One-on-One Mentorship

What is the One-on-One Mentorship program?

The purpose of the OCPA mentorship program is to provide outreach and promote professional growth and development for our members.
  • Early Career Psychologists (ECPs)
  • Re-entry Psychologists
  • Psychologists in training
  • Graduate Doctoral Students
  • Other

Why should I join the mentorship program?

Research shows that well-mentored people are more likely than those without good mentorship to succeed.

  • Be competent and confident
  • Perform at a higher level
  • Receive better evaluations and promotions
  • Make more money
  • Contribute to their field on a variety of measures, including number and quality of publications
  • Be loyal to their institutions
  • Mentor others themselves

Matching Mentor and Mentee

What should both mentor and mentee know about the one-on-one mentorship relationship?

  • Power is shared, with mutual agreement about roles
  • Mentor can be a source of wisdom, advice, and support in identified growth areas
  • Mentor can certainly have different interests and focuses as this can contribute to broader knowledge and other positive outcomes
  • Sometimes it’s appropriate for a mentee to search out more than one mentor for special issues
  • Discontinuing the mentor/mentee relationship should be discussed at the beginning and agreed upon by both parties
  • Cultural humility is a foundational aspect of mentorship relationship


Expectations need to be defined and established upfront for both mentor and mentee, in order to create a successful mentoring relationship.

Mentor expectations:

  • Encourage your mentee to commit to action steps
  • Direct your mentee to relevant resources when needed
  • Define expectations together with your mentee
  • Establish expected short term and long term timelines and frequency of meetings
  • Remain timely and professional; if you are unable to keep an appointment with your mentee, communicate schedule changes in advance

Mentee expectations:

  • Be respectful in your outreach and communication with potential mentors
  • Establish what you want from mentorship: industry insight, CV advice, connections and networking, resources, establishing a practice, keeping a practice, panels, organizations, etc
  • Establish the duration of meeting time between you and your mentor (length of meetings, day, time), as well as frequency (monthly, weekly, as needed)
  • Be open to new ideas and adopt the mindset of a learner; ask questions, ask for stories about successes and failures
  • Remain timely and professional; if you are unable to keep an appointment with your mentor, communicate schedule changes in advance

What the mentor/mentee relationship is not:

  • The relationship is not one of clinical supervision between supervisor and supervisee
  • The mentor/mentee relationship is not therapy or a substitute for therapy; both members should avoid dual relationships and seek therapeutic consultation when needed
  • The relationship is not one of research advisor for a dissertation

Ethical Mentoring Practices

Brad Johnson, PhD, professor of psychology at the US Naval Academy and author of four books on mentoring, suggests psychologist mentors adhere to these guidelines.

Mentor expectations:

  • Beneficence: promote mentees’ best interests whenever possible
  • Nonmaleficence: avoid harm to mentees (neglect, abandonment, exploitation, boundary violation, etc)
  • Autonomy: work to strengthen mentee independence and maturity
  • Fidelity: keep promises and remain loyal to those you mentor
  • Justice: ensure fair and equitable treatment of all mentees, regardless of cultural differences
  • Transparency: encourage transparency and open communication regarding expectations
  • Boundaries: avoid potentially harmful multiple roles with mentees and discuss overlapping roles to minimize risk for exploitation or bad outcomes
  • Privacy: protect information shared in confidence by a mentee and discuss all exceptions to privacy
  • Competence: establish and continue developing competence in your mentee

Interested in Mentoring?

If you’d like to be a mentor or mentee, we can match you together! For any questions, comments, or requests, contact Jeannette Burkhardt Pino, PhD, at [email protected].