The Importance of Peer Support During Treatment
10 Feb 2023
Everyone going through a mental health crisis needs emotional and social support to heal. Positive peer interactions play an essential role in the recovery process for clients at Samarpan Health.
According to Current Opinion in Psychiatry, "In addition to social support's positive influence on health behaviors and adherence, better relationship quality also has been shown to have a positive effect on long-term married couples' health" and family dynamics. Samarpan Health uses evidence-based treatments and peer interactions to prepare clients for long-term recovery. Peer support increases self-confidence and makes it easier for clients to overcome relationship issues during long-term recovery.
What Are Healthy Peer and Family Dynamics?
Social dynamics play an essential role in a client's recovery process. Peers, friends, and family often offer emotional and practical support during the transition into treatment and continuing care. Some of the most common family and peer dynamics include:
- Authoritarian: High expectations of control and compliance without much emotional responsiveness
- Competitive: Rivalry and a need for recognition cause competition and a desire for power that can cause conflict
- Uninvolved: A lack of interest, emotional distance, and strict demands can increase stress and strain interpersonal relationships
- Communal: Every member of the group contributes and provides a voice within the family or social unit
- Alliance: Individuals work together and take advantage of each other's strengths to counter another group or a problem
Group interactions often involve a combination of these dynamics, which may affect how clients feel about themselves and the people around them. Part of treatment and therapy includes helping clients recognize unhealthy dynamics and develop essential social skills.
How Can Peer Interactions Help You Recover From Mental Health Issues
Many clients struggle with mental health issues and have difficulty connecting with others. A wide range of factors influences how clients cope with social situations. Peer interactions often help clients by doing the following:
- Decreasing social anxiety
- Improving self-awareness and self-confidence
- Providing a space for practicing healthy conflict resolution
Some clients struggling with mental health or substance misuse issues have limited social skills. Interacting with peers provides real-world situations where they can implement coping strategies they learn during therapy. In addition, repeated positive peer interactions promote self-confidence and ensure clients feel more comfortable doing the following:
- Overcoming feelings of guilt or regret when faced with reminders of past actions
- Managing trauma responses
- Setting boundaries to reduce feeling pressured
The Importance of a Healthy Family Dynamic
A healthy family dynamic enhances the effectiveness of treatment by providing a foundation of support and understanding. Family education is essential to treatment and long-term recovery because it ensures that clients have the necessary support system to maintain positive life changes.
According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, "Indian families are capable of fulfilling the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of its members; initiate and maintain growth, and be a source of support, security, and encouragement to the patient." Some family members may benefit from attending individual or family therapy to help them further understand their loved one's condition.
A healthy family dynamic does the following:
- Improves communication between family members
- Decreases conflicts
- Provides clients with a space to heal and grow
- Ensures clients have a support system for long-term recovery
- Improves stress management
Clients who feel comfortable confiding in their family members and relying on them for emotional support often have an easier time transitioning through the various levels of treatment. Repairing relationships using therapy can create a more positive family dynamic. Clients are more likely to maintain healthy routines and behaviours if they feel their family understands them and supports their recovery.
Peer Engagement and Setting Healthy Boundaries
Setting boundaries gets easier with practice. During treatment, clients can engage with peers and set personal limits. The importance of family dynamics within Indian culture makes it essential for clients to understand how to reintegrate into their family unit after treatment. Setting boundaries can make the process less overwhelming and also ensure that family members understand what to expect from the recovery process.
Some healthy boundaries topics clients learn to respect, establish, and maintain during treatment include:
- Time-related boundaries
The need to identify and respect the boundaries of peers during treatment encourages clients to increase self-awareness and improve social skills.
Samarpan Prepares Clients for Long-Term Recovery
Each client reacts differently to treatment for mental health disorders and co-occurring conditions. Some easily adopt a healthy foundation for future changes and quickly become versed in coping with stress or strong emotions. However, other clients struggle, and it may take longer for them to improve their ability to cope with stress. Treatment programs help clients overcome challenges, grow, and thrive during recovery. Samarpan Health offers family therapy and other services to help clients prepare for the transition to long-term recovery.
Peer support is essential to the treatment process. Engaging with others improves social skills and increases positive mental health. Many people recovering from mental health issues struggle to relate to others or view themselves in a positive way. Peer interactions can change that by allowing clients to learn new ways to look at themselves and others. In addition, peers often have shared life experiences which can help clients feel less lonely and more confident about sharing their thoughts and ideas. Samarpan Health prioritizes peer engagement at every level of care during treatment. To learn more about our programs and the services we offer, call our office today at +91 81809 19090.