Helping and Human
ROBERT R. CARKHUFF
Robert R. Carkhuff, Ph.D., a social
scientist, who developed “The Science of Human Generativity”
When adults have reached full maturity,
they can communicate fully, they have satisfied their needs
for fullness in all aspects of life and become full persons.
They are now prepared to help others to
achieve their own levels of wholeness.
They will become the models and the agents
for the growth of others.
They will create new life through their
The cycle of life continues.
Helping is a process leading to new behavior for the
person being helped .
An effective helper is initially nourishing or responsive.
This nourishment prepares the person being
helped for the more directionful or initiative behavior of
Children as they become capable of both nourishing
and directionful behavior.
They can act constructively in the lives of their own and
Persons who are fully alive help other persons to become
Responsive and initiative behaviours are the basic
dimensions of helping and development.
Potentially all relationships are helping relationships.
It depends upon the helping skills one has, the effects of
skills depend upon how we sequence them.
Thus helping in real sense is a
- Helpers who are fully responsive and fully initiative teach
their helpees to be fully responsive and fully initiative.
Human Relationships may be facilitative or
retarding effects. e.g a marriage.
Consequences may be constructive or
destructive, may produce persons and non persons; health
care provider-patient; employee-employer etc.
The effects may be positive or negative or
any of the degrees in between these extremes.
Power and human
Responsiveness is the basic ingredient of human relations,
which involves empathy.
Responsive skills involve experiencing another’s
condition and communicating to her own experience.
i. Helping Sources
- There are two approaches to effective helping -insight and
ii. Helping Process
In order to demonstrate gain in behaviour, the helpees must act
differently from the way they did before.
exploration----self understanding--------real understanding
Understanding-----------modification of action (effective
iii. Helper Skills
- accurate empathy
- respect and genuineness.
- specificity or concreteness
- self disclosure
- confrontation and
- responsive dimensions (empathy, respect, specificity of
- initiative dimensions (genuineness, self disclosure,
confrontation, immediacy and concreteness
iv. Helpee Outcomes
- the emotional changes or gains of he helpee's
- outcome assessments measured the changes in the helpee’s
level of emotional insights
- dimension of physical functioning to measure fitness and
- intellectual dimension to measure the intellectual
achievement and capabilities.
Carkhuff and Berenson(1967) described five levels of
- The dimensions are empathy, respect or regard, genuineness,
- First: no empathy is taking place( no
evidence of the helper characteristic)
- Second: Empathizing very little and at a
level that detracts from helpee functioning(10% of time)
- Third: minimum level of feeling response
necessary to be efective(50% of time)
- Fourth and fifth: Higher levels of helper
empathy(4th – 75%; 5th – consistently present)
The responsive and initiative factors of helping
- Attending : “Being
attentive to to the helpee”
- Responding: Responding to the helpee’ s
expression of her experience.
- Personalizing: “To enable the helpee to
understand where she is in relation to where she wants or
needs to be”,
- Initiating: ”Finding direction in life or
acting in following the direction, bringing direction to
culmination – giving life meaning in productivity and
There are eight stages contained in the two basic phases of
the helping process.
Phase 1: Building relationships:
Entry: preparing the helpee and opening relationship
Clarification: state the problem or concern and reasons for
Structure: formulating the contract and the structure
Relationship: building the helping relationship
Phase 2: Facilitating
problems, formulating goals, planning strategies, gathering
facts, expressing deeper feelings, learning new skills.
alternatives, working through feelings, practicing new
Planning: developing a
plan of action using strategies to resolve conflicts,
reducing painful feelings, and consolidating and
generalizing new skills or behaviours to continue
outcomes and terminating the relationship.
i. Listening skills
- Attending – noting verbal and nonverbal
- Paraphrasing – responding to basic
- Clarifying – self disclosing and focusing
- Perception checking – determining accuracy
ii. Leading Skills
- Indirect leading – getting started
- Direct leading – encouraging and
- Focusing – controlling confusion,
diffusion and vagueness
- Questioning – conducting open and closed
iii. Reflecting skills
- Reflecting feeling – responding to feelings
- Reflecting experience – responding to toal experience
- Reflecting content – repeating ideas in fresh words or for
iv. Confronting skills:
- Recognising feelings in oneself – being aware of helper
- Describing and sharing feelings – modeling feeling
- Feeding back opinions – reacting honestly to helpee
v. Interpreting skills
- INTERPRETIVE QUESTIONS – FACILITATING AWARENESS
- FANTASY AND METAPHOR- SYMBOLIZING IDEAS AND FEELINGS
vi. Informing skills
- Advising – giving suggestions and opinions based on
- Informing- giving valid information based on expertise
vii. Summarising Skills
- Our task in life is to improve the quantity and quality of
human experience, our own as well as others which is growth.
- Life is process, is growth and growth is learning skills.
When we use the helping skills effectively, we can be healthy
and we can help each other to actualize our human potential.
The only meaning to life is to grow for growing is life.
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