The Helping Behavior Motivation in the Context of Everyday and Professional Help



The article analyzes and compares the approaches to the study of helping motivation in everyday situations and in the activities of helping professions specialists. A detailed review of studies of factors affecting the motivation of non-professional help is introduced. The main features of the professional helping activities, which define the specifics of professional help, compared with everyday life situations, are highlighted. Factors, affecting the development of professional motivation, are analyzed and problematized in connection with the specific goals and conditions of professional helping activity. Author views the distortions and difficulties of professional motivation formation, including dis- tortions, which lead to the development of emotional burnout. The conclusion concerning the importance of the professionalization of helping motivation as a condition for successful professional development and prevention of burnout is drawn.

General Information

Keywords: motivation, helping behavior, prosocial behavior, helping motivation, helping profession, professional motivation, professional development, empathy, emotional burnout

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Shermazanyan L.G. The Helping Behavior Motivation in the Context of Everyday and Professional Help. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2015. Vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 257–289. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2015230512. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Lilit G. Shermazanyan, Senior Lecturer, Chair of Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, e-mail:



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