Peer-Based, Self-Help. These are not just nifty words or an overused slogan, but are the foundational pillars upon which we base who we are and what we do as a DBT Peer Facilitated Support Group. Let’s start with some definitions. Peer-Based. Webster’s first definition of PEER is: one that is of equal standing with another.” In the DBT context, a peer is a person wishing to learn (or master) and practice DBT Skills side by side with another person wishing to learn (or master) and practice DBT Skills. Another distinction of peer is that we are not professionals — physicians and other mental health providers. Peers are not those providing treatment. If degreed or credentialed mental health professionals participate in our DBT group, they always must do so as peers --
So then, peer-based simply means that everything we do, we do as a peer. Facilitating support groups, and supporting other member are all done from the perspective and within the context of a peer.
DBT Support Group Facilitation *Peer-Based Self-Help* fa·cil·i·ta·tion (f -s l -t sh n) n. The act of assisting or making easier the progress or improvement of something Question: What is DBT support group facilitation? Answer: The simple task of empathetically guiding peers in a healthy, confidential, and purposeful discussion that strives to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders. We are here to assist, encourage and enable each other in helping ourselves
Self-Help. Simply, helping oneself. We tend to say that we are here to help each other. To be more accurate, we are here to assist, encourage and enable each other in helping ourselves.
Here are some important distinctions: Our DBT group is not professional help. We are not degreed or credentialed professionals, and do not diagnose or provide treatment. We do not do what the professionals do.
DBT groups are SELF-help. Why is self-help an important distinction? Each person’s path to wellness is uniquely their own. Wellness is each individual’s own personal responsibility and as peers, we really cannot guide anyone else to wellness. We can, however, assist, encourage, and enable each other in our own individual pursuit of wellness, and we can choose to make the journey to wellness in the company of others. If we were to put forth a definition of a DBT peer-based, self-help support group it might look something like this: A gathering of peers who assist, encourage and enable each other in helping oneself. Each one follows his or her own unique path to wellness, and chooses to make that journey in the company of others headed in the same direction.