Peer Support | Heal For Life

Peer Support

By survivors for survivors

Everyone who works on the programs at Heal for Life have lived through and healed from trauma themselves, so we understand what it takes to heal – and we’re living proof that it’s possible.

Research shows that peer support is effective at collapsing the power imbalance that can be a barrier to trauma healing in therapeutic relationships (Mowbray et al., 1996, p59). 

We select our peer support volunteers carefully based on their capacity for empathy, their ability to listen and hold space for others, and their commitment to their own individual healing. This helps survivors feel safe – which is critical for healing – and hopeful as guests can learn from other survivors who have successfully healed from childhood trauma.

Survivors empowering survivors is called “peer support” and it’s universally recognised as an essential part of trauma recovery.

Extensively trained and supervised by psychologists

Heal For Life programs are supervised by registered psychologists and run by facilitators with tertiary level qualifications (or equivalent) in counselling or psychology.

We have over 30 trained Peer Support Volunteers who have been chosen based on strict selection criteria. Each  has completed an adult healing program, a week-long residential training program, and 45 hours of observational learning in order to provide support to our guests. They also complete an internal 12-month Certificate in Trauma Practice & Theory during their first year of Peer Support Volunteer Training.

Being a Peer Support Volunteer has therapeutic benefits

Studies show Heal For Life Peer Support Volunteers gain confidence and a sense of meaning from their experience by role modelling the healing journey for others.

Heal4Life Adult Centre Barn 04 LR

Our Peer Support Volunteers often go on to new careers in mental health with many achieving further qualifications in counselling and psychology after completing their Heal For Life Certificate in Trauma Theory.

Read the Research

Education program open to the public

While becoming a Peer Support Volunteer is by invitation, our internal education program is also open to anyone who wishes to deepen their knowledge of the theory behind our programs, expand their knowledge of themselves, and further their healing journey. 

Read about our Education Modules

Pathways to Employment

Becoming a Peer Support Volunteer is a pathway to employment for our guests.

Many of our Peer Support Volunteers have transformed their lives from being on a disability pension to establishing rewarding careers in the mental health industry. It is inspirational to see our wonderful team using their invaluable experience as survivors to support others towards a brighter future. Here’s one story of how a guest has transformed their life and careers since their first Healing Program.

Peer Support Volunteer

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