Intentional Peer Support: An Alternative Approach

Eva Dech & Darby Penney

Come explore Intentional Peer Support, a model for thinking about and intentionally inviting powerfully transformative relationships. This workshop is highly interactive and invites conversations throughout. We will describe how Intentional Peer Support can provide non-coercive and healing communities, and will introduce participants to the framework of IPS.

Since IPS does not assume any one path, we will focus particularly close on how relationships can provide opportunities for developing trust, new perspectives, and taking risks to grow. By learning about and practicing the three principles and four tasks, participants will walk away with skills to further explore and develop in their work environments. We will also spend time discussing how IPS is currently being used in peer-run respites, statewide peer support projects, first-break approaches, and other innovative areas. Finally, we will discuss preliminary findings of a current study of Intentional Peer Support, led by a principal investigator with a psychiatric history, studying IPS practiced in peer-run programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe and demonstrate the three principles (From Helping to Learning Together; From a focus on the Individual to Relationship; From Fear to Hope and Possibility) and four tasks of Intentional Peer Support (Establishing Connection, Understanding Worldview, Creating Mutuality, Moving Towards instead of Moving Away)
  • Participants will understand how IPS is different from conventional approaches and how it can be used to generate new ideas and conversations that help both people become unstuck and grow.
  • Participants will understand how they can apply IPS in their work lives and environments.