Peer Counselor - Tukwila





Title: Peer Counselor
Program: Substance Use Disorder, Co-occurring and Medically-assisted Treatment Programs
Schedule: Monday through Friday
Location: Tukwila, WA
Opening Date April 2,2018
Classification: Full time
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
Salary Range: $16.50-$18.95 hourly
Closing Date: Open until filled


The Peer Counselor (PC) is an active member of the Cowlitz Tribal Health Seattle Clinic staff and participates fully in set of integrated behavioral health programs, providing peer support services to clients with substance use disorder and/or co-occurring disorder. Under supervision of the Substance Use Disorder Program Manager, the Peer Counselor will function as a role model to peers, exhibiting competency in personal recovery and the use of coping skills, and will serve as a consumer advocate, providing consumer information and peer support for clients in outpatient and inpatient settings. The PC performs a wide range of tasks to assist peers of all ages, from young adult to old age, in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery process.

Using both formal goal setting processes and informal social capital such as cultural resources and community connections, the PC will:

  • Assist clients in articulating personal goals for recovery through the use of one-on-one consultations and participation in group treatment sessions. During these sessions the PC will support clients in identifying and creating goals and developing recovery plans with the skills, strengths, supports and resources to aid them in achieving those goals
  • Assist clients in making effective connections with resources both in-house and external to the agency, such as case managers, prescribers, nurse care managers and others who can contribute toward the realization of the client’s treatment plan(s) and goals.
  • Advocate for clients in accessing resources necessary to the realization of their treatment goals.
  • Assist clients in setting up and sustaining self-help (mutual support) groups, as well as means of locating and joining existing groups.
  • Utilize tools such as the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) to assist clients in creating their own individual wellness and recovery plans.
  • Independently or with periodic assistance of other treatment team members, utilize and teach problem solving techniques with individuals and groups; discussions will be utilized where clients will share common problems in daily living and methods they have employed to manage and cope with these problems. As one who has availed themselves of substance use disorder, co-occurring, mental health or related services, the PC will share their own experiences and what skills, strengths, supports and resources they use. As much as possible, the PS will share their own recovery story and as the facilitator of these sessions, will demonstrate how they have directed their own recovery.
  • Use ongoing individual and group sessions to teach clients how to identify and combat negative self-talk and how to identify and overcome fears by providing a forum which allows group members and PS to share their experiences.
  • Support clients’ vocational choices and assist them in choosing a job that matches their strengths, overcoming job-related anxiety by reviewing job applications, and providing interview tips.
  • Assist clients in building social skills in the community that will enhance job acquisition and tenure.

Utilizing their recovery experience, the PC will:

  • Teach and role model the value of every individual’s recovery experience.
  • Assist the client in obtaining decent and affordable housing of his/her choice in the most integrated, independent, and least intrusive or restrictive environment by taking them out to view housing, either driving them or riding with them on public transportation.
  • The PC models effective coping techniques and self-help strategies.
  • Serve as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for any effective recovery-based services that will aid the client in daily living.
  • Assist in obtaining services that suit that individual’s recovery needs by providing names of staff, community resources and groups that may be useful. Inform clients about community and natural supports and how to use these in the recovery process. Community resources may include but not limited to: social security office, Department of Family and Children services, local YMCA, Library, restaurants, service organizations, apartment complexes and other types of housing, etc.
  • Assist clients in developing empowerment skills and combating stigma through self-advocacy. This will be accomplished through regular meetings, individual or group sessions. Through the use of role playing/modeling techniques the PC provides opportunities for others to show/demonstrate how they have handled similar problems, how to present themselves in certain situations, or how to handle problems that may arise in interactions with others.
  • With assistance from the Team Leader, the Peer Counselor will work with the clients and other treatment team staff to develop a treatment/recovery plan based on each client’s identified goals. Treatment/Recovery Plans will be reviewed and signed by a Clinical Supervisor and other participating treatment team staff. The PC will document the following on the client’s treatment/recovery plan:
                a. identified person-centered strengths, needs, abilities, and recovery goals
                b. interventions to assist the client with reaching their goals for recovery
                c. progress made toward goals

The PC will maintain a working knowledge of current trends and developments in the substance use disorder/co-occurring field by staying abreast of current research by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials. The PC will continue to share recovery materials with others at continuing education seminars and other venues to be developed to support recovery-oriented services; and attend continuing education seminars and other in-service training when offered.


  1. Knowledge of the Recovery process and the ability to facilitate recovery using established standardized substance use disorder and co-occurring disorder processes.
  2. Knowledge and skill to teach and engage in basic problem-solving strategies to support individual clients in self-directed recovery.
  3. Knowledge of the signs and symptoms of mental illness (i.e. auditory and visual hallucinations, aggressive talk and behavior, thoughts of self-harm or harm towards others, isolation) and the ability to assist the client to address symptoms using strategies such as positive self-talk.
  4. Knowledge and skill sufficient to use community resources necessary for independent living and ability to teach those skills to other individuals with substance use disorder and/or co-occurring disorder. Community resources may include but are not limited to: social security office, Department of Family and Children services, local YMCA, Library, restaurants, clients’
  5. service organizations, housing providers, etc. The PS may accompany clients to community resources to assist them in accessing these resources.
  6. Knowledge of how to establish and sustain self-help (mutual support) and educational groups by soliciting input from the mental health consumers on their strengths and interests.
  7. Experience working with American Indians and Alaska Natives and within a Tribal community is desirable.


  1. Is committed to supporting the Cowlitz Indian Tribe Health and Human Services’ mission
  2. A valid driver’s license, or the ability to obtain one is required as some driving and/or transportation may be required to take clients to medical appointments, job sites, social activities and other community resources.
  3. High School Diploma or equivalent required. College degree or college coursework desirable.
  4. DSHS Peer Counselor training and certification is required at the time of hire, or soon after hire
  5. Must submit to and pass a criminal background check including debarment and drug testing.


The Peer Counselor is administratively assigned to the Substance Use Disorder Program in the Cowlitz Tribal Health Seattle clinic and will receive supervision from an assigned Clinical Supervisor. The supervisor provides continuing assignments and indicates generally what is to be done, i.e., setting up group or individual meetings, reviewing job applications, etc. The incumbent is expected to handle routine duties independently and is expected to establish common priorities for his/her assignments. Group teaching and facilitation work may be performed with the assistance of the supervisor or other substance use disorder and/or co-occurring disorder treatment team members. Work is reviewed by supervisor to ensure that it is technically correct and that it conforms to established policies and previously given instructions. Assignments that are routine and repetitive are not reviewed by the supervisor unless there are problems. Work that is new or requires deviations from previous assignments is discussed with the supervisor who provides detailed instructions.

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and a Drug & Alcohol-Free workplace.

Except as provided by Title 25 CFR, Section 472 which allows for Indian preference in hiring, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, sex, national origin, physical handicap, marital status, politics, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization.

Please mail resume and cover letter to:
Human Resources Department                      Or                    Elizabeth Rideau
Cowlitz Indian Tribe                                                                Cowlitz Tribal Health Seattle
P.O. Box 2547                                                                         15455 65th Ave. S.
Longview, WA 98632                                                              Tukwila, WA 98188
                                                                                                Email Elizabeth Rideau
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