Survivor Peer Support Training Opportunity

The survivor community is a specific population of individuals, many of whom share severe trauma experiences. Due to the abusive nature of some of the behavior management techniques utilized in programs being promoted under the guise of “therapy,” oftentimes there is a distrust of therapists within the survivor community. 

Even if survivors turn to therapists and move past the abuse they received at the hands of program “therapists,” many times therapists are not familiar with the TTI and the types of experiences so many survivors shared in these institutions. Survivors may face being referred from therapist to therapist trying to find someone equipped to handle the aftermath of extreme trauma, and as a result, they may be asked to repeat their traumatic backstory over and over again until they can find a therapist willing to work with them.

While many have found solace in the community of other survivors, there is also the risk in making online community support groups one’s main avenue of therapeutic processing. In her 2020 paper An Exploratory Study on Adult Survivors of the Troubled Teen Industry’s Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Wilderness Programs, Olivia Stull notes, “One of the main sources of support for TTI program survivors includes online communities of their peers. While this provides a place for survivors to feel heard, understood, and validated, there are negatives to this type of community support, too. Several participants noted how they regularly lose someone in their online support group to suicide or drug overdose. This type of exposure of trauma may be having a negative impact on survivors’ overall wellbeing, and may be complicating their own symptoms of PTSD.”

All of this is to say– we empathize with the plight of finding survivor support. 

Peer Support Training

In an effort to help address this issue, Breaking Code Silence has partnered with the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery to offer Peer Support Training. Certified Peer Specialists from the Copeland Center will help guide us through a model born out of and rooted-in the principle of self-determination. Through participation we aim to 1) decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviors, 2) increase personal empowerment, 3) improve quality of life, and 4) achieve our own goals and dreams.  

We will be specifically working with Amey Detmer who is a member of the survivor community herself, as well as being a certified peer specialist and advanced level Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator. She is extremely passionate about providing this knowledge and these tools to fellow survivors, as she has found them to be extremely valuable on a personal level. We will also be working with Ryan Tempesco, an advocate for wellness, equal rights, and community support.

We want to emphasize that the Peer Support Training Group will be completely different from Positive Peer Culture which was a harmful technique instituted by certain Troubled Teen Industry programs.

This course is designed to be flexible and experiential, allowing for participants to focus most on the parts that they personally connect most with and disregard what doesn’t work for them. Participants will have the option to use a learning management system (Canvas) to provide additional opportunities to connect virtually with other participants and the facilitators during the course, but it’s not required.

Our Peer Support Training Group will meet on the following dates:

  • Session 1: Thursday, May 19th 
  • Session 2: Thursday, May 26th 
  • Session 3: Thursday, June 2nd
  • Session 4: Thursday, June 9th
  • Session 5: Thursday, June 16th
  • Session 6: Thursday, June 23rd

Each session will be 3 hours in length held during the following time:  

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Eastern Time

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Central Time

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Mountain Time

8:00 AM- 11:00 AM Pacific Time

If you would like to join our Peer Support Training Group, please apply here. We hope you will join us!