What Are Peer Support Group Meetings Like? Peer Support groups are where everyday guys sit around a table and talk about what is going on for them in their lives.
Everyone at the table is a survivor of a similar shared lived experience. We have all been through the same kinds of things, and you can talk about anything.
We talk about how we are feeling and what positive things we plan to do in the future. We can talk about things that aren’t going so well, and no-one is going to criticise you or tell you what to do.
Everyone is known only by their first names and the town they live in, unless you want to share more information. No-one will touch you or get in your personal space, unless you want them to. Some guys don’t want to shake hands, and that’s fine. You won’t get hugged by someone you’ve never met before.
All the meetings have the same format that gives everyone an opportunity to share. This sharing is not an open discussion, each man shares individually. This sharing is an opportunity for each man to share what is important to them.
If you don’t feel like talking, its okay to just hang out and listen to what other people are saying. We don’t talk about the details of the abuse, that is what you do with your counsellor or therapist.
What about counselling? Recovery works best in a combination of counselling, therapy and Peer Support. You can attend support groups for as long as you are getting benefits - some have attended for 20 years!
What is the Format? Peer support groups are regular meetings of up to 10 men who meet to share their experience of recovery from sexual abuse. The groups are facilitated by a peer support workers fully trained in Trauma Intervention and group facilitation. People engage with each other and others for support that is based on mutual learning from their shared (lived) experience; Confidentiality is paramount and there is no expectation to contribute.
When can I join a group ? Each person proceeds at their own pace but generally you will move to group attendance after 8 sessions of individual peer support.
How do I join a group ? You can join a peer support group by talking to one of trained peer support workers. They will help you decide what path forward is best for you: this may be receiving individual peer support or joining a group.
Click HEREto learn more about how you can meet a Peer Support Worker and maybe join a Peer Support Group and what the process would be like.