A cornerstone of the peer support movement is the concept of “peers helping peers.” Helping to resolve peer problems and conflicts is an important element of peer support.
Like all of us, peers at the center experience problems and conflicts that are difficult to handle alone. At Perry Wellness Center we encourage peers to offer each other a listening ear, where discussion may be followed by helpful suggestions.
Many peers are now demonstrating true leadership as listeners and problem solvers, as they take the time to listen to other peers’ concerns. Our PWC founder, Stuart Perry, appreciates the value of peer dialogue and support.
“It is great to see an increase in this listening friendship,” Stuart notes. “We regularly read ‘A Lesson from the Geese’ to our peers. This story sums up our team effort on recovery and wellness. A line in that lesson reads, ‘Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone… and quickly gets back into formation.’”
In group sessions, peers often discuss potential problems and possible solutions. Rehearsing the process of problem solving makes real-world practice much easier. Peers learn to be both better observers and listeners as they practice the reality of peers helping peers.
In the photo above, peers demonstrate problem resolution. Brandon Thomas, left, and Javin Baker chat with Rhonda Hubbard, center, in order to discuss problems and brainstorm possible solutions.