EQI.org Home | Education | Parenting | Other Important Authors | Library and Bookstore

Robert Myrick

"Caring and Sharing: Becoming a Peer Facilitator"

Below are notes from Steve Hein's (SPH) reading of the book.

(The EQI.org feeling words list, now over 4,000 words, grew out of the short list of twenty or so words presented in this book. It is a very helpful, practical book.)

Quote from someone on first page:

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good deed therefore that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being, let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it for I will not pass this way again.



Amazon page where you can purchase the book.

EQI.org Home Page

Core Components of EQI.org

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Intelligence | Empathy
Emotional Abuse | Understanding
Emotional Literacy | Feeling Words
Respect | Parenting | Caring
Listening | Invalidation | Hugs
Depression |Education
Personal Growth

Search EQI.org | Support EQI.org

EQI.org Library and Bookstore


Chapter 1

Contains exercises to help peer counselors get to know each other. For example, who are you, what are your questions about life, what significant things have happened to you, what youth need, what problems they face.

Chapter 2

The greatest gift one person can give another is to help them in the discovery of self-love, true happiness and inner peace. [adaptation]

[SPH note - To me, counseling involves answering two basic questions. One is,Why do we do the things we do? The other is, How can we change them?]

p 16 Myrick lists these 8 principles to understanding human behavior

1. We all have basic needs

2. Everything we do is directed towards some goal

3. Our self-concept influences all our behavior

4. Our self-concept is learned and can change

5. Our self-esteem is influenced by our actions

6. We are always learning and changing.

7. Increased self-awareness leads to responsible and informed decision-making

8. We learn from each other.

9. Relationsips provide the best source of learning about selves

Our needs:

  • To be loved and accepted as we are.

It is hard on someone to be accepted only when they please others.

  • To be understood. [added by SPH]
  • Security - we learn and function best when we feel safe; includes feeling free to make mistakes

Some people build a shell around themselves because it provides protection, but when they no longer need it [or they break through it] they begin to experience the joy of fully living.

  • To belong
  • To be independent
  • To take responsibility
  • To make choices
  • To feel in control of our lives; when we are not in control we become devious, manipulative, self-sacrificing and defensive.

Principle # 2 Goal Direction

"We want to maintain and enhance our personal survival," p 19

We spend most of our lives trying to maximize pleasure and minimize pain.

"Power grows in us the moment a future dream transforms into present day action."

Principle 3 - Our self-concept influences all our behavior

We feel, think and act based on our perception of ourselves and others.

Principle 4 - Our self-concept is learned and can change.

.... but change brings threat, anxiety, and fear of self-destruction [I would say in people with low self-esteem]

Peer facilitators can help people change.

Nothing influences the development of our self-concept more than the consequences of our behavior. [I would change this to "the results of our behavior" since "consequences" generally has negative implications. I might also said that it is more specific to say that it is the resulting feelings which matter more than just the actions.]

If the consequences are satisfying and rewarding, we will repeat them to the point they will probably become a habit

Principle 7 Increased self-awareness leads to responsible and informed decision-making

If you lack self-awareness you may be making alibis, failing to take a stand or be unwilling to accept the consequences of your behavior.


Being a peer facilitator involves helping others explore their world, who they believe they are, what they want out of life and what they are willing to do to get it [I would add: how they became who they are, what they want to change, what they can change]


Helping Relationships

Research found that in counseling when certain helping characteristics were present, people tended to get better; when they are absent people tended to get worse. This was independent of the counselor's theory and technique.

Thus, even those who are not "professionals" but who can achieve these same characteristics in a helping relationship, can and do, help facilitate personal growth in others.

People are changed very little by advice, persuasion or threat.

We experience the most change when we are with a helping person who is positive, understanding, tolerant, easy to talk with, non-judgmental and who cares about us. [Stated another way: When we are with someone with whom we feel listened to, heard, understood, accepted, safe, comfortable and cared about.]

The relationship between the helper and the helpee can be a positive catalyst in its own right. The real key to the helping process is the quality of the relationship.

Here are the five characteristics:

1. Listening attentively

2. Understanding the other person's point of view

3. Accepting the person non-judgmentally

4. Caring enough to be committed and involved (but not overly involved)

5. Being genuine.

Listening: Listening should not mean simply waiting for your turn to talk. Do not jump in to direct the conversation or change the focus from what the person is saying. Try to figure out what the message is, what the person is really saying and what feelings they are experiencing right now. Avoid by all means labeling or judging.

Understanding: This includes recognizing or being able to describe the thoughts and feelings of others.

Accepting: The person must feel free from the threat of rejection. The fear of rejection and judgment narrows and restricts behavior. The more we are accepted the more likely we are to self-disclose and take risks in the exploration process. The more secure we are the more accepting we can be, since our own self-concepts are less likely to be threatened by anything we hear. (sph adaptation)

Accepting them does not mean we condone or agree with them. But we do accept and acknowledge their feelings.

Being Genuine: Feeling one thing and communicating the opposite is not being genuine, therefore not facilitative. The more genuine you are the more the other person will trust your responses (check book ). Being non-genuine may turn them off from counseling in general and from you in particular.

Feeling words on page 47


A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts who you have become, invites you to grow and supports you in your journey.


Different types of facilitating:

Advising and evaluating

Analyzing and interpreting

Reassuring and supporting

Questioning and probing

Clarifying and summarizing

Reflecting and understanding feelings

When you are evaluating or advising you assume the role of superiority.

Being too quick to rush in with support or reassurance might be interpreted as implying that the feeling is so common the person should not even be concerned with it. For example, statements such as

Everyone feels like that sometimes.

It's okay. Everything will work out.

That happened to me once.

So and so had the same problem once.

You always manage to work things out.

I know how you feel.

The message that comes through is you should not feel as you do, and that the person's feelings are of little importance.[In other words the person might be thinking "you don't really understand me you just want to get rid of me.]

Be careful in using the "why" question. He says it might be better to ask "What" questions, such as "what is it about school you don't like?"


We cannot adjust the wind, but we can adjust our sails.[I am not sure why I had this on my taped notes- whether it is from the book or not!]


Ways of summarizing and showing understanding:

So if I hear you right you are saying...

So what you are saying is...

Let me see if I understand you...

You are feeling pretty ....

Sounds like you feel, felt....


Chapter 5 Feedback and confronting

1. Tell the helpee what you notice about their behavior, give a specific examples

2. Tell them how you are feeling

3. Tell them what your feelings are motivating you to do