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  • Counselling VS Mentorship: Which Is Right for You?

    There comes a time in most of our lives when we feel confused, lost, and uncertain of how to move forward with specific issues. During times like these, it’s important to have someone in your life who can support and guide you on your journey. Someone to be in your corner.

    It might actually make sense to turn to someone within your social circle for mentorship and encouragement. But there are times when life’s challenges may require professional therapy.

    If you are dealing with stress and uncertainty and need some guidance but are uncertain of whether a counsellor or mentor makes most sense for your current needs, here are some things to keep in mind.

    What is Mentoring?

    Mentors act as role models and provide advice and guidance to people for how to reach specific goals. A mentor can help you develop more confidence, learn new skills, and help you make better decisions.

    A mentor is someone you likely already know personally. Often, a relationship with a mentor will be encouraged between older and younger individuals. A senior individual takes the junior under their wings to help the younger person grow and develop personally and professionally.

    We also commonly find mentorships in the world of academia such as college and university. A professor or a university advisor may see something in a particular student and offer their attention and expertise to help guide the student in their pursuit of learning and personal and professional growth.

    In most cases, mentorships do not require payment. The mentor gives of their experience and time freely because they get their satisfaction out of helping this younger individual.

    What is Counselling?

    While mentoring is an informal relationship that you have with someone that’s already in your personal and/or professional circles, professional therapy is a formal relationship you build with someone who has invested many years of studies to become good at offering therapeutic support to clients. A professional counsellor is also someone who is licensed to help clients facing personal and professional life struggles.

    In a mentorship, you may meet the mentor in a variety of locations (library, park, café) and at a variety of times (whenever both of you are available). But with professional therapy you generally meet by appointment and in an office setting or a professional virtual space such as video or phone.

    Therapy is primarily problem and/or healing focused, meaning you seek specific support and guidance from a counsellor when you are experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, and other personal problems in your life.

    Do I Need a Counsellor or a Mentor?

    Great question, and the answer very much depends on what is going on in your life and what type of support you are looking for. If you are looking for some general advice about a career path or what degree you should take in college, you may benefit more from mentorship.

    On the other hand, if you are going through a mental health crisis and need to acquire tools and strategies to help you cope, you should seek guidance from a trained and licensed mental health professional.

    If you want to speak with someone about your current struggles, please reach out to us today. We’d be more than happy to discuss how we might be able to help.

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