Peer provision of mental health services can be seen as a way to operationalize the New Freedom Commission's goals of recovery-oriented, consumer-driven care. But few studies have examined the effectiveness of these services. Sandra G. Resnick, Ph.D., and Robert A. Rosenheck, M.D., assessed confidence, empowerment, and other outcomes among veterans who attended sessions of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vet-to-Vet program, a peer support program focused on recovery from mental illness. The authors compared the results with those of veterans who received standard care. Their findings suggest that peer support enhances confidence and empowerment and reduces alcohol use (page 1307). Matthew Chinman, Ph.D., and colleagues evaluated other VA efforts to maximize the potential of peer support. In 2005 the VA began funding new positions for consumer-providers (CPs) on clinical teams at mental health facilities nationwide. More than 120 CPs have now been hired. The researchers analyzed data from focus groups involving nearly 100 CPs and team supervisors and found that despite initial resistance from some team members, CPs have fared well and are valued by both staff and consumers (page 1315). The success of peer-based treatments has been attributed in part to the ability of peer providers to forge close positive alliances with clients. The therapeutic power of any treatment alliance is believed to derive from the provider's validating qualities, such as warmth and acceptance; however, peer providers may be in a better position than traditional providers to make invalidating communications, such as strong disapproval of a client's recent drug use, without eroding the alliance—such interactions may even result in improved client outcomes. Dave Sells, Ph.D., and colleagues tested this interesting hypothesis in a group of 137 adults with serious mental illness (page 1322).