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What Your Peer Support Circle Will Look Like

A Circle is a small group of people in a mutually supportive and confidential relationship who meet regularly, in short and highly focused meetings. Membership is free. Meetings can be held in-person or virtually and are scheduled by the members themselves. The following proposed specifications are the "vessel" within which that very valuable relationship occurs.

An Organizer

  • Someone who got the notion to form a Peer Support Circle.
  • They recruited and prepared some members to join.
  • They might have led members through the first meeting, a brief training about the Circle process.


Friends on tablet in meeting
  • Six meetings, typically 1.5 hours long for four members, 2 hours long for five members.
    (First meeting is usually 30 minutes longer, to include introductions and explanations.)
  • Scheduled every couple of weeks.
  • Meetings in-person or over the phone or Internet.
  • Follow the Agenda in the Quick Reference.

Membership and Support

  • Ideally, four members -- at least three, no more than five.
  • Each member brings a current, important priority to get support for.
  • Each member gets equal time in each meeting to get supported by others.
  • Guidelines for supporting are in the Quick Reference.
  • Between meetings, members share support if requested by a member.


  • Each meeting is facilitated - guiding others through the agenda and ground rules, and monitoring the time.
  • Follows "Facilitation Tasks" in the Quick Reference.
  • Facilitation can be done by one member or shared by all.
  • Facilitator can get and share support like other members do.

(Photo © Andrey Popov /