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Experiencing A Door of Hope Peer Facilitator Training: Answering the 'what'

In this post I’m highlighting WHAT we cover during eleven, two-hour, interactive sessions (or three-day, 22 hours training).

On my “Life is Ahead: A Door of Hope Peer Facilitator Training & Coaching” Facebook page (August 11), I answered WHY peer facilitator training is important. The post included 11 reasons why groups led by well-trained facilitators can help members move forward in their healing journey. In these groups, participants:

  1. Decreased their isolation

  2. Developed a sense of community

  3. Found their voice

  4. Received and offered safety, empathy, validation, and support

  5. Shared information and resources

  6. Experienced increased social networks and friendships

  7. Became empowered

  8. Rediscovered hope

  9. Increased self-awareness and gained insights

  10. Learned coping skills

  11. Moved from victim to survivor to one who thrives!

According to an analysis of research literature by the by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, five elements are essential to creating and maintaining a peer-to-peer program that ensures members experience those benefits:

1. Adequate planning and preparation, including identifying needs of the target population and aligning program goals to meet those needs

2. Clearly articulated policies to avoid confusion, especially around role boundaries and confidentiality

3. Systematic screening with defined selection criteria for peer supporters (peer facilitators) such as communication skills, leadership ability, character, previous experience or training, and individuals who can serve as positive role models

4. Leverage benefits from “peer” status, such as experiential learning, social support, leadership, and improved self-confidence

5. Enable continued learning through structured training by providing an atmosphere for peer supporters (peer facilitators) to support each other and improve peer support (peer facilitator) skills.

Meeting or exceeding peer-facilitator training standards is just the beginning of the ADOH training experience.

Providing ongoing peer support and education in a safe online community empowers facilitators and builds confidence while facilitating groups where everyone experiences the benefits described above.

During training we use the ADOH Peer Facilitator Training guidebook as the foundation. Taking a trauma-informed approach, the training combines the partner trauma model and Biblically based principles with the highest peer-facilitator training standards.

Wondering what facilitators DO?

While not comprehensive, the short video explains some of the peer facilitator's role and tasks. During our interactive sessions, we explore what it means to combine a trauma-informed approach, Biblical principles and peer facilitator standards when leading partner groups.

Introduction: Crisis of Faith

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to describe a) the importance of identifying their own or another’s crisis of faith, b) crisis of faith symptoms and c) how to empathetically respond as the peer facilitator.

Module One: The Value of Peer Facilitator Training

Learning Objective: Participants will a) be able to describe how this training is unique to both them and women who become part of their groups, as well as the importance of assessing their readiness to facilitate partner groups, and b) be able to describe what they hope to accomplish as peer facilitators (goals), why (Mission Statement) and how (values).

Module Two: Assessments/Screenings

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to describe why self-assessments/screenings can serve as effective tools for gaining spiritual, emotional, physical and relational self-awareness, as well as the vital role they play in partner groups.

Module Three: Group Dynamics and Stages

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to give a synopsis of the theory of small group development and characteristics of member behaviors during each ‘stage’ and explain why understanding the theory is important to peer facilitators and group members.

Module Four: Peer Facilitator Role and Principles

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to give an overview of the peer facilitator role, particularly as to how it meets the partners complex needs within the small group experience.

Module Five: Essential Facilitator Skills

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to list and describe essential facilitator skills and why they are critical in creating a safe environment.

Module Six: Creating a PSA Group Structure

Learning Objective: Through strategic planning, participants will create a group structure model to ensure members experience safety while participating in Peer Facilitator-led groups.

Module Seven: Confidentiality, Legal Obligations to Report and Referrals

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to describe the importance of creating policies related to confidentiality, legal obligations to report, and referrals to appropriate therapeutic/certified life coach providers.

Module Eight A: Crisis Theory

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to describe the differences between a crisis and trauma, and give an overview of steps that lead to successful resolution of crises.

Module Eight B: Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model (M-PTM®)

Learning Objective: Participants will be able to describe how adopting the Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model (MPT-M®) benefits partners and give an overview of the stages of trauma recovery.

For more information, please visit the ADOH Peer Facilitator page.

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