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Motivations for helping

My Motivations and Concerns for Becoming a Helper: Reflection Paper

By: Madison Spencer Student ID: 6687644 For: D. Dutta Human Services I Conestoga College September 30, 2013

Motivations for helping 2

Introduction Our professor asked us to meet in a park one afternoon to take part in an activity. I did not attend this activity, but I think I know what the purpose of it was, which I will look at later. At different points in a persons life, they might need to access a person in a helping profession for various reasons. It is very important to look at the reasons why there are so many people in a helping role. In this paper I will explore many of my motivations, concerns and I will talk about the impact that these motivations and concerns will have on my work that I do as a professional. Some Motivations Corey and Corey (2011) states that an individual should examine their own reasons why they are choosing a career in the helping field, which will help the individual learn the importance of becoming a helper. They identify many motivations in the chapter. As I read these, I found a few that are relatable to me. First, I believe that I can make an impact in someones life (Corey and Corey, 2011). I believe that the most important thing someone can do in their life is to make an impact on another person. I want to be able to be the person that can support someone as they change who they are and how they view the world. I want to be able to feel the joy of empowering someone and helping them change their life for the better, and I think that being involved in a helping profession can help me do that for someone. I recognize that every client is different, and that some will even come to me not wanting to change themselves for the better. But even having the

Motivations for helping 3 smallest impact on even one persons life will bring me great joy and that will be the most substantial thing that I will take out of a helping profession. A second motivation for me is the need to care for others. At a very young age I was the person in my family who would try and help solve the problems with others members of family (Corey and Corey, 2011). My older sister and I dealt with a lot of issues within our family, and while she tended to shy away from helping solve the problems, I always wanted to try and be the one to start helping and resolve the issue. When I was four years old my parents separated, and my dad moved out. My mom then started a new relationship, which lasted for ten years, with another man. I witnessed a lot of verbal altercations between my mom and her boyfriend, which would always end in tears for only my mom. I would always put my anger towards her boyfriend aside to try and find a way to help my mom recover from the verbal abuse she was constantly suffering from. I would do this by going places with her, or just by simply watching TV with her. The things that I did for her would be different then things I would try and do for a client. I recognize that just because I was a caring child it does not make me a good helper, but I believe that by going through the things in life that I have, I can really care for people who are in need of it. Perhaps the most prominent motivation is the need for self-help. I have struggled with depression and anxiety from the age of 14. As I am only just turning 18 in October I am still learning how to deal with these issues, especially by being out of my comfort zone in a postsecondary school environment. At this very moment I cannot say that I have successfully dealt with my own issues, as it has only been about three years since I was diagnosed. I am still very much a work in progress, trying to find myself. When I finally am able to come to terms with these issues, I believe that by successfully overcoming my problems that I can identify and

Motivations for helping 4 empathize with a client (Corey and Corey, 2011). By being able to identify with these issues I could help clients who come to me with problems regarding depression and anxiety. Concerns That I Have When I think about the common concerns that most people would have in a helping profession I became increasingly worried about the areas where I feel I would have very little to no confidence. I think that one of my most prominent fears is having a client who perceives you in a distorted way (Corey and Corey, 2011). An example of this could be the possibility that some clients might view me as a parental figure. By expressing my want to help a client, they might transfer onto me their own want of me to take care of them like the parent that they never had when they were a child. I know that the person that they want me to be will make me feel very uncomfortable, and I dont think I would be able to deal with that in a very helpful way. Another concern that I have is clients who make unrealistic demands of me (Corey and Corey, 2011). I think that if I had a client who needed to consult me to help make every decision in their life would get to me a bit. If a client demanded of me that I be accessible to them 24 hours a day, or even wanted me to spend more time with them, then it would make me feel a bit uncomfortable, because it is so unreasonable. I would most certainly understand where these demands are coming from, a place of needing to be close to someone, but I think it would take a toll on me emotionally. I would want to do anything I could to help my client, but demands such as these would make me want to let the client know that it is unacceptable to treat me in that way. The final concern that I have, and the most noteworthy one, would be a client who falls in love with me. In class we talked a bit about different types of situations like this that could arise

Motivations for helping 5 in a session. While it was funny to watch others in the class become awkward while acting different situations out, it got me thinking. How would I react if this were to happen to me? It can be very possible for a client to make you the object of their affection (Corey and Corey, 2011). If this were to happen to me, I would feel very uncomfortable being alone with the client. If I had a client who told me that I made them feel better about themselves, and that I was one of the only people who understood them, it would make me feel flattered at first. But if that continued on into them being convinced that we could be together, it would make me doubt my approach to sessions. I would have to think about if my intentions of trying to help are coming across as just that wanting to help someone change. Impact on my work As I write this paper, I really got to thinking about why I decided to take this program. As I explored my main motivations and concerns I realized that my own issues will have a significant impact on not only me, but also my clients. Above I talked a bit about some of the things I went through in my childhood and early teen years. Some of these things can be perceived as struggles, and with those struggles I have taken away knowledge and a need to help. Upon further reflection I have realized that my wanting to help and give advice is indeed very heart-felt. I always want to do my best to listen to someones problems. Having experienced pain and struggle has made me more aware of other peoples struggles and pain, and I want to give advice. But I believe that by telling people of the struggles I might have overcome, that I will come across as overly confident or offensive. I do not want my clients to think that I am a know-it-all and that I can automatically solve their problems.

Motivations for helping 6 Another place I need to look into is my need to care for others. I know that I have a big heart and deep down inside I am a very caring and loving person. The hurt that I still feel when I think about my parents separation will always haunt me, and make me wonder why it all went so wrong. When I think of others who have gone through situations similar to mine, or even worse, makes me want to just take away their pain and comfort them. But I think I have to come to the realization that clients may not be ready for the way that I want to comfort them. They may never be ready for any type of comfort. One of my motivations for becoming a helper, is the need to care for others. If a client who was a child or a young teenager came to me with similar issues I would most definitely want to take the pain that they feel away. As I think about this, I realize that I cannot impose my need to care on my clients. My need to care for others may represent the fact that instead of wanting to deal with my own pain, I feel the need to take on someone elses pain, so that they wont have to suffer for years to come. Finally, I think that I need to try and fix my own problem before I can help others. If I am not on the path to helping myself, it is unlikely that I will be able to help a client resolve their own issues. If I have to engage in work with a client that is dealing with the issues that I dealt with, it will intensify the unresolved feelings that I have. The horrible feelings that I deal with on a day to day basis while having depression and anxiety already make me feel terrible on most days, and I havent even interacted with someone who is going through the same things as me. If I were to have a client who was diagnosed with depression and was maybe feeling suicidal, I think I would react in an overly-emotional way because I have yet to deal with my own issues. I have realized that I need to help myself before I can help others. Conclusion

Motivations for helping 7 As stated above I did not attend the exercise in the park. But I believe that the purpose was to make me think about why I want to help people. This paper forced me to take a look at myself and the reasons why I want to help others. I now know that while I thought my issues were resolved, I truly and whole heartedly need to work on these unresolved issues. I feel like there is so much more for me to learn and excel at before I can help people. I realize that I have not made time for myself a priority in the past few years, and I must do more reflective work so that I can better myself as a person, before I try to better someone else. The work that I want to accomplish in the future must start with helping myself.

Motivations for helping 8 Works Cited Corey, M.S. and Corey, G. (2011). Becoming a Helper (6th ed.). Pacific Grove CA: Brooks/Cole

Grade: 18.5/20