Intentional Peer Support: Space in Relationships

Providing a safe space in the peer relationship is a refreshing approach toward connecting with another person. Rather than thinking about what you want to say, or trying to read another person’s thoughts, IPS encourages us to think of the relational space between peers as an active, alive space where two people make an effort to listen and respond to each other in a meaningful way.

Characteristics of Peer Supporters

Interpersonal skills are essential for success in peer work. Peer support is centered on forming relationships and engaging individuals in their own pathway to recovery. The following are some characteristics that help peer supporters communicate with others so they feel understood and heard:

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.