Creating the Ecology of Self-Determination

While Examining Worldview and Implicit Biases

Purpose of Module

All human beings judge. Our brains are wired that way to help us make sense of the world. The purpose of this module is to understand how and why we judge. In this module, you will be invited and equipped to see and acknowledge your unconscious and conscious biases, and then to mindfully question and challenge them.

Self-determination is a strongly supported value in the mental health and substance use system, yet it is one that is not always fully explained. Self-determination is also one of the foundational values of peer support. In this module, we will look at the meaning and theory of self-determination and discuss how central it is in peer support work. We’ll discuss how in peer support we can avoid giving advice and instead support the creation of an ecology where people can begin to trust their own inner wisdom. An ecology that encourages self-determination means people can tap into their intrinsic motivation, grow and thrive.

Self-determination is the right to make one’s own decisions and have freedom from coercion.

(From The BC Peer Support Training Core Values.)

Learning Objectives

  1. You will be able to explain that a worldview is a way of organizing experiences into categories and containers so that we can function in the world.
  2. You will be able to demonstrate the skills involved in beginning to mindfully pay attention to biases that were previously unconscious.
  3. You will be able to examine your own worldview and articulate how your brain has been wired to judge.
  4. You will be able to clearly discuss self-determination and why it is an essential part of peer support services.
  5. You will be able to demonstrate an understanding of self-determination theory, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as the conditions needed for self-determination to grow.
  6. You will be able to dismantle the practice of advice-giving. Alternatively, you will be able to demonstrate the knowledge needed to support the creation of ecologies where people you will support can access their own inner self-determination.

Core Values

Throughout this module, please consider and reflect on the Core Values. When you are finished going through this module, please come back to this page and jot down some thoughts about how you will apply the Core Values in your work related to this topic. If you need a refresh of the definition of the Core Values see the graphic at the end of this module.

  • Hope and Wholeness for All
  • Acknowledgement
  • Mutuality
  • Strength-Based
  • Self-Determination
  • Respect, Dignity, and Equity
  • Belonging and Community
  • Curiosity


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Post-Secondary Peer Support Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by Jenn Cusick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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