What to Expect from Peer Support

Limitations and strengths
Remember that peer supporters are not professionals or therapists and cannot give any medical or psychological advice.
All S.O.A.R. peer supporters are also survivors of childhood sexual abuse. They have completed over 50 hours of peer support training.

How can peer support help?
Your peer supporter offers confidentiality, a good listening ear and a non-judgmental approach.
Through training and personal experiences, your peer supporter understands your difficulties and can provide empathy, guidance, support and access to resources such as reading materials and techniques to help you through stressful times.

What can I expect from the peer support experience?

  • Respectful listening
  • Acceptance
  • Confidentiality
  • Understanding
  • Hope
  • Reassurance that you are not alone
  • Strategies and information to help you feel more in control

What does it cost?
It’s free. S.O.A.R. does not charge for any of its peer support or support group services.
We are funded entirely through donations and grants.

How often do we meet?
You and your peer supporter will decide how often you will meet. Usually the agreement is to meet for six sessions, which can be renewed after you and your peer supporter review your progress and your goals. At that time you and your peer supporter will decide if more sessions are needed and if so, how many more sessions will be necessary.

How long is each session?
Generally each session is approximately one hour long and takes place once a week or once every two weeks. This depends on what works best for you and your peer supporter.

Where do we meet?
Sessions take place in safe locations or online or by phone. During the COVID emergency, no face-to-face sessions are held. 

What if I need to cancel a session?
Please give as much notice as possible. You can send an email or call us. The voicemail is checked only a couple of times a week, so email is a better method.

What happens if I don’t like my peer supporter?
Occasionally you and and your peer supporter are not a match. We encourage you to discuss this with your peer supporter and try to work it out.
However, we realize this is not always possible. If this happens you can email the S.O.A.R. Coordinator or call the S.O.A.R. contact number to request another peer supporter.
Your well-being is important to S.O.A.R.

For more resources
Look for resources on our web site at https://survivorsofabuserecovering.ca/resources
Occasionally S.O.A.R. will start Survivor Support Groups. Check the web for details.

You can download a printable two-sided foldable leaflet with more details.

Note that, for better clarity, we recently have changed our wording from “peer counselor” to “peer supporter”. This clarifies that your supporter is a volunteer, not a professional. Some materials may still be using the old term.