A peer facilitator helps others work through their problems by offering emotional support as well as guidance regarding different situations. Facilitators can use their life experiences to help relate to others facing similar circumstances. As they help others, peer facilitators also frequently see an increase in their own self-confidence and ability to handle conflict.
Where Peer Facilitators Serve
Peer facilitators are found in schools, social service agencies, faith communities, geographic communities, nursing homes and youth organizations. Other examples of peer facilitator programs include veteran-to-veteran peer facilitators, facilitators in mental health programs and facilitators in the work place. Facilitators may go by other names depending on where they serve. For example, peer facilitators at schools are also called peer counselors. Peer facilitating in church might be known as peer ministry, and peer mediators might be found in the work place.
The Role of Peer Facilitators
Peer facilitators work to identify problems among peers who seek them out. A facilitator in a school environment might help a fellow student adjust to a new school, deal with friendship conflict or work through a boyfriend or girlfriend issue. A facilitator in a veteran program might help another veteran work through emotions associated with their service. Facilitators offer guidance, emotional support and a listening ear. Among young people, this type of support helps reduce conflict, drug and alcohol involvement, and sexually transmitted diseases while helping enhance academic performance and service to others, according to the National Peer Helpers Association's website.
Qualities of a Peer Facilitator
No matter where peer facilitators serve, ideally they possess some similar qualities. Facilitators are genuine, and they have a genuine interest in others. Peer facilitators accept others exactly the way they are. They see everyone's ability to change and recognize positive efforts. Effective peer facilitators are good listeners who are dependable, trustworthy and approachable. They work well with others and might have a desire to give back to others experiencing obstacles similar to ones they've faced.
Most facilitators are trained by peer facilitator coordinators who have undergone training from a national organization. The type and length of training for peer facilitators depend on where they'll serve, but training often includes role play and learning specific skills critical to facilitating. In addition to learning strong listening skills, facilitators will learn decision-making strategies. Depending on the environment, facilitators might also learn about drugs, alcohol and sexually transmitted diseases. Training also focuses on building a high level of trust among facilitators.
Teenagers and the Importance of Friends
Qualities of a Good Role Model
Types Of Ministries
How to Deal With a Teenage Boy That Is ...
Positive Effects of Dating for Teenagers
The Roles of Older Siblings
Laws on Who Can Marry Couples in Texas
Similarities and Differences Between ...
How to Date Someone Who Is Codependent
Types of Social Clubs
Types of Extrinsic Motivation
How to Climb Up the Social Ladder
The Definition of Non-Cognitive Skills
How to Become a Nutritionist in ...
How to Keep Intimacy Alive in a ...
How to Handle a Type A Personality
What Are the Benefits of Self ...
What Is Nurturing in a Relationship?
Youth Mentoring Discussion Topics
Church Retreat Activities
- Taking It Global: National Peer Helpers Association
- Carroll County Public Schools: Peer Facilitating
- PeerNetBC: Qualities of Effective Facilitators
- Vet to Vet: Peer Facilitator Manual
- Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation: Training Program
- The University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center: Peer Counseling Training
Tamara Runzel has been writing parenting, family and relationship articles since 2008. Runzel started in television news, followed by education before deciding to be a stay at home mom. She is now a mom of three and home schools her two oldest children. Runzel holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from University of the Pacific.