Distinguishing Peer Support: Compare and Contrast

Peer-to-peer support serves as a complementary resource to professional care for caregivers. Rather than providing directives, it aims to offer a listening ear, empathy, and a relatable perspective through shared experiences and support. It's important to note that the focus of peer support is on being present and supporting the caregiver through their journey, while professional support may be more focused on providing solutions and treatment. The table below provides a comparison of these two forms of support. 

Peer Support 
Professional Support 

Support typically focuses on emotions and personal experiences

Support may be more focused on specific areas of need and outcomes

Can be provided by volunteers or others who have shared a similar experience
Often provided by trained professionals, such as therapists or counselors
Emphasis on supporting and empathy based on shared experiences
Emphasis on providing evidence-based interventions and treatment
May be less formal and structured Typically follows a structured and formalized approach 
Can be provided in a variety of settings, such as support groups or online communities

Typically provided in a one-on-one setting or in a clinical setting

Last modified: Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 9:12 PM