Can peer counselors be affected by their work? | #PTSDchat
PTSD Therapies & Therapists

Can peer counselors be affected by their work?

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Friday, July 21, 1715

A toll can be taken on by a peer counselor and this is due to the fact that peer counselors are walking in their own storms as well!

Maybe this makes them a better match for some of the conversations that take place regarding PTSI(D) and other emotional issues, but it has a negative tone to its activity due to co-issues.

I have heard far too many motivational speeches, they never work for me, because I am a person who likes to get his hands in the dirt, and have to towel off the sweat from my face as I do the work! Getting into the PTSI(D) healing mode will require work and a lot of it!  When I speak to a person on a personal level on the subject, I ask a few questions. Some have answers some do not. This is humanity being humanity, not a disordered individual who needs to be dragged into an even less than comfortable self-existence!

I will ask: “why do you want to feel better than you do right now?” I mean even asking the same questions to someone else that I ask to myself, I have found to be a great help to my own trio through this forest of emotional confusion, so I make sure that the only notes I bring into the discussion, are the ones that I have used to ask myself the deeper questions of my issues.


The question above has been answered in so many different ways that it almost defies any logic. So guess what? I don’t use logic in an effort to explore the reasons for my digression into emotional difference!


I am harder on myself, that I could ever be on anyone else, and this is because I cannot truly know how they will react to what I say to them on an inner basis, where I DO know me! I have called myself a coward for not trying to rid myself of depression when I didn’t even know that that was the problem that I was having at the time! But I can’t use this approach toward another person, it would be like an attack.


Peer counselors have to keep on the track as well as those they are trying to help, but what does this person do on the days when his or her emotions are in a state of chaos and causing them more confusion than which they would like to deal? Who catches them in the safety net when they feel that they are falling? “Who gives a damn about me?” needs to be answered for the person who is a peer counselor as well!


As a person who is in deep depression and carrying the junk and the bullsh*t of a lifetime’s worth of input; should I believe that I am the best person to sit in and listen to the problems of someone else? I believe so, yes! Because I, in fact, DO give a damn!


Instantaneously, anyone can make a snap and a wrong assessment of a person’s feelings based upon what has been said, if they are not in the position to see it from that person’s point of view. I know how difficult it is to sit in a chair and have the task in front of myself of having to express my innermost feelings, it’s not easy to deal with, at least in so far as I am concerned, I’m a pretty private person.


I can tell you that often the person with whom I am talking to, will take for granted that it is the mission of the life of the counselor to deal exclusively with the problems of others, while never doing so for themselves, but this is far from truthful as a statement. Peer counselors are in need as much as the persons with whom they deal. Some of them, are in more need, they have just chosen to get the training to help others in their situations as well. It can be a daunting task to repel the onslaught of an unexpected issue that is brought to the forefront, due to something that has just been said that reminds you of an event which is a trigger of your anxieties and fears.


The human element of treatment and therapies cannot be overestimated. Each individual is in a position of need. The peer counselor is in need of being able to believe that he/she is being helpful to their clients, and they are also in the need of feeling that they are being helpful in their own needs in the process. They cannot be expected to be unanswered by the stories they are told, this would be ludicrous as an expectation or as a demand for one to be on the counselor’s side of the desk!


Exercising the judgment to know how far to be pushed is difficult for all of us. A peer counselor may not be aware of his or her falling moving towards the edge, it may be such a subtle trip that they do not even know of the movement, but it can and it does happen.

Life takes dedication to be navigated with a chance of it being done successfully, guarantees don’t come with birth, so, as we age, we experience and we catalog into our minds those instances. I can’t say yes or no, as to when and how it happens. I just know that it does. If not; why are we all on this site, seeking answers?

A peer is someone who occupies a similar position to your own. So it makes sense to assume that they are in a state where they may be in the same needs as your own from time to time; no?

Seeing from a similar if not duplicate point of view. This is how I define a peer in so far as counseling is concerned.

The dictionary says this: a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status.

There are some forms of similar qualities here, but they don’t truly add up to the task of what a peer counselor is and or does, in regard to the relationships he or she performs for the persons with whom they deal.

Try looking at it this way:

Every one of us is a peer counselor here! We are all in differing levels of developmental injury responses, but still, we all have the ability to understand that a person can be in great pains, and difficulties in living our lives. However, this also makes us experts in the field of peer-instituted therapeutically helpful conversations.


Live for life, not for fear of dying!



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