The Role of Mentoring Relationships in Counseling Programs

August, 2015

Source: International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2015, pp. 168-183
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The purpose of this study was to examine the specific needs of students and junior faculty in counseling programs and to provide a glimpse of the mentorship experience through the lens of the mentee.

The authors used a psychological phenomenological research approach to understand the meaning of a mentor and the mentoring relationship.

The participants were 9 pre-tenured faculty, 10 doctoral- and 11 master’s-level students in counselor education programs in the USA. The authors conducted semi-structured interviewed to explore the mentorship needs.

The authors found that both master’s and doctoral level, and junior faculty alike suggested that a mentor should have certain characteristics, such as being approachable, having a personal style of mentoring, being encouraging, and providing clear and direct feedback to the mentee.
The participants also reported benefits of the mentoring relationship, such as being able to learn through modeling and learning about life balance through positive and negative examples.
The participants also shared specific needs that they wanted addressed in the mentoring relationship. These included such needs as desiring specific answers/advice from the mentor and understanding politics in the counseling and counselor education field.

The researchers also identified 28 codes that emerged from the participants’ lived experiences, which then were organized into seven meta-codes. The seven meta-codes included relationship between mentor and mentee; communication style or patterns; preferred gender of mentor; introduction to the relationship; mentee needs; mentee benefits; and experiences as a mentee.

Updated: Nov. 15, 2018