When developing your niche in trauma treatment having a mentor can be helpful. Mentors provide a wealth of knowledge and direction. The road to identifying your ideal client and creating your dream career can be riddled with hurdles, speed bumps, and random detours. Knowing that you have someone to help you stay on course and overcome whatever obstacles are ahead, provides you with a sense of confidence and reassurance.
My older sister is a Social Worker and she often talks about her mentor, whom she connected with through her job. She shares with me the wisdom he shares with her. She mentions the connections she is making through him. It all sounds so wonderful. Truth be told, I have never been able to find a face-to-face mentor. I think it is because we move so often, due to my husband’s job. It is harder for me to make long-lasting relationships in my city because I am here today gone tomorrow. While it is more difficult for me, I still value what a mentor can offer, so I decided to have an internet-based mentor. This is someone that I can follow from afar. While this is not the most ideal situation, I am not willing to be without a mentor as I work towards solidifying my niche. It is too priceless, in my opinion.
FollowTheses Four Easy Steps
How do you find a trauma treatment mentor, whether it be an in-person mentor or an internet-based mentor? Follow these four easy steps to start the search today:
- Dream. Take time to envision the type of trauma therapist you want to be. What qualities, skills, and abilities do you want to have? Think of characteristics that make up your ideal client? If you could have a dream career, what would it look like? Download my free tool called Trauma Treatment Vision Planning Worksheet (here) to assist you with this step. Once you have this vision, in its most detailed form, move to the next step.
- Identify therapists that fit the mold. Let’s first find out if you can locate a face-to-face mentor. Find people in your area who fit the characteristics you aspire to have. A great place to find therapist within your niche is to search online therapist directories. If you can’t find any in your local area, then finding therapists via the internet is another option. Joining our online community of trauma treatment professionals here, and connecting with like-minded individuals can be helpful in identifying potential therapist. You can also start following hashtags focused on your niche and notice who are influencers. Once you have identified possible candidates you are ready for the next step.
- Reach out and connect. Now that you have found some potential mentors you would like to meet with, you are ready to connect. If it is a face-to-face possibility, contact the therapist via the phone or email to introduce yourself and invite them out for coffee. If it is a therapist you found via an internet connection, maybe asking to schedule a time to meet through video chat or by phone to discuss their niche journey. Asking to meet either way can be intimidating, but remember nothing, worth having, comes easy. Take the risk! Now let’s move to the final step.
- Create a list of questions. You are all set for either your first face-to-face meeting, phone call, or video chat. Having a list of questions can be helpful in getting to know your potential mentor and deciding if you want to pursue the relationship. Here are five questions to get you started:
- Can you share with me how you got started in treating trauma?
- What has been the hardest part of your journey in trauma treatment and how did you overcome that?
- What did you wish you knew at my stage of making trauma treatment my niche?
- What experience(s) do you think it is best for me to gain?
- How did you determine what training/credentials to obtain?
- How do you stay abreast of the latest happenings in the trauma treatment field?
Once you have had an initial conversation, and you feel like this therapist would be a good fit, ask them if they would be willing to meet again in the future. If they are open to the idea, set another time to connect and keep nurturing the relationship. If for some reason the first meeting is not a success, ask them if they could recommend a colleague you can talk with or resources to consider.
This process of finding a mentor can be time-consuming, from the search to the meetings with potential mentors. It can take a while to find the right fit. Do not give up. Once you find that person who is willing to mentor you it can be invaluable, and you and your career are worth the time and energy. Start your search today!
What roadblocks exist for you in finding a trauma treatment mentor?