A peer support specialist is a person who has training to help others who have gone through similar life experiences. An example might be a person who has struggled with depression and learned effective coping skills who then turns around to help others struggling with depression. Other topics might include parenting, PTSD, addictions, adoptions and more. Use your knowledge and experience to help others. Rhombus offers a complete training to prepare someone to work as a peer support specialist.

 

Approval/Accreditation

Currently there is no government regulation on peer-support specialists in California, although there is a task force working on the regulations to be implemented in the future. Leadership of Rhombus is monitoring and proactive in the progress of these regulations and will seek approval when this is available in California. Our curriculum is structured to match other states and what will likely be required in California when the regulations are implemented. There is no guarantee that the training will be accepted by agencies hiring until the official regulations are in place and organizations are allowed to apply for approval, but the curriculum will match what typical expectations would include. Email for information on the next training opportunity: gorhombus@gmail.com.

 

Curriculum

This course addresses the laws and ethics pertaining to Peer Support Specialists. Topic addressed include scope of practice, scope of competence, mandate reporting, confidentiality, boundaries, countertransference, character, and self-care.

This course teaches skills for assessing a clients situation and how to best develop a treatment plan with the client. Topics include teaching “goal talk,” listening skills, communication skills, intentional interviewing skills, solution-focused strategies for treatment, strengths based strategies for treatment and steps for referring.

This course teaches the method for gaining awareness of cultural aspects and focusing treatment in light of these characteristics. Topics addressed include understanding the difference between collectivistic and individualistic cultures, cultural mores and values of many specific cultures, impact of patriarchal societies, use of empathy and humility in developing cultural competence, and how to increase insight and self-awareness.

This course prepares students to connect clients with resources in the community. Students will gain hands-on experience locating resources in the community and will learn to create a service plan for clients using case management strategies. Students will learn to navigate community mental health systems.

Students will learn strategies for personal and professional care to avoid burnout. Students will practice self-care techniques and research the risk factors leading to burnout in the helping professions. This course will also include information on holistic health to be implemented for the peer support specialist as well as to be taught and used by clients.

Students will participate in a practicum at a local counseling site to demonstrate appropriate skill level in applying counseling strategies. Students will volunteer at a local site and will have supervision both at the site and from a professor through Rhombus. Rhombus professors must watch students with live clients either in person or through video.