Peer to peer counseling is the one-on-one interaction amongst peers. In academic settings, it involves students helping other students. The peers help one another as they have gone through similar experiences and faced common problems. It helps them use each other’s experiences to solve issues and gain help.
Along with that students are at an age where they feel at times that they aren’t understood by parents or teachers. The students feel the age gap and hence, are reluctant to follow the advice of the elders. Rather they would listen to fellow students who they believe are going through the same thing. Such peer counselors can play a major pivotal role in the choices the students make. This model helps students take appropriate suggestions from people who they identify the most with.
Students face issues like academic stress and pressure, relationship issues, career choices, substance abuse, and many more. During these issues, they might find it difficult to talk to parents, friends, or teachers. At this point, they need to talk to someone who isn’t related to them, yet understands them and gives the right advice. At this point, peer counselors are of great help.
Training is given to peer counselors. This is to be done so that proper restrictions are set, and the interaction remains confidential. Overstepping of boundaries will lead to discomfort and the purpose of this counseling is lost.
Peer counselors essentially need to be good listeners. They must listen to and understand whatever the fellow student needs help with. They must also have problem-solving skills and be solution-oriented. To be good counselors they must not overstep the boundaries set. Also, they mustn’t gossip about the problems and keep everything known to them confidential.
Becoming a peer counselor also helps you a lot. Peer counseling can teach you important skills like problem-solving, empathy, leadership skills, and can also be included in the volunteer experience. Peer counselors must be interested in helping others the most!
Become a peer counselor today and help your fellow students!