How Helpers Can Help Themselves to Help Others and Themselves - Challenges Of Self-care Concept Application

Gordana Berc, Sanela Šadić, Ozana Kobić


This review paper offers a definition and explanation of the self-care concept as one of the basic ways of developing and nurturing professional and personal capacities and maintaining healthy boundaries between the professional and personal life of helpers. The paper also emphasizes the ethical components of self-care as an imperative for helpers to take care of their own mental and physical health. Challenges for the development and maintenance of skills and conditions for the sustainability of self-care in the helping professions are described and analyzed from the perspective of personal responsibility and the institution’s obligation to ensure healthy working conditions and professional growth and development. Introduction to the self-care concept and comparative analysis is presented through the presentation of various, mostly foreign studies that have monitored the effects of self-care on the overall health of helpers and their professional effects. The paper also describes the adverse consequences of the lack of self-care skills and activities that encourage it. It also emphasizes the negative effects on the health of the helpers and their work potential. In conclusion, guidelines are defined for the development and maintenance of the helper's self-care, important both for his satisfaction in personal life and especially in professional success and self-actualization.


concept of self-help; helping profession; consequences of lack of self-care; guidelines for development and maintenance of self-care

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