Helper theory

Helper theory or the helper therapy principle is a model, first described in 1965 by Frank Reissman, attempting to explain the therapeutic effect for both people in a "helper" and "helpee" relationship within self-help/mutual-aid support groups.cite journal | last = Reissman | first = Frank | title = The 'helper' therapy principle | journal = Social Work | volume = 10 | issue = 2 | pages = 27–32 | url = | issn =0037-8046] According to the model, in the process of helping another member, the helper gains an increased sense self-efficacy making the relationship mutually beneficial.cite journal | last = Roberts | first = L. | title = Giving and receiving help: Interpersonal transactions in mutual-help meetings and psychosocial adjustment of members | year = 1999 | journal = American Journal of Community Psychology | volume = 27 | issue = 6 | pages = 841–868 | pmid = 10723537 | doi = 10.1023/A:1022214710054 | issn = 1573-2770] Members in a self-help/mutual-aid group found that being in both helper and helpee rolls correlated positively with their psychological wellbeing and perceived benefit of the group. Such members had a greater sense of well-being and a more favorable opinion of the group than members who were helpees only.cite journal | last = Maton | first = K | year = 1988 | month = February | title = Social support, organization characteristics, psychological wellbeing and group appraisal in three self-help populations | journal = American Journal of Community Psychology | volume = 16 | issue = 1 | pages = 53–77 | issn = 1573-2770 | doi = 10.1007/BF00906072]


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