Peer Counseling

At Boston Self Help Center, we believe that each of us living with a disability or chronic illness is an expert about our own experiences. We also believe that many of these experiences are widely shared among people with disabilities throughout our culture.

BSHC peer counselors are not psychotherapists or social workers and do not provide any kind of medical or other treatment. Rather, they bring to the peer-counseling setting their expertise as persons living with disabilities. They have also completed our peer-counselor training program, which fosters in them the ability to listen well, give support, and understand the many and complex issues facing others living with a disability or chronic illness.

Boston Self Help Center offers short-term one-on-one peer counseling, as well as peer support groups. What we provide to you depends both on your needs and what we have available when you contact us.

Our Peer Support Groups

Boston Self Help Center has been providing peer-counseling support groups to people with a wide range of disabilities for over 30 years. We generally offer these groups in a cross-disability setting since we find that people with different disabilities and illnesses have many of the same experiences and concerns.

Recently, we have been holding our groups by telephone. This makes it possible for people who cannot easily meet in person to find the support they need. An added bonus is that this enables people from anywhere in the US—and beyond—to participate.

Each BSHC support group is co-led by two peer counselors with extensive experience in facilitating groups. The peer counselors create a safe space for group members to talk about whatever is most important to them. We listen to each others’ stories, share successful coping strategies, discuss our rights and resources, and talk about our dreams. In this way, group members learn from each other and develop new connections. We discover we are not alone.


Individual peer counseling and support groups are offered on a sliding fee scale, our minimum fee being $1 per session. Medical insurance does not cover this service.

For More Information

Please call us at (617) 277-0080 and leave a message. We will return your call within two business days.

“You have helped me so much with your wisdom and knowledge. I used to feel beaten down by terrible chronic pain and by doctors and counselors who just didn’t take me seriously. You really listen to me. You give me the strength to put one foot in front of another—to face the hard stuff. You give me information and advice, I add a little of ‘the spice of Joyce’ to it and then do the legwork. I was battling it all by myself. Now I don’t feel so alone.”   -Joyce

“Boston Self Help Center has helped me in numerous ways. I’m more accepting of myself and my conditions, which include chronic Lyme, chronic fatigue, and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). I’ve learned ways to better manage and cope, especially with MCS and its corresponding limitations. I’ve also received referrals to services and providers. Most of all, I have more confidence and feel more comfortable advocating for myself.”   –Lisa