Getting real : peer counselling as a way to authenticity

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Six, Karen Ruth
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1993
The purpose of this thesis is to address the question, "Is Peer Counselling a way of fostering or promoting the existential notion of authenticity?" The intention of Peer Counselling is to improve the psychological health and well being of its participants (both counsellors and counsellees) through peer intervention and education. Peer Counselling training is a curriculum and method wherein students are taught to listen to and help in the choice-making process of their peers. Peer Counselling, both training and outreach interaction, encourages the development of positive identity and responsible independence as individuals exercise more control over their experiences. It seeks to create opportunities to learn how to actively and intentionally use experiences to gain new levels of confidence and competence. A process oriented, experiential training approach, it ensures the content is relevant to the learner. The self-directed attitude and approach of peer counselling encourages counsellors and counsellees alike to become active participants in their own development, in their own life choices. The acquisition of interpersonal communication skills such as empathic listening, facilitative questioning, decision making and values clarification may aid both counsellor and counsellee in a movement towards the existential notion of authenticity. Authenticity includes such characteristics and qualities as: genuineness in 'good faith'; autonomy; discovery of one's 'care structure'; creative choice making; critical examination of societally imposed norms; radical responsibility for the conditions and perspectives of one's life; and an openness to the dynamic nature of one's unique being. Re-constructions of peer counselling interactions provide opportunity to examine the theoretical possiblities for peer counselling to promote authenticity. Finally the implications of merging this curriculum with the philosophical notion of authenticity is examined in the light of actual classroom experience. Implications for pedagogy are discussed.
vi, 129 leaves ; 29 cm.
Peer counseling , Authenticity (Philosophy) , Self (Philosophy) , Dissertations, Academic