Our mentoring program provides structure, support, and recovery connection for residents who are moving out of our houses and into greater levels of independence. Oftentimes, those who have themselves journeyed through recovery serve as the most effective and compassionate mentors. Stephanie, who will be celebrating two years of continuous recovery next Friday and is a former Transcend resident and mentoring client, is one of our newest mentors and we couldn’t be more proud of her! We thought we would ask Stephanie about her experience and transition from client to mentor.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a mentor?
Stephanie: The most rewarding part to mentoring for me is just witnessing client growth. One of the women I mentor has been working with me since November. She is almost unrecognizable in every form from then to now. I had always used the word “proud” when describing how I feel about the women I mentore, but working with her and seeing her have these major breakthroughs shows me a totally different meaning to the word.
Q: What are some of the goals you set with your mentees?
Stephanie: The goals that I will set with mentees vary based on where they are in their recovery or what brought them to recovery. Some common goals though pertain to getting a job, budgeting their money, or possibly going to school.
Q: What is the one thing you value most about being a mentor?
Stephanie: Something that I value most about mentoring is the opportunity to form amazing relationships with my clients and their families. For them to have me as their “go to person” with whom they trust with so much in their life means a lot to me.
Q: How do you work with families in your role as a mentor?
Stephanie: Working with the families is one of my favorite parts of this job. To my clients, I serve as an advocate to help them communicate what their needs are in a helpful, peaceful, and clear way. With the parents, I typically begin by having them define what their goals or expectations are for their son or daughter. By acting as a mediator between clients and parents, I strive to build healthy and productive communication and action within the family unit. That way it takes away tension or pressure on both ends, and each side can by proactive in their recovery.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Stephanie: In 5 years’ time, I see myself graduating from grad school with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. My goal is to continue my work in the mental health and/or addiction field.
Q: What is one thing you now know about the recovery process as a mentor that you didn’t yet know when you were a mentee?
Stephanie: As a mentee, I didn’t realize how much work went on behind the scenes for mentors. The amount of time and energy a mentor puts in across the board was something that I didn’t have any understanding or appreciation towards. I also did not understand the concept of self care to the degree I know now. When I started working in the field I honestly thought this job would be something that would ultimately keep me sober. I have now realized this couldn’t be further from the truth, because if I don’t take time to care for myself, then my sobriety can absolutely be at risk. But if I take care of myself, I can be at my fullest potential.
We are so proud of your recovery, Stephanie! You are a gift to the entire Transcend family!