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WISCONSIN ASSOCIATION OF PEER SPECIALISTS, INC.

A Wisconsin Association of Peer Providers Building Bridges Through Collaborative Communication

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                                       ROLES OF A PEER  PROVIDER                                                                                                                         In service organizations employing Peer Providers, the Peer Provider is being described  as a(n):

 

Outreach worker (identifies and engages hard-to-reach individuals, offer living proof of the transformative power of recovery; makes recovery attractive.

 

•Motivator and cheerleader (exhibits faith in capacity for change, encourages and celebrates recovery achievements; mobilizes internal and external recovery resources; encourages self-advocacy and economic self-sufficiency.)

 

• Ally and confidant (genuinely cares and listens, can be trusted with confidences in matters not affecting safety.)

 

• Truth teller (provides positive feedback on recovery progress)

 

• Role model and mentor (offers his/her life as living proof of the transformative power of recovery; provides state-appropriate recovery education)

 

• Planner (facilitates the transition from a professionally-directed treatment plan to consumer-developed and consumer-directed personal recovery plan)consumer-developed and consumer-directed personal recovery plan)

 

• Problem solver (helps resolve personal and environmental obstacles to recovery) recovery),

 

• Resource broker (links individuals/families to formal and indigenous sources of housing, recovery-conducive employment, health and social services, and recovery support; matches individuals to particular suppot groups/meetings)

 

• Monitor (processes each client's response to professional services and mutualaid, exposure to enhance service/support engagement, reduce attrition, resolve problems in the service/support relationship, and facilitate development of along-term, recovery-based support network; provides periodic face-to-face, telephonic or email-based monitoring of recovery stability and, when needed,

provides early re-intervention and recovery re-initiation services),

 

• Tour guide (introduces newcomers into the local culture of recovery, provides an orientation to recovery roles, rules, rituals, language, and etiquette; opens opportunities for broader community participation),

 

• Advocate (helps individuals and families navigate complex service systems)

 

•Educator (provides each client with normative information about the stages of  recovery; informs professional helpers, the community, and potential service consumers about the prevalence, pathways, and styles of long-term recovery),

 

• Community organizer (helps develop and expand available recoveyr support resources; enhances cooperative relationships between professional service organizations and indigenous recovery support groups; cultivates opportunities for people in recovery to participate in volunteerism and other acts of service to the community),

 

•Lifestyle consultant/guide (assists individuals/families to develop recovery-based rituals of daily living; encourages activities (across religious, spiritual, and secular) frameworks that enhance life meaning and purpose), and

 

• Friend (provides recovery companionship, a social bridge from the culture of illness to the culture of recovery) (White, 2004a).

 

The fact that these functions overlap with other helping roles including that of the

addictions counselor raises the potential for role ambiguity and conflict. Agencies

experimenting with these new roles insist that the Peer Specialist is NOT a:

• sponsor

• therapist/counselor

• nurse/physician or a

• priest/clergy (does not respond to questions of religious doctrine nor proselytize a particular religion/church)

 

Role Boundary Integrity:

 

Role Boundary Integrity:

The Peer Specialist  is NOT a:

A Peer Provider is moving beyond the boundaries of the role if they:

Sponsor (or equivalent)

Perform AA/NA or other mutual aid group service work in the Recovery Coaching role

Guide someone through the steps or principles of a particular 12 step recovery program.

Therapist/counselor

Diagnose

Provide counseling or refer to your support

activities as “counseling” or “therapy”

Focus on problems/“issues”/trauma as opposed to recovery solutions

Nurse/Physician

Suggest or express disagreement with medical diagnoses

Offer medical advice

Make statements about prescribed drugs beyond the boundaries of their training &

experience

Priest/Clergy

Promote a particular religion/church

Interpret religious doctrine

Offer absolution / forgiveness

Provide pastoral counseling

 
(See William L. White, 2006 a,c)