Peer services include a wide range of activities that encompass the social support necessary for individuals experiencing a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) to navigate recovery plans and remove barriers to success. Providing irreplaceable value to the clients they work with, Peer Professionals are instrumental for many along the recovery process. We look for individuals who are devoted to helping their fellow peers in recovery, and deeply committed to delivering high quality care to their clients. Because we offer a high standard of professional development opportunities, we also hold these same expectations of our Peers. In this post, we’ll dig deeper into why professionalism is important, and what professionalism looks like in the Peer Professional role.

What is Professionalism?

Professionalism is defined as the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person. 

In peer recovery services, professionalism looks a bit different. Aside from carrying yourself in a professional and respectful manner while working, you will also be required to uphold a level of care and communication towards clients. Mentoring clients is one of the defining characteristics of working as a Peer Professional, meaning that you should demonstrate stable and successful recovery. Keep reading to learn more about why professionalism is important to the role!

An African American man sits at a table in a coffee shop. He is writing in a notebook with his right hand while he holds a phone to his left ear with his left hand.

Why is Professionalism Important?

As mentioned previously, you are leading your clients towards a healthy recovery experience that is unique to them! You are an instrumental piece of each client‘s success, and therefore are held to a high standard of quality care. Maintaining this high level of care hinges on your professionalism within the Peer Professional role. 

Aside from professionalism within the Peer role, remaining professional in any work environment is key to your career success. An important aspect of this is professional development. Evolving as a professional can be done in many different ways, learn more about career development here.

Examples of Professionalism in Peer Recovery Services

Holding yourself accountable, and holding others accountable, is critical to your success as a Peer. Be responsible for your actions, and lead your clients by example. Accountability is a pillar of recovery, and that translates to this role as well.

Whether it’s over email, call or text – be timely with your responses. Some clients may depend on your answer, so respond timely to ensure that progress is made.

Time Management
Working as a Peer you’ll be in charge of your own schedule, which requires you to effectively manage your time. Especially with a full caseload, you’ll need to hone in on how to balance multiple priorities within this role.

Professional Boundaries
Maintaining healthy boundaries with clients, your team and your time are all ways that you will be expected to uphold professional work boundaries. Whether it’s recognizing dual relationships, or establishing working hours that do not interfere with your personal life – learning to maintain boundaries is key to this role.

Know When to Talk About Your Experience
As a Peer, you’ll lean on your lived experience in recovery. While experience is the backbone of your role, there is a time and a place for sharing that personal experience. Sharing advice and resources based on your experiences is always acceptable, but sharing your situation in depth is typically not advised.

Compassion is Key
It’s important to be compassionate towards every person, and every experience. Being empathetic towards a client will allow you to provide the best possible resources, and create a trusting relationship. Furthermore, it will assist you in managing a crisis or high intensity situation by not responding with judgment and potentially triggering your client further.

Willingness to Grow
The role of a Peer Professional is ever-evolving. One of the most important professional qualities you can carry is a willingness to grow within your role. Whether that’s advancing to the next title, or taking on a new caseload – having the capacity to evolve is necessary for long-term success in this position.

A Strong Desire to Help Others
Underneath it all, you must have a desire to support others as they strive for stable recovery. You will be creating long-lasting relationships built on trust and mutual respect, and in order to fulfill this you will need to be committed to the role of serving others.

This is a Professional Role

While peer recovery services are not widely established, Kyros is working to professionalize the role while making it a more accessible tool for people in recovery to utilize. Peer Providers have been proven to increase positive outcomes within the recovery community, and the services they provide are directly tied to successful recovery outcomes. We recognize that this connection is of utmost importance. This is why we believe in offering a professional career track not previously available to people in recovery.

Become a Peer Today

Sound like the right fit? Get started today and sign up for a training class now!

Similar Posts