IN THIS SUMMARY
In Helping, Edgar H. Schein draws not only on his career expertise but from personal life experiences to establish a “general theory of helping” that holds true no matter what the social dynamics of the client/ helper relationship. Helping is a fundamental part of life: parents help their children, coaches their players, nurses their patients, managers their subordinates, yet despite its constant presence in daily life, the dynamics of giving and receiving help are poorly understood. When someone asks for help, they are temporarily lowering their own status and transferring status and power to the helper, creating an imbalanced relationship. Building a helping relationship means that the first client/helper interactions must be carefully managed by the helper toward building the client’s status up from their lower position and identifying which helping role to take vis-à-vis the client.