Do you need a mentor? Want to be a mentor?
The Association of Family Therapists of Northern California’s mentor program has been running for the past four years and has been a great way for student and early career members to get involved in our organization and find guidance in their development as family therapists. It’s also a great way for more experienced members to give back and get inspired by their mentee’s excitement about the field.
The mentee/mentor relationship is like a buddy system where we connect students with licensed members. Together, mentee and mentor decide the frequency and type of contact, ranging from phone or email contact, to lunch or coffee every few months, to more frequent meetings.
Here’s what some of our participants have to say about the program:
Being an AFTNC mentor has been a particularly rewarding experience for me. As a private practitioner, I’m not routinely involved with other therapists outside my consultation group and referral network. That’s why I stay involved in AFTNC and AFTA. Mentoring has been a great way to be in touch with the newer generation of family therapists, and be enriched by their take on the field. My mentees have ranged from very casual relationships, to very involved ones. I’ve been enriched by all of them. – Roger Lake, MFT
I was matched with Golda Michaelson, MFT, a long time AFTNC member from Marin. We met for lunch every 3 months, chatted about our cases, discussed our interests in family therapy and other treatments, and I got to learn about having a private practice. It was nice to have someone I knew at the conference and to say hi to at AFTNC events. She was great resource for my questions and to help me understand how one makes a career in family therapy. Although I’m no longer her mentee since I’m licensed, we still get together for lunch, hikes, and talks about clients and our practices. I’ve also now taken on a mentee of my own through AFTNC. It’s been a great experience to give back. I highly recommend getting involved. It is a valuable experience with little time commitment. – W. Keith Sutton, Psy.D
One of the things I most enjoy about mentoring is engaging with students who are freshly observant of our field and have fewer preconceived notions about it. While not knowing can be a cause for anxiety, I try to convey to them the value of their “beginner’s mind” and am grateful for the opportunity to think anew things I have begun to take for granted. Mentoring through AFTNC has been a thoroughly rewarding experience for me. – Martin Newman, MFT
If you are interested in participating as either a mentor or mentee, please send an e-mail to the AFTNC Student Representative, Brittanie Mountz (email@example.com ).