Course Content
This session will introduce students to the course and through the use of exercises promote general discussion encouraging the students to begin to get to know each other. The session will cover confidentiality, participation, commitment and a general overview of the course. 
What is Recovery?
The aim of this session is to explore the development of the recovery approach in mental health and to examine key concepts in recovery and a range of factors that support recovery.
Personal Recovery
The aim of this session is to explore personal experience of mental health problems and recovery and consider how the key concepts and factors supporting recovery (covered in session 2) have impacted on your own story of recovery.
What is Peer Support?
Now that we have been introduced to recovery characteristics and developed an understanding of the things that can help and hinder that process, we are going to consider the role the role of peer support in more detail. Firstly, we will examine what we mean by a peer and we will then go on to consider the relationship between peer support and recovery.
The Peer Relationship
In this session we will examine in more detail the processes and practices of establishing peer relationships. We will build on our earlier learning about the role of mutuality and empowerment in peer relationships. There will be a focus on issues of power, choice and control in peer relationships.
Review and Evaluation
The aim of this session is to give candidates the opportunity to reflect on learning to date; provide support and feedback on the assessment task and to review the content to date. The first assessment task is a written assignment in essay format where students consider their personal recovery story in relation to the recovery approach and the role of peer support.
Use of Language and Communications
As peer supporters, the language we use and how we communicate are key to building good connections with the people we are supporting. This session will focus on how we use the language of recovery and our wider communication skills in the peer relationship. The language of recovery is designed to bring out the strengths and abilities of those in recovery. The aim of this session is to introduce candidates to elements of effective communication, including verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening and the use of recovery language, and to enable them to use these to foster an effective peer support relationship.
Using Your Experiences Effectively
One of the most effective ways to explain recovery to others is by people sharing their experiences. It brings to life the reality of recovery. This session builds on previous learning to enable peer supporters to develop their skills and experience in sharing their experiences in ways that are helpful. This sharing is often described as intentional.
Surviving and Thriving
The aim of this session is to look at approaches to working with people which focus on their strengths and capabilities and on building resilience. This will include examining the ways in which strengths based approach might validate and reframe experience and how it uses role modelling and hope to help individuals build resilience. Strengths based approaches are at the heart of peer support practice.
Positive Risk Taking and Boundaries
The aim of this session is to examine the implications of formalised peer support, encouraging students to examine the related concepts of boundaries, role tension and working with risk. The session will introduce the concept of positive risk taking and the approaches that can be used to help in this process. This will include examining the balance between risk and responsibility in the peer relationship. As part of this, students will deal with the difficult topics of trauma, suicidality and risk.
Review and Evaluation
The aim of this session is to give candidates time to review and evaluate the course and their experience of it, and to finish off any outstanding work. it is an opportunity to reflect on learning, discuss experiences and discuss the final assignment.
Useful Resources
Peer Support Training
About Lesson

Evidence requirements


Details of specific evidence that is required for a Unit in this course in order for a candidate to meet the Outcomes.


Learning outcomes


Learning outcomes are statements that describe what a student will be able to do as a result of the learning.


Mental health problems


This term includes experiences and symptoms that can interfere with emotional, cognitive or social function. Examples include more commonly diagnosed mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and, those which may be longer term such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. We recognise that mental health problems and their description can be contested. We have used the descriptions ‘mental health problems’, and at times ‘mental health issues’, as we believe they best reflect the intent of this course.


Peer support


Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key  principles of respect, shared responsibility, and a mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain… where people are able to “be” with each other without the constraints of traditional (expert/ patient) relationships. Mead, Hilton & Curtis, Peer Support: A Theoretical Approach, (2001:6)


Peer support worker


People with experience of mental health problems, who are trained to work in support of other people’s recovery. Peer Support Workers can be described as modelling recovery, offering a lived example of the possibility of progression and growth.


Portfolio of evidence


An assignment in which you give an account of work you have undertaken based on real work practice in which you identify and explain the knowledge used through the use of reference to reading and research.




Psychodrama is an action method, often used as a psychotherapy in which people use dogmatisation, role play and self-presentation to explore and gain insight into their lives.


British Psychodrama Association, What is Psychodrama? [online]. Available at:


In Peer2Peer psychodrama is used as a learning method to enable you to experience and gain insight into peer support practice. This is done through a series of role plays which provide an opportunity for you to practice and reflect in the learning environment.




Recovery is being able to live a meaningful and satisfying life, as defined by each person, in the presence or absence of symptoms. It is about having control over and input into your own life. Each individual’s recovery, like his or her experience of the mental health problems orillness, is a unique and deeply personal process. 




The person undertaking this course.


Video therapy


Video therapy consists of filming and then viewing psychodrama sessions. This provides clear, realistic, present-moment feedback to participants to enable them to insight and understanding feelings and dimensions of themselves otherwise hard to access.


Vocational training


Education and training which aims to equip people with knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences required in particular occupations or more broadly on the labour market.

Exercise Files
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