Intentional Peer Support – What a Journey!


I did a five day training in IPS – This was my experience:

For me drawing the picture in pen was risky and unforgiving. I had a fear of “what will I do if I make a mistake?”. It is also really putting myself out there. This is indicative of how I felt calling out in the group. It required a level of vulnerability that I’m not used to giving.

I tried talking with the risk beating down on myself with a whip after, because that what I do and why I have such major performance anxiety. I struggled to get a word in sometimes and got angry if people said what I was going to say. Sometimes I hid behind my interest in people’s opinions.

On day 3 I learnt to let go a little and one on one I became fascinated with the investigation of how what is said effects the relationship (IPS language or not) Wrong or right went out the window and I simply was curious.

On day 4 I held my tongue in the group, too triggered to talk and overwhelmed with feelings. It’s from that place that I was shaken into a shift, which for me needed to come after a great deal of pain. It is from connecting to my humanness that suddenly I was able to connect with the humanness in others. I saw people differently. Suddenly it was not so much about me saying the right thing anymore as it was this deep desire to connect to the people I didn’t understand and enter the inquisition of why they feel the way that they do.

The picture explains my understanding of IPS and the way I experienced the training. Both pairs of eyes are mine, looking at the same person. How I look at someone determines how they look.

I came into the training grateful and pro training and totally open to the possibilities and even so I find my self on the other side pried Open, with my narrow mind exposed.

I like that there is no prescription in IPS. It’s not one size fits all or because this worked for me it will work for you. It embraces each person as an individual and caters to diversity, which aligns with who I am. After years of being put into a box by people who assumed they knew what was best for me and being outcast for my differences, it is refreshing to find something that doesn’t try to change me so much as it tries to hear me. It is an honour to learn to do the same.