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Celebrating goals

As a former hospice volunteer manager and someone whose family benefited from hospice care, I'm well-aware of the importance and value of peer support in our faith, recovery, mental health, and social service communities. Tamara Runzel described the impact of peer facilitators this way: “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 benefits of peer support and peer facilitators in both the mental health and recovery communities continues growing and its impact has been studied for decades: “Its rapid growth in recent years is for good reason. Research and experience show that peer support specialists have a transformative effect on both individuals and systems. Peer support has been shown to:

  • Improve quality of life

  • Improve engagement and satisfaction with services and supports

  • Improve whole health, including chronic conditions like diabetes

  • Decrease hospitalization and inpatient days, and

  • Reduce the overall cost of services.”

I trusted my professional and ministry background would serve me well while researching fundamental training components for both the workbook and training experience. However, I also recognized I needed further training to address sexual addiction and sexual betrayal trauma from an informed perspective (within a Christian worldview). After receiving my Pastoral Sexual Addiction Specialist (CPSAS) certification through IACSAS (now Christian Sex Addiction Specialists International C-SASI), I completed the Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS) training. Both trainings provided a foundational understanding of problematic sexual behaviors' multidimensional complexities and deepened my understanding of the traumatic stress partners experience. Equally important, the trainings connected me to a broad community of committed, informed, compassionate AND passionate women and men who continuously broaden my commitment to equip, support and walk alongside those seeking to facilitate safe groups where healing and recovery can occur.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

With great joy – and profound gratitude for the support and trust of my fellow C-SASI board members, others from within the APSATS community (ADOH would not exist without Dr. Barbara Steffens support, encouragement and belief in its vision from the beginning) and without question along with those who've completed ADOH peer facilitator training, I celebrate the first six certified ADOH peer facilitators.

To these first six amazing women: I hold so much love and respect for each of you and have absolute confidence in your commitment to serving well those who are part of your groups. And, I remain amazed by and grateful for your trust in me during this part of your life’s journey. “I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

Announcing the next ADOH peer facilitator training opportunity

What others say about the training

“Leading a group (ANY group) takes SKILL. Some of this is natural skill and some can be - and needs to be - learned. This training is comprehensive and covers ALL the major considerations for group facilitation.

Leading a group of TRAUMA survivors is a BIG responsibility and so, getting educated is important to be able to recognise and manage the dynamics and emotions of a group of traumatised women. Cautions: there's A LOT in this course. If you have no previous understanding of trauma, facilitation, and groups, you may find it overwhelming at times.“

Catherine (Cat) Etherington, Head of Recovery, Naked Truth Project, UK

The next two-hour live webinar training experience begins August 28. Trainings will be offered twice on Wednesdays and will meet weekly online (with a break in October and November).

Scheduled dates

  • August 28

  • September 4, 11, 18, 25,

  • October 2, 9, 16, 23

(BREAK – in-person training)

· November 20

(BREAK – Thanksgiving)

  • December 4

Times offered (US, CT)

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

7:00 – 9:00 pm

Interested in learning more about what is covered during the training experience and your next steps? if so: Click here

If you'd like to join the next group, complete the "letter of interest document" as directed, emailing back to me at and we will schedule an appointment to move forward with your application.

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