Clinical and Experimental Psychology

Mentoring Relationships

Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but they must have a certain area of expertise  It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.[1] Interaction with an expert may also be necessary to gain proficiency with/in cultural tools.  Mentorship experience and relationship structure affect the "amount of psychosocial support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships in which the protégés and mentors engaged. The person in receipt of mentorship may be referred to as a protégé (male), a protégée (female), an apprentice or, in the 2000s, a mentee. The mentor may be referred to as a godfather or godmother. "Mentoring" is a process that always involves communication and is relationship-based, but its precise definition is elusive,  with more than 50 definitions currently   in use The roots of the practice are lost in antiquity. The word itself was inspired by the character of Mentor in Homer's Odyssey. Though the actual Mentor in the story is a somewhat ineffective old man, the goddess Athena takes on his appearance in order to guide young Telemachus in his time of difficulty.Historically significant systems of mentorship include the guru–disciple tradition  practiced in Hinduism and Buddhism, Elders, the discipleship system practiced by Rabbinical Judaism and the Christian church  and apprenticing under the medieval guild system.In the United States, advocates for workplace equity in the second half of the twentieth century popularized the term "mentor" and concept of career mentorship as part of a larger social capital lexicon which also includes terms such as glass ceiling, bamboo ceiling,[18] networking, role model, and gatekeeper—serving to identify and address the problems barring non-dominant groups from professional success. Mainstream business literature subsequently adopted the terms and concepts, promoting them as pathways to success for all career climbers. In 1970, these terms were not in the general American vocabulary; by the mid-1990s they had become part of everyday speech

Relevant Topics in Neuroscience & Psychology