is, why the issue happened or how it was caused, they can then explore how it can be helped or changed. The client has to be aware of their actions and behaviors as well, in order for anyone to help them with the issue. The human service professional serves as an educator; teaching them why things happen, or how they happen. The client must understand this in order to work around and beyond the issue.
If they don’t understand the why or how’s of a situation, they aren’t going to be able to overcome it. The human service professional must be empathetic, yet firm in justifying actions or behaviors. This theory emphasizes that the client must be dominant in making decisions, rather than allowing the professional to do all the thinking and decision making. The professional should never feel afraid or intimidated by their client, as they will then use it to their own advantage. And as in any client relationship, a commitment from both the client and professional should be established.
It becomes pointless to give an effort to help someone, if they aren’t willing to work as well. A few techniques the reality theory focuses on are confrontation, structuring, contracts, instruction, skillful questioning, role playing, support, constructive debate, humor, and assessment. As stated before, professionals will work as educators, as well as a carefully involved support person. At times, a professional may feel themselves becoming too emotionally involved; whether that be being too tough, understanding, warm, or genuine. I don’t think professionals should allow clients to take the easy routes to change, rather work for it.
I think these are all just as important as the others, because without these techniques, advancing or change is inevitable. Although the client must make their own decisions, the professional has to be extremely involved when using this theory to help clients. Personal freedom is very big in this theory. One has to apply these techniques to all situations, and carefully analyze each situation carefully. As time expires, each human service professional is going to learn which helping theory is going to be most successful for them and their role.
After exploring different theories, and knowing my strong opinions on helping people, I feel the realistic theory is the most helpful, and realistic approach. For one to change, they must take responsibility but also understand why things are happening and how. After this is completed, change should become easier, which is best for both the client and professional. We don’t want to make things too complicated, as well as too easy. Change is hard, but if a responsible, committed effort is given, it can happen. REFERENCES Moore, L. (2006). Empathy. ASHA Leader, 11(10), 16. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
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