“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”Anonymous
A significant part of both level four and the Frye experience is mentoring. Blues who have helpful insight or perspective may visit the Frye campus for a few hours to facilitate a discussion or group. Usually, the topic is relevant to the needs of the current group at Frye. Mentoring is the perfect time for blues to reach out to those who are struggling and offer support.
Mentoring benefits both the mentor and the recipients, because it allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation on each side. Mentorship can be very nerve-wracking to facilitate, specifically when talking to an unfamiliar group. A considerable amount of planning is necessary to have an effective and meaningful time mentoring. A decent amount of knowledge and experience surrounding the topic is important to be able to teach it in a substantial way. Mentoring is an excellent opportunity for staff and residents to learn from each other’s experiences.
The process of mentoring is similar to that of helping a friend in need. While it is unlikely that someone would prepare a therapeutic group for a struggling friend, many of the same concepts can be applied. Empathy and compassion are key elements of mentoring, and are important skills to have when attempting to help others in general. Trying to solve someone’s problem isn’t going to help them in the way that you want, but providing purposeful support can push them in the right direction.
To me, mentoring was an opportunity to reflect on my time at Frye. I had been present for many mentor-lead groups, and being on the other side provided moving insight. It was empowering to know that my experiences and knowledge could help others who are in a position similar to my own. Being able to mentor helped me realize that no struggle is without a purpose, and that I have the ability to help someone else in a significant way.
In summary, mentoring is an important detail both of the Ironwood program and of life. Reflecting upon your own experience and struggles can make you a better support to those around you. Struggle is never without a purpose, there is always a lesson that can be learned.