Peer Mentoring

Peer Mentoring draws on mutual lived experience. By using shared experience as a guide, Peer Mentors support mentees to create self-determined pathways to wellbeing, self-awareness and personal development.


The Power of Peer Mentoring

What is Peer Mentoring? 

Grounded in core values of empathy, respect, acceptance, and trust, people with shared lived experience are uniquely placed to understand and support one another in a non-judgemental way. Learning that another person experiences the world in the same way that you do, or has overcome the challenges that you currently face, can be validating. This experience of validation can foster self-awareness and in turn, mentees are empowered to see their experience, even the experience of difficulty, as an asset.

The Peer Mentor process is non-prescriptive, strengths-based and forward-focussed. Based on their own experiential knowledge, mentees are supported to identify their unique skills and strengths, using them to inform holistic strategies that work best for them. Most importantly, these practical strategies are aimed at making a tangible difference in daily life.

Depending on individual need, Peer Mentoring can be accessed in conjunction with other therapies, for example counselling or CBT, or as a standalone.

According to The Mental Health Foundation, the UK’s leading charity for mental health, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the NHS, Peer Mentoring in mental health contexts has multiple benefits.

What can I expect from Peer Mentorship?

  • You will meet one-to-one with a Peer Mentor. Our Peer Mentors have lived experience of Autism Spectrum Condition, as well as in mental health such as anxiety, depression and low mood, and eating disorders. You will be allocated to a Peer Mentor who best meets your needs.
  • Your mentor will be the same person for all your sessions. You will discuss and agree with your mentor if sessions are to be held in person, or online via secure video calling.
  • You and your mentor will agree whether to hold peer mentoring sessions weekly or fortnightly. Each session will last for 50 minutes. Your total number of sessions will be discussed and agreed at your first session.
  • We will ensure Peer Mentoring is tailored to what works best for you, and you will be supported to set practical goals that can be reviewed throughout.
  • At the end of the agreed number of sessions, you and the mentor will review and decide whether to continue with more sessions or to end sessions at that point.

Peer mentoring is not a form of psychological therapy, however during your appointments you may want to discuss your feelings and emotions. If you are struggling to manage your feelings and emotions, your mentor may recommend other services that can support you with this.

How much does it cost?

The initial appointment costs £60 and is 90 minutes.

Ongoing Peer Mentor sessions costs £40 and is 50 minutes.

 Who is our Peer Mentor?

 Our Peer Mentor is Rose Anne,  who is also one of  our Experts by Experience.

Experts by Experience are individuals who have previously accessed services at The Retreat. As Peer Mentors, they draw on their experience to support others in their own journey to wellbeing. You can read a little bit about them below.



Rose Anne

Hello, I’m Rose Anne, and I’m really excited to be a peer mentor at The Retreat. I’ve been a peer mentor in a number of different settings before and think it’s a great role! The best thing is being able to work with some amazing people, to walk alongside them on their journey and to learn from them too!

Outside of being a peer mentor, I love playing clarinet, playing squash, and more recently, I have loved exploring the Austrian countryside and the occasional mountain during my internship in a chaplaincy in Vienna, Austria. 

Ronnie Pinder

I have been peer mentoring for a number of years with several organisations, helping autistic adults make sense of their diagnosis. Following my own diagnosis, I found that the biggest help was meeting with and talking to other autistic adults. Sharing experiences and similarities in the way that we experience the world helped me immensely. Excited by the work they are doing, I felt privileged to bring my knowledge and lived experience to The Retreat and to have joined their wonderful team.

I’ve been married for over three decades and together we have five children, two of whom are also autistic. When not busy with family life I love all things geeky and tech and I’m a huge and unashamed Trekkie.

How do I refer myself?

Please complete our referral form HERE and a member of the team will be in touch.

Please note that at present the Peer Mentor service is for people who do have a diagnosis of ASC.


How To Access The Service

All therapies are accessed via our Initial Therapies Assessment. 

To refer yourself to our general therapies service, or just to talk to us about whether we can help, please call us on 01904 412551.


Contact Us

Why choose The Retreat?


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Helping People…

We support people and help them recover, using a wide range of different therapies and assessments.

We also diagnose people with autism, ADHD, eating disorders and psychological trauma.

What is Online/Video Therapy?

Our online therapy service allows us to offer help and support to people not able to access our York-based service face-to-face. Online therapy is a developing area for counselling and psychotherapy, and is also known as webcam counselling, e-therapy, web therapy, internet therapy and distance therapy. This service allows you all the benefits of face-to-face sessions with a therapist, via your personal computer and from the comfort of your home. 

Our skilled counsellors, psychologists and therapists will listen to you in a non-judgmental way in a private, confidential setting. They can help you with your current difficulties, past experiences or anxieties about your future with the aim of helping you improve the quality of your life and relationships.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Any one of us can experience something that we find traumatic. This could be something recent that has happened to us or it could be from our earlier years. Either way, around 30% of people who experience something traumatic go on to develop symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events can vary widely, from road traffic or other accidents, involvement in military combat, near death experiences, or some form of abuse as a child or adult.

PTSD is a name given to a range of symptoms that someone may experience. Often, when we experience a situation that is traumatic, we may at first feel quite numb, but later experience symptoms such as:

  • Nightmares or frightening thoughts
  • Re-living the traumatic event, often termed ‘flashbacks’
  • Avoidance of reminders of the event and of talking about it
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Hyper vigilance and alertness to possible danger
  • Problems with concentration and memory.

These are all symptoms of PTSD and are usually very distressing to us.

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.

It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.

Some people with autism can live relatively independent lives, but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include:

  • Inattentiveness – most people with ADHD will have a short attention span and may be easily distracted.
  • Hyperactivity – there is likely to be some restlessness, fidgeting or overactivity. This can also lead to difficulties in sleeping and increased anxiety.
  • Impulsiveness – people with ADHD may do things without thought for the consequences, without very much reflection and without having a plan.

Some adults will have ADHD without it being diagnosed at a younger age. Those who are diagnosed at a young age are likely to continue to experience problems, though the symptoms might reduce.

What therapies do you offer?

We offer a range of individual and group therapies in line with NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance. All of our therapists are highly trained, experienced and committed to continued professional development. Many therapists have training in more than one therapy modality, and are therefore in the best position to offer tailored, individualised therapy to meet your needs, drawing from the most up to date, evidence-based interventions.

Our therapies are usually delivered face to face, in relaxing therapy rooms. However if you are unable to come to The Retreat for your appointments, whatever the reason, we may be able to offer you an appointment via video link, using a secure platform called VSEE. 

How do I access the service?

All therapies are accessed via our Initial Therapies Assessment. 

To refer yourself to our general therapies service, or just to talk to us about whether we can help, please call us on 01904 412551.

Is the service confidential?

All our services are confidential, and our therapists and clinicians follow professional codes of conduct which include principles around confidentiality. This means we will not disclose information about you to a third party without your consent, unless we had significant concern for either your safety or the safety of someone else. We would make every attempt to discuss this with you if the situation arose.

Can I get involved in The Retreat?

We welcome representation from people who have finished their therapy or support within our services. There are a number of ways you can get involved, from joining us at information sharing events, helping us raise the profile of our services through the media, or consulting with us to help develop new service or recruit new staff. Please contact us for more information. 

Get in Touch. Talk to us.

If you need to speak to us, we are here to help. Our team of qualified therapists are at your service in person, or via a video call.

Heslington Rd, York, YO10 5BN

Call Us: 01904 412 551