Self-Reflection on Helping Traits

The science of human development aims to understand and explain human changes over time. The goals of developmental psychology are to describe, explain, and optimize the stage of development. Therefore, human beings have a set of developmental stages that must be attained at some point in their lives. Over the years, I have undergone various changes that have shaped the person I am today. In this journey, several factors came into play and motivated my change and positive outlook toward life. These factors include cultural, biological, and environment. In this essay, I will examine the motivating factors that predispose me to help others. My first helping experience was serving at a local clinic where my duties involved helping in cleaning the facility and talking to the patients during my therapy sessions. The experience replicated an actual experience and this marked my journey of helping others.

I was excited and nervous at the same because I had never attended therapy before or in any counseling relationship. However, I was unsure of what to expect, talk or think about that was worth analyzing. Nevertheless, I was lucky to find a practicing therapist who was patient and provided me with a beneficial and healthy environment to share. At first, I did not have a topic in mind in the first two sessions, but the therapist gave me ample time to find a topic and dwell on it for fifty minutes with guided questions. The session was conducted in a comfortable room with the therapist guiding the direction of the conversation. In particular, I was satisfied with the silence and the space accorded to me when I was speaking. I enjoyed this therapist-patient relationship and this has been my motivating factor to accord others the help I received.

I am a patient person for the most part but have some relapse moments when my inpatients in people take the toll on me which clouds my judgment in that moment of anger. I cannot comprehend a person having the ability to always be patient with others except for notable figures such as Dalai Lama whose principle revolved around tranquility and peace. Yet, I strive to cultivate the same principles of peace and tranquility as most people. However, I have my moment when my patience with people decreases and this leads me to resort to too much-uncontrolled energy or give up entirely. However, what comes me down is the promise that I made to myself to help others to deal with the issues affecting their quality of life. What motivates me is knowing that I am human and prone to failure like everyone else. As such, I strive to be better, do good, and make the environment around me better not just for my sake but for others too.

Many attributes predispose someone to become an effective helper. An effective helper should be someone who is genuinely caring, has a calm demeanor, is a clear thinker, is honest, objective, self-confident, respects others, and have a positive outlook on life. My life experiences have taught me to be humble and to empathize with the plight of others (Lin et al., 2019). Therefore, I have learned over the years to respect the person trying to get help from me, no matter what their values and belief systems. However, as a helper, I learned early how to alienate myself from the differences between me and the person I am helping. This trait has helped me to become an effective helper without taking over the life of my client. As such, it has helped to perceive helping others as a higher calling rather than a favor I am doing to the clients.

Multicultural counseling takes place when a counselor and client are from different ethnic or racial backgrounds. In the United States, there is a significant shift demographically which has made multiculturalism important. The concept of multiculturalism has been referred to as the “the Fourth Force” in helping (Lin et al., 2019). Therefore, I have realized that people from minority groups view the world through a different lens from the counselor, therapists, and psychologists. This calls for the helpers to become sensitive to the challenges and experiences of the people they are helping based on their cultural affiliations. Working with clients from diverse communities, I have become more comfortable helping people deal with their identity issues, drug abuse, family relations, and adjusting to a new life in the United States. Over the years, immigrants are flocking to the United States and most people find it difficult to adjust to life in America. Secondly, most people are battling various addictions chief among them being substance abuse. Drug abuse in the country has become a thorny issue that is being dealt with by multiagencies (Van Wingerden & Van der Stoep, 2018). However, the victims of drug abuse need help to recover rather than be condemned. As such, I would be more comfortable talking with the recovering addicts to prevent relapse. However, I am not a religious person and I am double uncomfortable talking about religious issues with clients. Additionally, being pro-life, abortion is a topic that I try to avoid because I would not like my beliefs and convictions to collide with that of the client I am helping.

Individuals have many identities and at some point, they may be targeted, marginalized, or not privileged. The following are identities that affect my life and my work of helping others. Gender, age, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and social-economic identities have become a target at some point in my life, and this affected the outcome of my work. For example, I was discriminated and threatened because of my religious beliefs which made it difficult to help the person. Additionally, being a slow learner when growing up, resulted in learning difficulties which limited my education. As a result, this has caused me to spend more time in school than my peers. However, I do not feel that my learning disability or education level will impede helping others. Additionally, there are other identities such as race that have given me privileges over others. Race and nationality are important factors, I cannot rule out the privileges that I have enjoyed in this country because of it. Therefore, I have managed to use my past learning disabilities to encourage students passing through the same.

People have different motivation factors that propel them to help others. However, my, main motivation comes from my personal experiences in the past. The help that at one point I got from my therapist prompted me to think hard about what I can do to help others. Society is filled with people with different needs and wants prompted me to do something and put a smile on the lives of people. Therefore, I became a helper because, in the past, someone also helped me at my lowest moment. However, my cultural beliefs at times conflict with those of the people I am helping. To solve such issues, I have learned to differentiate my issues from that of my clients. This way I can help as many people navigate through the personal issues affecting their lives.


Lin, K., Savani, K., & Ilies, R. (2019). Doing good, feeling good? The roles of helping motivation and citizenship pressure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(8), 1020-1035. Web.

Van Wingerden, J., & Van der Stoep, J. (2018). The motivational potential of meaningful work: Relationships with strengths use, work engagement, and performance. PLOS ONE, 13(6), e0197599. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Self-Reflection on Helping Traits." March 19, 2023.