The value and effectiveness of peer support is the foundational idea behind Personal Grief Coaching. Shery Mead and her colleagues define peer support as "a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and 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. When people find affiliation with others whom they feel are 'like' them, they feel a connection. This connection, or affiliation, is a deep, holistic understanding based on mutual experience where people are able to 'be' with each other without the constraints of traditional (expert/patient) relationships."
The original source of this quotation is identified by Mead and colleagues [Mead, S., Hilton, D., & Curtis, L. (2001). Peer support: A theoretical perspective. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 25(2): 134-141. Retrieved from www.mhrecovery.org/var/library/file/18-peersupport.pdf (see pp. 6-7)] as “Stiver & Miller, 1998,” but in Mead’s references, the only similar item listed is: Miller, J.B. & Stiver, I. (1997). The healing connection. Boston, MA: Beacon Press (and a search of related topics in that book’s index did not lead to the quoted material).
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