What is a Peer Counselor?
Peer Counseling is defined as counseling with two parties of the same training and expertise, but it is much more than that.
What are the benefits of Peer Counseling?
In a peer counseling setting one often finds the following key benefits:
- You hear it as it is.
- You share a common background and/or experience.
- You have access to support not bound by clinical hours.
- You learn to look at your shared circumstance through the lens of another.
- You develop strategies for increased work performance or job attainment.
- You learn how to interact with and gain more support from your family and friends.
- You feel safe sharing because the other party shares your same experience and language.
- You find opportunity to Peer Counsel on your own as a way to give back.
What Makes Peer Counseling Unique?
Peer Counselors share an awareness of what they have in common with those they counsel and what makes them act or function differently. Often, peer counselors are pre-practice clinicians studying in graduate programs or have other advanced skillsets that make them uniquely apt at facilitating a counseling session. By understanding environment, experience, values, morals, interests, and related traumas, a peer counselor can help others find resolve to pressing issues or guide them toward more rewarding and sustainable behaviors.
Although not licensed practitioners, Peer Counselors often help others reframe situations into more positive actions, learn leading techniques, such as mindfullness, meditation, and relaxation, and explore opportunity cost values that reshape perspectives. More so, however, Peer Counselors serve as a safe place and open mind for one of similar background or trauma to verbalize and process thoughts and feelings without the stigma or professional consequence of seeking help.
Will Peer Counseling Work for Me?
One of the largest complaints we hear at Inside the Wire is that counselors, whether private or VA-provided, are not veterans or do not share the same experiences. Our Peer Counseling services are led by veterans for veterans and offer all the benefits above as long as you walk in with an open mind and know at times it will not always be easy. Peer Counseling is also a wonderful gateway into Life Coaching Services or other services offered by Inside the Wire.