A wise person once told me, "When you try to help someone, you mess with their lives." That insight has guided me in establishing peer relationships, not helping ones. When we are peers we commit to mutual learning. We commit to a relationship, not an individual project. I am not sure that social work can be a peer relationship.
Relationship is subversive in that it points to an order of being beyond the conventional. Ordinary reality involves pragmatic surface relationships in which each person looks out for his or her own self-interest. The basic social contract of society is built on precisely such notions of individual self-interest and civil interaction. Peer relationship models the possibility of breaking the boundary of the superficial to enter the deep. Peer relationship, in its ideal form, subverts the “normal” order of society.