commonly asked questions.
How is mentorship different than a supportive friendship?
Receiving help from a mentor can sometimes feel like really good friendship, though the difference is the professional boundary that exists between the two people. There are certain benefits to both relationships, because they intend to serve different purposes. A mentor's primary role is to be a supportive guide for you. Because you are investing your own money to receive this support, there is an expectation that it will be there dependably at scheduled times and within whatever agreements are set up in the relationship.
In friendship, the dynamic is more reciprocal. I sometimes give you support, and you sometimes give it to me. Another difference in a friendship is the emotional vulnerability that exists on both sides. Because both individuals are equally vulnerable, each are less objective in seeing the other from a clear perspective. What does this mean? It means that if you turn to a friend for support, they will probably offer you a perspective that is caring because they love you, but it might not offer you the full picture. They are invested in your wellbeing because it means something to them personally. Whereas when you have supportive conversations with a mentor, they might share things with you from a broader lens, because they are more objective.
How often will we meet for individual sessions?
Many people enjoy meeting once per week. Others choose to meet twice a month, and others meet for sessions once every month. The frequency of when sessions happen is decided based on your schedule, level of commitment, and space availability.
What kinds of things will we do in sessions?
Mostly you will be guided in creative mindfulness strategies during our sessions. This might mean practicing a visualization or journaling activity, role playing, talking about experiences over the past week, or asking/answering self-reflective questions that cultivate deeper presence.
The primary body-centered guidance tool we'll use in sessions is called the WHOLE practice, which is a mindfulness strategy used to access deeper peace and presence. It is outlined below:
W ait - Dropping the focused activity of the mind and entering into a relaxed, free space of receiving
H ear - Listening with curiosity to where your attention is directed, both outwardly and inwardly
O pen - Allowing what you notice to evolve and deepen into a full expression of emotion
L ove - Offering compassionate loving presence to whatever thoughts, feelings, or ideas that show up
E xpress - Communicating about any part of the experience from an embodied, loving place within
I trust a mentor more than I trust a therapist to help me with deeper issues such as trauma, addiction, suicidal thoughts, or relationship difficulties,. Is this ok?
Therapists have specialized training in addressing issues such as trauma, addiction, and deeply engrained relationship patterns. The aim of mentorship is to create space for you to identify strategies for growth and gain new insight and self-awareness. Although sometimes a deeper, core issue might arise in mentorship, the focus here is not to resolve or heal this. Sometimes healing may be a natural effect of mentoring, which is wonderful! It is not, however, the primary intention or goal.
If certain deep, core issues continue emerging, it may be recognized that a deeper form of support is necessary and a referral may be made. For those who are already receiving mentorship when this becomes evident, we will continue working together while respecting the boundary between therapeutic issues and cultivating presence within the limitations of our mentoring relationship.
I'd love to receive this kind of support, but it feels too expensive for me. How can I access this service with my current budget?
I understand that money is sometimes the primary barrier to receiving a self-pay support service, Because it is important to me that a variety of women have access to someone who can help them cultivate deeper presence, I offer many options to make it work for you.
Please check the page that outlines these options, and if they all still feel unavailable for you let me know, and I will help connect you with some other community services who may be able to help.
How long of a time commitment should I make?
This is a personal decision, one that only you can make for yourself. Throughout the years, I have seen 2-3 months as a standard minimum for the amount of time it takes someone to establish new norms and sustain changes more long-term. On the other hand, sometimes people need to dip their toes into something first before making a deeper commitment.
I respect whatever level of commitment you feel ready to make at this time, so long as we are both clear in our understanding about it.
What deeper traditions and root systems inform this work?
This work has been influenced by various teachers, spiritual traditions, and methodologies. Among the primary influences are:
- The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron
- Spiritual teachings rooted in mystical Christianity
- Eastern philosophy
- iPEC's Core Energy Leadership model
- Gestalt psychology
- Compassionate communication strategies
- Creative literature and media
What credentials and life experience does this mentor possess that qualifies her to support me?
I am currently receiving my Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, anticipating to graduate and receive a provisory license as a CMHCA in 2023. Receiving this training as a therapist does not qualify me to provide therapy yet until I am licensed, though it does offer many helping skills that are transferrable to a role of professional mentor. A few of the basic skills I am actively learning and honing include active and reflective listening, asking thought-provoking questions, and providing an empathetic presence to another person seeking to be heard.
Beyond this, I have received the following formal and informal education:
- Master's degree in physical therapy
- The Artist's Way, group program in Asheville, NC
- Certification in life coaching from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
- 12-step individual and group programs with sponsorship
- Love, Liberate, Launch, self-led and group program by Jessica Chilton
- The Art of Money, self-led program by Bari Tessler-Linden