When the going gets tough, and the tough gets going, we often find ourselves lost. With just barely existing, barely breathing, the bitter agony hits us hard- we have no one to talk to. Instead, we fear that we have no one to talk to so we shut ourselves out. We lock our rooms. We put on our headphones and sulk into the abyss of despair and overthinking.
Worry not, says a voice. There is someone who is always willing to listen and understand. Even when they don’t understand, their presence is enough to counsel the raging storm in us. Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC used to say, “Your environment, both your social and natural surroundings, can greatly impact how you feel.”
This is where peer counseling comes in. Refusing to seek personal help is pretty normal especially for teens. Hence, they resort to “Talk Therapy” with someone probably dear to them. Here are six facts about peer counseling:
1. Peer Counseling Does Not Mean You Have To Join A “Support Group”
History could attest that people open up to someone they are comfortable with regardless of age or sex. Normally, when we speak of “Peer Counseling,” we regard it as joining a group or something.
In reality, peer counseling may just be talking to your family or friends. Your peer counselor may be people relatively dear to you.
2. Peer Counseling Is A Natural Stress Remedy
What good could it make? For starters, peer counseling eases our anxiety, it assures us that we are never really alone, that someone can actually be there and listen.
Second, the comfort of empathy and relatability talking to our peers gives us a sense of peace, knowing that we all go through hard times and that the world did not pour its pressure just on one single soul.
3. It Is More Than Just Counseling
Peer counseling is more than what most people suggest it to be. It is more than a form of counseling. Peer counseling resonates talk therapy to be one of the simplest forms of healing. It’s a baby step towards being open to the possibility healing. “By building a list of people that you trust, with whom you can talk to in times of need, you allow yourself a strong sense of not being alone.” David Klow, a licensed therapist said.
Moreover, peer counseling is one way of creating a bridge between people, related or not. It breaks the walls that seemed to block an individual from realizing one’s worth through the help of other people.
4. It Takes Courage To Choose Peer Counseling As An Outlet
On the other hand, people think that being counseled by peers may affect their anxiety, without them actually noticing. It’s that subconscious thinking of ‘what if they judge us? What if they don’t fully grasp our situation and they suddenly jump to negative conclusions?’
Deciding to be open for a peer counseling says so much about a person. Actually, realizing that you would want to tell someone about your feelings and worries is already a sign of strength.
5. Peer Counseling Requires Trust More Than Anything
It’s life’s irony to trust and doubt at the same time. Worse, when we open up to someone, we also want to immediately prove our worth. It is a process we have to trust and follow.
The vulnerability of our entire being that we actually sought another person to console us can be so intense that it hurts us more than soothe us. That is why we need to talk to someone whom we trust.
Peer Counseling is like jumping off a cliff, knowing and expecting that down that cliff, there is someone who will understand and who is waiting to catch us.
6. It Does Healing More Than Talking
Honey, listen, it’s okay. We should all go through what we should all go through. That speck of light in our dark room? That’s hope. This is the kind of understanding we get after peer counseling.
Peer Counseling gives people a touch of healing. It opens the idea that after letting all your feelings and worries out, you become a better person. As Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist used to say, “Why talk about your problems including mental health challenges? Just talking about your situation to someone can reduce your stress and help you feel better.”
Letting go of life’s anxieties and pressure will definitely heal you and your soul.