Background. The functionability of the social worker, their professional competencies and the quality of interpersonal contact with the client create the background for analyzing the helping relationships as a main factor of efficacy of psychological help.
The Objective of this paper is to analyze the phenomenon of «helping relationships» in social work. The phenomenon of “helping” lies in the basis of helping relationships. “Helping” means finding a joint solution of certain problem of the client and the development of their social competencies. Client requests are given in brief, they include the provision of certain services and support/guidance in difficult life situations. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of the pioneering works in the field of helping relationships, e.g. F.Biestek, H.Perlman, R.Weiss, etc. Helping relationships are viewed through the categories of communication, interaction, working alliance, form, connection. The key components of a helping relationship are reciprocity, feelings, knowledge, reality, interest, goals, impartiality, ability to offer something new and facilitation. Helping relationships are always associated with changes in both the social worker and their client. Helping relationship in the practice of social work developed for a specific purpose and terminate when the goal is achieved. Helping relationship differ from other types of interpersonal relationships. Care for the client system, expectations, empathy and clear communication, authenticity of experiences and acceptance, authority are important factors in the development of helping relationship. The main stages of helping relationship in the practice of social work are considered: the initial stage, research and evaluation, problem solving and completion.
Research Results. Despite a significant role that helping relationship plays in social work, there are still the issues that require further study, e.g. distinction of helping relationship and therapeutic relationship, expert competence, capablity of building mutual assistance and describing the quality of mutual assistance.
Conclusion. Helping relationship is a long-term relation within the framework of professionally assigned roles and statuses related to the support and assistance to a person in their development and social adjustment, incentivizing individual changes and preserving or restoring their psychological and social well-being. Building and developing mutual assistance is possible only within the relatuins based on empathic understanding, respect, positive feedback, authenticity, congruence, immediacy and warm feelings towards the client.
The paper presents the results of a study of social support for young males and females, and also its relationship with tolerance of uncertainty. A series of psychodiagnostic tools were used to study gender determinants of social support, tolerance of uncertainty and interpersonal intolerance in young people with different levels of emotional and instrumental support. Young males and females aged 18–22 years with a high level of tolerance of uncertainty are susceptible to various forms of social support. The ability to accept uncertainty, to function in the system of unclear interpersonal communication and to act in the face of changing circumstances determine the level of satisfaction with social support in the participants. The research (N=165) confirmed the assumption that first and foremost social support as a communicative phenomenon has differences in the perception of emotional forms in young males and females. Secondly, the specific features of person functioning in the social supporting act system are interrelated, including the level of tolerance of uncertainty. Thirdly, social support can reduce human state of uncertainty and eventually neutralize the negative impact of stressful events. The human ability to «see and discover» the social support, be sensitive and attentive to the supporting acts of social environment has a close relationship with the ability to accept uncertainty and maintain stability in a state of discomfort if any.