Applicants will receive an acknowledgement email and information about the next steps in the match process.
Upon receipt of your completed application, the Community Outreach Liaison will create a suggested match based on your goals, objectives and geographic location, and will introduce you to each other. The introduction will encourage you to schedule an “exploration meeting” either in person (if possible), via telephone or Skype. While we will try to make matches within the same geographic area, this may not be possible. In these cases the Mentor Program can be fulfilled ‘virtually’ through telephone, Skype and emails.
If for some reason, the initial exploration process does not result in a good match, please contact the Liaison who will work with you to make another match and support in any additional assistance.
What is the role of a Mentor?
Mentors can serve in a variety of roles. Since the Mentee has chosen to find a Mentor, this person is most likely looking for a role model, a leader to look up to who has the experience and skills that he/she wants to emulate. Mentors can draw upon their own career development with the Mentee, including aspirations, goals, experiences, and the particular knowledge, skills, and attitudes they have found necessary to succeed in the field of art therapy. The Mentor can also assist the Mentee in assessing his/her strengths and weaknesses and in determining which competencies need to be developed. It is important to note that a Mentor/Mentee relationship does not and can not replace that of a Supervisor/Supervisee relationship, which is specifically geared toward the development of clinical skills needed for professional competency and credentialing. The Mentor should advise the Mentee to obtain ATR supervision when and where appropriate.
A Mentor can provide the Mentee with guidance for establishing a professional network. The Mentor can acquaint the Mentee with valuable relationships and activities which can be accessed through the local Chapter and/or the National Association. The Mentor can also provide moral support and suggest various ways that the Mentee can become more involved in the profession.
What are the characteristics of a potential Mentor?
Mentors should be Credentialed Professionals, Professionals or Retired Professional members who have a breadth of experience in the field. An essential characteristic is the motivation to serve as Mentor. Although the time commitment for mentorship will vary, Mentors must be willing to invest the necessary time and energy to make the relationship successful. Mentors should have the skills to assist others in a positive, constructive way. This includes excellent communication skills, especially the ability to be an active listener and to provide feedback in an effective manner. Mentors should also have an active network of professional contacts.
What are the characteristics of a potential Mentee?
Mentees should demonstrate thededication to working independently and actively on developing their careers in art therapy. In addition, they should be open to feedback and advice. Mentees should also exhibit the commitment to advancing themselves within the profession and be willing to devote the time and effort required to be successful. They should have established professional development goals and an action plan for reaching their objectives.
Each relationship will have unique attributes including the amount of time that both the Mentor and the Mentee can devote to the mentoring relationship. As a general rule, a monthly check-in communication either in person or electronically is recommended, with more frequent email communications, as needed and agreed upon.
Stages of Developing a Mentoring Relationship:
Though the sequence and pace may vary, there are several stages which mentoring relationships typically go through including:
Stage 1: Exploration
An initial assessment of the relationship is completed including:
Learning more about each other.
Confirming there is a match between the Mentee’s goals for the relationship and the Mentor’s ability to fulfill the role.
Establishing a comfort level with each other.
Confirming that the personal and/or professional interests and goals for the relationship are compatible.
Stage 2: Negotiation
Being clear about the parameters of the relationship is vital in order for the mentoring relationship to work. This includes:
Agreeing upon what each party wants from the relationship and modifying goals as needed.
Learning what is important to both parties.
Ensuring there is agreement on the parameters of the relationship.
Once the relationship is in full swing, one tip for success is that the Mentor and Mentee reevaluate their commitment to continue the relationship on a regular basis, preferably during the monthly check-in communication.
Stage 3: Affirmation
Investment in the relationship begins in this phase. While the Mentor and Mentee continue to define and redefine the relationship, they will confirm the ability to uphold the responsibilities that have been agreed upon.
Stage 4: Termination
This stage is reached when, by mutual consent, the relationship is complete for a variety of reasons. The Mentee may have reached his/her goals and objectives and the relationship parameters have been fulfilled. Or, the relationship may be discontinued based on the inability of either party to uphold the original parameters of the relationship. It should be noted that some participants will agree to continue the relationship in either the original Mentor/Mentee structure or as an evolving relationship, including friendship and/or as colleagues.
There is no set time commitment for mentorship relationships, since they are defined by the Mentor and Mentee based on individual goals and objectives. It should be noted though, that it would be an ethical violation and a conflict of interest for the Mentor, who is a volunteer role model, to evolve into a paid Supervisor. Mentors must refer Mentees to other appropriate art therapy supervisors.
NorCATA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes the therapeutic use of art throughout Northern California, public awareness of art therapy, professional development through educational events, workshops, conferences, and more.