“Supervising Peer Specialists – A Mutual Experience” – September 2022 Supervisor’s Community of Practice

September 2022 Supervisor’s CPS & CPPS Community of Practice

“Supervising Peer Specialists – A Mutual Experience” with Kurt Stapleton

September 22nd, 2022 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm CT

Facilitator: Kurt Stapleton

After battling with an opioid use disorder for nearly 10 years and making some poor choices in life, he began his recovery journey while in prison. Shortly after his wedding, he fell deeper into the darkness of the disease and was living hopelessly. One bad decision led to another and he wound up getting arrested for 2 counts of armed robbery of 2 pharmacies for painkillers. Kurt then received a 20-year sentence that included 5 yrs in prison and 15 years of extended supervision. Thankfully, he was granted the Earned Release Program while incarcerated. This is where he learned the tools to truly overcome the childhood traumas he endured.  After being released from prison, he worked any job he could to be a productive member of the household and society. After a chance encounter at a coffee shop where he was talking about his recovery journey, he met a few people who were talking about recovery coaching and peer support specialists. As the universe was working out his path, Kurt found that he was being pulled in this direction for some reason and decided to pursue the CPS training and eventually became a CPS.  This decision is one that ultimately changed his life and career path. One day, while sitting at his desk ordering air conditioner parts for his full-time job, he came across a full-time, salary position for a certified peer specialist. After talking to his wife, he took the job, and knowing he couldn’t possibly make enough money doing this alone, he chose to work part-time as a peer specialist as well. After working 2 jobs as a peer specialist, the organization was discussing opening up the peer specialist supervisor position. This was exactly what he needed at exactly the right time.   Today, Kurt works as a peer supervisor and peer support at Chrysalis in a 50/50 role. Knowing full well what it means to have a supervisor understand what the peer specialist is dealing with, having the lived experience and first-hand knowledge of the daily struggles that come with this position, he is able to support his team members on another level than a clinician can. Having worked with some unsatisfactory supervisors in the past, he strives to be the best leader of the team that he can be.


This month’s Supervisors of CPS/CPPS Community of Practice will be focusing on “Supervising Peer Specialists – A Mutual Experience,” with Kurt Stapleton as our guest facilitator. This topic was chosen based on feedback we received from members of our workforce, and we hope that this discussion will provide valuable insights for all involved. We will be discussing one of peer support’s core values, mutuality, from a peer supervisor’s perspective. As a certified peer specialist who has grown into a supervisor of certified peer specialists, Kurt has a meaningful perspective to share on what mutuality looks like within an organization and in the supervisory role. Together, we will discuss power dynamics, how to advocate for mutuality on an organizational level. Join us, as we aim to deepen our understanding of this important peer value and how we can put it into practice, today!

We invite you to please fill out the evaluation survey link (click here) if you attended this community of practice gathering or if you watch the recordingThe survey will close at 4:30pm on Thursday, October 6th. Certificates of Participation will be sent to those completing the evaluation form by 4:30pm on October 13th, 2022. No evaluation surveys will be accepted for CEH credit after the evaluation survey’s closing date/time.

This website is managed and maintained by staff at Access to Independence working on the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative. The words, views, and values presented herein are not necessarily representative of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

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