Types of Mentoring Roles

Although there are many types of mentoring roles, they all require a strong and positive relationship between mentor and mentee.  The nature of the relationship can vary depending on the needs of the mentee, but typically involves these three roles:


  • Companionship is the most basic type of mentoring relationship.  The emphasis is simply on being together and enjoying the company of another person.  Adolescents that are lonely, have difficulty forming friendships, or need the support of an older peer can benefit greatly from this type of mentoring relationship.  As the relationship develops, mentors may also find that barriers to communication are reduced, allowing room for discussion of important issues, feelings and challenges in the mentees’ lives.  

  • Coaching is a major area of emphasis in therapeutic mentoring.  Coaching can support the mentee in developing specific social, emotional and behavioral skills and be an adjunct to many types of therapy. Coaching is designed to offer mentees the opportunity for skill-building through experiences that naturally occur in their lives, at home, school and in the community.  The mentor/coach can play a more active role than a therapist and implement treatment plans that are developed in therapy, 504 and IEP meetings or by parents.  

  • Assisting individuals that have trouble managing the day-to-day challenges of their lives can be an extremely valuable role for a mentor.  Adolescents and young adults who struggle with more severe disorders that impair functioning may depend on the assistance of a mentor to live independently.  As a result, the mentor may spend more time with the mentee than many other people in their lives.  The intensity of this relationship offers rich opportunities for mentors to positively influence mentees and help them toward more independent living.

An abundance of research has documented the many benefits of mentoring.  For more info, click below: