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Counselor, Peer Mentor, or Sponsor?

If you are thinking about going into recovery there is a lot to consider. Having support though is something that is highly recommended. Not everyone will want or even need the same support system and what works for someone else may not work for you. Know your options and try them all! You may not connect right away but give it time. Below is detailed information about what a support person can do for you.
A counselor is a person with a professional license that allows them to give guidance to individuals or groups who are seeking support. A counselor will have a combination of education, training, and licenses all of which will vary depending on the state that they will practice in.
A peer mentor is someone who is can provide mentoring to individuals not at an authoritative level. A peer mentor typically has encountered similar situations as the person they are mentoring. For example, a peer mentor in the chemical dependency field is typically someone who is in recovery themselves. Peer mentors are able to be empathetic to their peers. Every person who receives mental health help or services has different needs. While some individuals thrive with their counselors, others may thrive with a peer mentor. Oftentimes, people will open up to somebody who has “been there, done that.”
A sponsor is part of the 12-step program and is somebody who has completed the program. Sponsors work hand in hand. For those who are sponsors, helping someone else keeps them on track and provides confidence. It is their way of giving back to the community. For the person who is being sponsored, a sponsor is someone who can guide them, help them, and be there for them through the difficult times that they face during sobriety. Sponsors often develop lifelong friendships with those who they sponsor and the idea is to keep the program in full circle.

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