Story-Informed Therapeutic Mentor

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We are living in a world of hurt. We’re surrounded by political strife, racial injustice, gun violence, family instability, domestic violence, sexual abuse, substance abuse, natural disasters, financial strain, and general uncertainty. In addition, we all bring various levels of hurt and trauma from our childhoods that get reactivated during times of stress and continue to influence our lives and relationships. These traumatic environments and experiences place an unusual strain on our mental health.

As a result, more people are desperately needing mental health support than ever before. There is a growing consensus that licensed professional mental health providers cannot carry the weight alone. Whether your context is in community health organizations, mutual aid work, faith organizations, chaplaincy or pastoral roles, the need to be trauma-informed and trained has never been greater.

The Story-informed Therapeutic Mentorship program is designed to equip those who are not licensed therapists to provide appropriate and trauma-informed support to those seeking recovery and personal growth. Therapeutic Mentoring is much more than giving a listening ear or encouragement. Meeting people in these hard places effectively requires a specialized skill set. The Story-informed Therapeutic Mentoring program provides mentors with a foundational understanding of trauma and its impact and equips them with trauma-informed skills to support people along the recovery journey with insight, knowledge, compassion, and competence.

Story-Informed Therapeutic Mentor training is appropriate for:

Story-Informed Therapeutic Mentoring fills two vital roles for those struggling to navigate life’s challenging circumstances.

First, many currently in therapy can benefit from the additional support a trained Therapeutic Mentor can offer. Story-informed Mentors supplement the therapeutic process by providing stability and encouragement along with trauma-informed understanding and guidance outside the therapeutic hour. A Therapeutic Mentor can be a practical part of a survivor’s support network.

Second, many cannot access professional therapy due to finances, location, availability, and long waiting lists. Story-informed Therapeutic Mentors can offer an accessible alternative. Although Therapeutic Mentors are not licensed therapists, they can provide necessary support and guidance for those seeking recovery in ways that can, at times, be not only life-changing but life-saving.

Through the Therapeutic Mentorship training you'll learn:

Where to start?

Watch Box People

This short, delightful video tells a story that showcases the role a compassionate peer support can full for a trauma survivor.

Learn about Therapeutic Mentor Training

Familiarize yourself with the steps in this training that will result in your certification.

Start your journey

The Fundamentals of Trauma-Informed Care will give you an overview of trauma's impact and the perspective that the Story-Informed model brings to trauma care.

Questions about Therapeutic Mentors

A Therapeutic Mentor is a non-licensed therapeutic support person and story guide who has received specialized training in Story-informed Trauma recovery, equipping them to provide meaningful encouragement, emotional support, validation, stabilization, knowledgeable insight, trauma-informed education, and therapeutic guidance for the recovery journey from childhood trauma.

A therapist trained in Story-informed Trauma Therapy is a professional licensed clinical therapist who has also been trained in the SITT recovery model. Drawing from a broad psychological education, therapists can work with a wide range of disorders, diagnose disorders, bill insurance, utilize specialized psychological tools such as EMDR, and are overseen by a governing board in the state where they practice.

Story-informed Therapeutic Mentors can provide encouragement, emotional support and regulation, trauma-informed insight, and education for those already engaged in the therapeutic recovery process. For others, who may not be able to engage in professional therapy due to finances, location, or other limiting circumstances, Therapeutic Mentors can act as a type of “story guide”, drawing from their lived experience and specialized Story-informed trauma training to help people read, understand and process their life stories.

Research shows that the addition of therapeutic support services is associated with greater recovery from behavioral health conditions, reduced hospital admission rates, increased self-esteem, improved social functioning, raised empowerment scores, increased engagement in self-care and wellness, decreases in depression, and increased self-awareness and acceptance.  (Chinman, Weingarten, Stayner, & Davidson, 2001; Nelson, Ochocka, Janzen, & Trainor, 2006; Resnick & Rosenheck, 2008; Coatsworth-Puspokey, Forchuk, & Ward-Griffin, 2006)

Therapy is hard work, and can feel overwhelming at times. Therapists have limited availability due to schedules, workload, and professional boundaries. “Peer support offers a level of acceptance, understanding, and validation not found in many other professional relationships.” (Mead & McNeil, 2006). Therapeutic Mentors can provide emotional support, encouragement, stabilization, and knowledgeable insight outside the therapeutic hour, improving the effectiveness of treatment.

A trained Story-Informed Therapeutic Mentor has completed Level One training. A certified Story-Informed Therapeutic Mentor has continued with Level Two training which includes individual supervision, peer supervision, and demonstrated competency with a Therapeutic Mentor Supervisor.

Therapeutic Mentoring is more than listening and loving people, as important as those are. What makes Therapeutic Mentorship so effective is the knowledge they bring into the room with them regarding the impact of trauma, relational dynamics, interpersonal skills, recovery principles, and their own personal lived experience. These better enable a Therapeutic Mentor to guide people into healthier living.