I am planning on offering a peer counseling skills training class this Spring for hair stylists, barbers, bartenders, and other personal service workers who can reasonably convince me they are on the front lines of hearing client woes.
I am currently gathering name and contact information for people interested in these workshops when details are finalized. Please call me at 877-823-3439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Peer counseling classes give you the basics in how to talk with people about problems and situations. They tend to include elements such as :
- Active listening: reflecting, summarizing, paraphrasing — and why and when to do so.
- Open versus closed statements — used to open up people who need to talk and close down too talkative ones as required.
- Dual relationships: Traps and considerations.
- Attending skills: Eye contact, open body posture, nodding, etc.
- Suicide checklists: What to ask to see if you need to send someone to professional help.
- Signs and symptoms of more serious mental health problems.
Part of the idea here is that just being a good listener is in and of itself curative. Also — that repeating back what people say helps them to actually hear themselves. People have often not fully thought through what they are saying– repeating makes them process it and come to new decisions and viewpoints.
The way I figure it — love it or hate it — clergy, Tarot card readers, bartenders, salon stylists, barbers, and a whole host of personal service folks are on the front lines of mental health. They might as well have the skills.
I have periodically taught peer counseling skills training workshops in the past for clergy and Tarot card readers with a fair degree of success.
I will provide updates as details settle. Again, please let me know now if you are interested as I need to know if there is interest before proceeding.