The dire need for Peer Counseling: The pressure on teens and young people these days is nothing short of staggering. From enforced social distancing and isolation due to COVID-19 restrictions to the ever-present role of social media, it can be a worrying and difficult time as our kids develop and grow into adults.
As parents we often wonder how we can help support our teens – loving them and being there to support them should be enough but sometimes they need more.
While many parents of teens seek help for specific problems they are experiencing through child counseling services, there is an alternative that you might want to consider which offers a very different approach – peer counseling.
What is peer counseling?
Peer counselors are people who have exceptional emotional intelligence and empathy – they are hired and trained specifically because of these qualities. They are there to listen to your child to offer their perspective and tell you their story in order to help them deal with whatever is on their minds.
Many peer counselors have young or teenage kids and so have deep experience of the types of situations that can arise. Other peer counselors are young adults in their 20’s and can relate more directly. Everyone’s child is different and special in their own way, but listening to the experiences of people who have gone through certain situations before can be hugely helpful when trying to navigate the best way to help someone who is struggling.
The benefits of peer counseling
Peer Counselors gain skills in active listening and problem solving that can be applied to many real-life situations. They also receive the good feeling of helping others, while interacting with other peer counselors. This service can also be used as a reference for employers and graduate schools.
Being part of such a group or a one-on-one peer counseling session can benefit you in numerous ways. You get direct advice. Whether you need guidance with a specific issue you are experiencing at work or need advice on how to lead a better life, counseling offers direct advice from people who have been there. What sets this type of counseling apart is the fact that the facilitators or peer mentors are people who have had similar experiences.
The client is able to learn through other people’s experiences. When you decide to go for counseling, you will probably be placed with a peer counselor who has been where you are and have seen what you have seen and worked to recover from it. Being in the company of someone who has overcome the thing that stresses you serve as a reminder that you can find healing and recover from it.
How peer counseling can help your teen
A peer counselor doesn’t diagnose mental health conditions, they are there to listen to your child, share their perspective and experience and help equip them with tools and techniques to make their lives easier.
Being able to share the burden of your responsibilities with a kind, empathetic peer counselor can be enormously helpful.
Places like Peer Collective allow you to choose peer counselors who best suit your child’s needs. You can choose by gender, identity, sexuality, ethnicity and look at the type of background that each individual has so that you can find someone who will be really able to help them.
One of the great things about this kind of counseling is that it costs much less than therapy. A licensed therapist will cost upwards of $150/hr whereas a peer counselor costs $28/hr – and your first 60 minutes at Peer Collective is 100% free.
Why peer counseling might be right for your teen
Peer counseling doesn’t necessarily replace therapy or professional counseling services – but it does provide immediate access to a safe, objective space for you and your child to share problems and issues with someone who is trained to listen and help.
At Peer Collective we have lots of clients who are teens, and also parents of teens. They check in with our counselors about everyday stuff as well as serious mental health issues. Our peer counselors are prepared for all of it.
Please visit Peer Collective today for an affordable, accessible alternative to child counseling services.