IPS: A One-to-One Way to do Peer Counselling

Intentional Peer Support Talk for Health Special

In this Special, Talk for Health Founder Nicky Forsythe will introduce you to Intentional Peer Support (IPS) – a pioneering USA approach for one to one peer work.

Intentional Peer Support (IPS) was developed by Shery Mead in the 1970’s after her own experiences as a Psychiatric patient. IPS is now practiced worldwide, including in mainstream mental health services in the USA.

It shares some features with Talk for Health, but is a one to one method. In this Special, Nicky will teach you some key ideas and practices from IPS, and you will get a chance to try them out.

Nicky is an Accredited Psychotherapist (MBACP Accred.) and has trained as an IPS Trainer. She will lead the 5-day IPS Training early next year. The 5 days will be free, and those who lead Talk for Health ongoing groups will get priority access. Find out more about how to do the Talk for Health programme so you can lead an ongoing group here.

The Special will run 6pm to 8pm at Islington Town Hall (Upper St, Islington, London N1 2UD) and there will be a 15-minute break for snacks and drinks half-way through. Our aim is that this session will be insightful, interactive and fun. Please arrive on time.

Read more about IPS here.

IPS promotes a trauma-informed way of working. Instead of asking ‘What’s wrong’ with someone we ask ‘What happened to them?’.

It is based on three key principles:

  1. Learning versus Helping:Instead of believing in roles or expertise, IPS sees both people involved in a peer support relationship as having something important to give.
  2. Relationship versus Individual:Traditional mental health services focus on the individual. IPS strives for a relationship that both people genuinely value and find meaningful.
  3. Hope versus Fear:This is about tolerating discomfort. Fear drives reactivity and trying to control things. If we come from hopefulness, then instead of forcing solutions we tolerate uncertainty long enough for new possibilities to emerge.