Researchers studying why people help or don't help have provided the following definitions of helping behaviors and helping relations:
Less formally, I like to think of helping as:
To the general public, whose common usage of terms are found in dictionaries, helping means assisting, facilitating, benefiting, profiting, bringing relief or succor, remedying a matter, correcting or removing an evil, serving or cooperating with others.
To professional helpers, helping takes on other meanings: an act, an attitude, and/or a relationship.
Carkhuff and Anthony (1983) couch the term in the context of individual change and the role of the helper in that change.
Mahoney (1967), looking at helping from a generic helpers' perspective writes about helping as:
Professionals for whom helping is a secondary rather than a primary activity define helping as follows: