Learning to achieve mastery of a subject occurs over the course of time. If you can teach a skill to others, you are likely nearing or have achieved mastery of the topic. In recovery, peers support one another in the recovery community. You might meet peers during treatment programs or at support meetings.

You may also meet others struggling with addiction in online support groups or internet forums. We can all offer something new to our peers in recovery. You can offer a unique perspective to your peers or might be able to teach a new coping skill. Teaching reinforces the value of our own life lessons as we can see others benefiting from the things we have learned.

Levels of Learning

Learning a new skill can be broken down into these four steps. You can gain feedback from peers and your support network throughout:

  1. Watching and Observing:
    By observing others, you can begin to see what sort of skills you would like to learn or what behaviors you would like to emulate. You might observe by listening to peers in group sessions. Once you have an idea of what you would like to learn, you can move on to the next step.
  2. Ask Questions:
    This step is simple. When you want to learn something, just ask questions. Asking others questions on coping skills they have used or methods they use in treatment can teach you a lot about recovery. Asking questions is also a great way to begin participating in group therapy sessions.
  3. Take Action:
    Once you know what you want to learn, you can take action and begin applying the skill to your life. Maybe a peer of yours encouraged you to try yoga or practice mindfulness. Take action by signing up for a class or session. When you practice your new coping skill, you can begin to share your experience with others. Once you are comfortable in your ability to demonstrate competence, you can move to the next step.
  4. Teaching Others:
    Teaching others what you have learned is a great way of cementing the skill to your memory. To teach others, you have to break your skill down into steps. This will require you to think about what aspects of the skill lead to success. Creating a curriculum to teach others will reinforce the lessons that you have learned. Teaching is another way of re-learning.

Making Personal Changes

Throughout the process of learning and teaching, you will get feedback from others. At first, you will get feedback from your peers or your recovery coach. They will give you some tips and help you learn new skills. They will also support you in making positive changes in your life by learning new recovery coping skills. When you teach others, you might also get feedback from those learning your skill.

They may have suggestions for how the skill works best for them, which you can also try or pass along to others. Remember that accepting constructive feedback on your skills and teaching will help you learn to get better. Honest communication is the key to gaining useful feedback for you to grow.

Peer Support and Mentoring

Peer support is an important aspect of recovery. Your peers are either in a similar position as you are or they have already been through similar events. They may have faced challenges you are not yet ready for. They can prepare you by teaching you from their experiences. You can also teach your peers new things that they may not know.

Mentoring others is sometimes a step in some recovery programs that can help you in your recovery. You might be asked to lead a group session or teach a class on your preferred topic. You may also teach an alternative or diversionary skill, such as painting, drawing, woodworking, or music.

Mentoring and teaching can fill you with a sense of purpose along your journey to recovery. You might find that helping others with their struggles is a rewarding experience. You and your peers can foster a sense of belonging and community within your recovery treatment program.

Teaching and cultivating a passion for learning recovery skills can build a supportive environment, where peers are willing and able to learn from their mistakes. Being in a safe and supportive environment is conducive to learning. You need to feel that you will not be judged by making mistakes and that your peers will support you through your recovery process.

Teaching can be considered one of the best ways to learn a new skill. You need to have considerable knowledge to teach others. You need time to absorb and utilize your skill in order to pass the information to those who may benefit. Mentoring in recovery can help peers feel connected to their program and give them the support that they need. You can teach others to learn from mistakes along the way, and you can also learn from their mistakes. Many recovery treatment programs promote a peer-to-peer support network, where individuals in recovery learn from one another. Camelback Recovery cultivates a safe and supportive environment for peers to learn new things from one another. We encourage honest communication among our staff and peers as we hold everyone accountable for their recovery. By creating a space for honest communication, you can best learn new coping skills to change your behaviors. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to begin your learning process!