WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PEER WORKER ?
Keywords:user involvement, peer worker, multidisciplinary team
AbstractI live in Trondheim, Norway today. I was a patient when I first heard about the concept of user involvement in services. At that time (in 2007) patient/user involvement was quite unknown in Norway, compared with today. I was one of the first in Norway who went from being a patient to be a peer worker in an ACT- team that is an outpatient psychiatric team. The team's task has been to keep in touch with patients who have no benefit from other psychiatric services. To me it has been important to share my experiences and help others in their recovery processes. I see dignity and independence for the users, as an absolute starting point, how important it is that people make sure about what their wishes are, and that they have to make their own decisions to experience their own recovery. The period as a peer worker in the ACT-team, where we use a reflective method, has brought me into many essential circumstances, and given me possibility to reflect about what it means to be a peer worker. In this article, I want to explain this role from the inside and bring forward some of the main challenges and also describe a few relevant situations I have experienced that might help to understand the role.
Adersen, Tom (1991). The Reflecting Team: Dialogue and Meta-Dialogue in Clinical Work. First published: December 1987.