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Ready To Learn : Peer Counseling

Hannah Cole

October 20, 2023

“... Once a student has grown, they are able to see in a different light,” said Mr. Martin about the start of the peer counseling program. The Ready to Learn peer counseling program allows students to empower themselves along with others through active listening. Last week, several Junior year students began their training to become peer counselors. Mrs. Williams and Mr. Martin began to teach the members of the peer counseling group methods to cope with their own feelings in order to understand others more empathetically. Mr. Martin compares the lesson to flight attendants asking flight passengers to put on their own oxygen mask before helping others. “The concept is that these peer counselors are recognizing and understanding where they are in order to help others.” says Martin.

The counselors are also teaching peer counselors about different theories used in psychology. The students learned about the triune theory in which people cope using flight, fight, or freeze. He also mentions “survival roles” which people use in order to cope with their trauma. Mr. Martin explained that peer counselors can use these methods to help other students recognize what state of mind they might be in when something goes wrong and what to do in that situation.

Peer counseling gives students skills to use now as well as later in life. Mr. Martin himself was motivated to study psychology and become a school counselor after being a peer counselor in eighth grade. “I made a commitment in eighth grade, I knew I liked helping people so in college I studied psychology and I knew I wanted to be a school psychologist or counselor so here I am.” Mr. Martin stated. Past graduates who took part in the peer counseling program went on to use their active listening skills later in life. One even went on to work for a women’s crisis center.

Students who want to receive peer counseling can ask a counselor to be put in a support group or may be suggested to go by a faculty member. If you or someone you know needs help, don’t be afraid to ask for extra support from your counselor.

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