Peer Counseling Method and Format

Speak in “I” Statements/No Crosstalk

Education for Liberation

These are the principles guiding our counseling work in the circle. It is also the format for discussion in all Men’s and Women’s Group work except when otherwise determined in advance.

Principle #1: Healthy self depends on healthy community, and by working together in the circle we learn from each other how to attain emotional and spiritual health.

Principle #2: We do not learn from each other by giving each other advice, like psychologists. Community-based counseling creates a circle of mirrors. I learn about myself from the mirror that the other people in the circle hold up for me. By listening to how other people deal with their issues, I find points of identification (mirrors) by which I guide my effort to handle my problems.

Principle #3: We teach others by keeping the focus on ourselves. Humbleness and humility are very attractive qualities. When trying to help others we focus on our own shortcomings and on what we are doing to overcome them.

No Crosstalk

In the circle we speak for ourselves, we speak in “I” statements about ourselves and our struggles.

· No interrupting others when it is their turn to share;

· No talking to someone else in the circle when someone else has the floor;

· No criticisms or advice for someone else when it is your turn to speak;

What you hear here, who you see here, when you leave here, let it stay here; no gossip, no taking people’s business outside of the room; no bochinchando