Client's View of a Successful Helping Relationship

David S. Ribner, Cigal Knei-Paz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


This study asked clients from multiproblem families to describe a successful helping relationship. The replies were analyzed using narrative research techniques and results are presented in conceptual categories with illustrative quotations from the interviews. The article offers conclusions about client preferences in the areas of working relationship, work styles, and worker characteristics. The results revealed two general domains of the client-worker relationship: factors that provided a sense of equality in the relationship, for example, love, friendship, and a nonjudgmental stance; and the notion that the helping relationship should parallel more normative contacts and include components such as flexibility, chemistry, luck, and going the extra distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-387
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Helping relationships
  • Israel
  • Social worker-client relationships


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