Peer Support: Defining the Peer Relationship

Peer support is a unique and often misunderstood role in the mental health and addiction recovery field. The traditional counselor-client relationship is rooted in a medical model for recovery that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of illness. Doctors, psychiatrists, and other professionals maintain hierarchical relationships with their clients. The professional is an authoritative figure who serves to direct the person’s recovery and the client is an object of treatment.