Intentional Peer Support Week 1

May 13, 2016

He has shown you, O [wo]man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

When I give a tour of the place where I work, I tell people that every staff has taken a training called Intentional Peer Support.  So now we are actually having the training.  It had been a while since the last time.  I'm really enjoying it.  Sometimes the videos we watch or the topics we talk about are a little intense but in the end, the premise is simple - to learn how to better intentionally support our peers.  I thought I would share my notes, just like I did for the DBT class.  This is the first week out of two.  (Unfortunately, I lost my notes from the first night of training. I am heartbroken.]

 Peer support is all about having a connection.  When a person has a connection but also has an issue with someone, they can express themselves by saying, "I see, I feel, I need..."  When using this formula, do not say, "I feel like," or "I need for."
 When Listening To Peers:

  • Remember LOVE - Listen, Ask Open Ended Questions, Validate, Empathize
  • Listen from a position of not knowing - Approach each call as if it is the first time speaking with the caller.
  • It's not about our perception - It's about their reality.
  • Listen for the person's own worldview - to each person, what they are saying makes sense.
  • Don't ask "why" but think of Grease: "Tell me more..."
  • Find comfort in the discomfort - it is not our job to fill up space or to entertain.
  • Have no agenda - Our job is not to fix people but to walk with them in their journey.

In the scripture, it states that we are to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God, well, I see God in other people.  Our job is not to fix or tell people what to do - they can all listen to their inner God and decipher it for themselves.  We are simply here to walk with each other on our journeys to something better.  We are called to empathize, to validate, to be merciful and to love.    Let us remember that no matter who you moving with - we are all in this together.


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