Mentorship Model

Build a future worth protecting


Week 1: Initial Assessment

Defining Objectives

How does the client think about money in their daily life? What knowledge or awareness will they gain in the session?

  • Client will be able to identify the ways in which his budgeting and spending habits are impacting him negatively in other key areas of his life or contributing to negative symptoms
  • Client will be able to make a connection between sticking to a budget and accomplishing his personal, professional, and lifestyle goals in the future
  • Client will share any existing budgeting strategies he currently employs, if applicable. Client will also feel respected by his provider when sharing sensitive details about his financial health
  • Client will commit to one tangible financial goal related to budgeting

Taking Action

How will you prompt reflection and promote increased self-awareness with regard to budgeting?

  • Provider will promote a discussion around the client’s budgeting and extend the conversation to the overall concept of the role of money in the client’s life. Provider should be sure to assess how that conception might connect to other areas of motivation or concern for the client
  • Provider will ask questions and promote a discussion around the client’s hopes and dreams of the future, while remaining affirming, encouraging and non-judgemental throughout the conversation while offering examples of how a budget may contribute to the goals that the client identifies. 
  • Provider will introduce different budgeting concepts or tools to match the client’s needs and aspirations. Provider will explicitly inform the client of their role, taking care not to identify as a financial accountant nor a parental figure, and thus not requiring personal access to any financial information that the client doesn’t want to divulge
  • Provider will collaborate with the client to generate one financial goal related to budgeting
Questions to Consider Resistant Client Corner
  • How has a lack of fiscal responsibility contributed to their challenges in other areas?
  • How does the client think about money? Is it a constant worry? Something they haven’t had to consider in the past?
  • How much money does this client spend in a typical week? What are his major spending categories?

If a client resists the idea of creating a budget, it may be useful to pivot to simply tracking expenses for a week before setting goals. Clients may have a very different perception of their spending habits after collecting some actual data.

Consider offering the client a choice between two methods of budgeting, such as an app and a spreadsheet, rather than asking him to generate ideas completely on his own

When to Check In

As in other modules, your role as a provider at this stage is primarily to gather information. The more insight you have into the client’s personal treatment goals as well as his particular life circumstances, the more effective subsequent sessions will be. Consider ways to manage resistance based on the client’s personality and motivations before looping in your supervisor.

  • Be ready for clients who do not see budgeting as an issue, who feel as though they have “tried everything”, or who view themselves as somehow above everyday financial concerns
  • Be prepared for unrealistic expectations. Young men are often targeted by predatory or misleading financial content on social media. Talk with your supervisor if the client seems to have internalized impossible or unhealthy attitudes towards money based on their experiences online

Week 2: Trial & Error

Defining Objectives

What strategies will the client implement to better manage their finances?

  • Client will be able to reflect on his progress towards meeting the goal set in the previous session. Client will be able to reference the goal along with any successes or failures experienced over the past week. 
  • Client will express greater openness to expanding his knowledge budgeting techniques, including using a budgeting tool and keeping track of expenditures
  • Client will demonstrate an increased fluency with his budget, exhibiting greater awareness of how his budget functions and how it can be used to support his guiding motivations

Taking Action

How will you help the client develop a money management strategy?

  • Provider will use the goal established in the previous session to better understand the client’s process with regard to managing finances
  • Provider will promote a discussion around how the use of the budget can support the client’s broader lifestyle goals and motivation for treatment as a whole
  • Provider will intentionally collaborate with the client to ensure the client’s understanding of the utility of the budget. Provider will act as a guide, showing and inviting learning through action rather than telling the client what to think
Questions to Consider
  • Why might this client have avoided or ignored his spending habits in the past?
  • What expenditures bring this client the most joy or personal satisfaction? What expenses do not contribute to the client’s health and wellbeing?
  • How well is the client able to manage impulses when it comes to spending?

When to Check In

For a client to progress in this area, they often need to experience what it is actually like to live within their means. You may also uncover urgent financial issues or behaviors that require immediate attention. Consider checking in with your supervisor if:

  • The client is consistently receiving family support well beyond what is necessary, such as unlimited spending money or total support with rent in a luxury building
  • The client lacks the funds to cover basic expenses or has accumulated significant consumer debt or unpaid bills
  • Large gaps in the client’s spending reports suggest excessive spending on drugs, alcohol, gambling or gaming

Week 3: Data Analysis

Defining Objectives

What steps will the client take in session to deepen their knowledge of budgeting?

  • Client will be able to use the data gathered from week to week to improve his understanding of his budget and proficiency with his chosen budgeting tool
  • Client will be able to identify concrete ways in which keeping better track of his finances will help bring his hopes and dreams for the future into reach
  • Client will continue to work with their provider on the budgeting process. Client will dig deeper to identify specific times during the week to track his spending and establish a consistent rhythm for budgeting during each week

Taking Action

How will you approach successes in this domain? What about setbacks the client has encountered?

  • Provider will use the budgeting tool from previous sessions, solidifying its place in the client’s routine by updating the client’s spending together and adjusting any budget categories as needed
  • Provider will engage the client in a discussion around the areas in which the client is adhering to the budget vs. areas where his not and collaborate to identify behavioral changes that the client can implement to improve his adherence
  • Provider will continue to work with the client to help the client make connections between consistently monitoring spending and maintaining a budget will help the client reach their long-term goals for treatment
Questions to Consider
  • How does the client view the change process? Are they able to accept mixed results or do they approach goals with an “all or nothing” mentality?
  • How does the client speak about himself and his efforts in this area? Does he tend to focus on the negative when describing his results? Is a single setback enough for the client to discount successes or abandon the process?

When to Check In

Making improvements in this area requires close collaboration between client and provider. Consider following up with your supervisor if:

  • The client is consistently lying or misrepresenting the facts in terms of his personal spending, ongoing subscriptions, or risky investments
  • The client has not reduced his spending on substances or exhibits signs of a gambling addiction
  • The client has yet to connect budgeting to his broader treatment goals

Week 4: Lessons Learned

Defining Objectives

What will the client take away from his work in this domain? What emotions does he associate with budgeting after engaging in targeted work during sessions?

  • Client will be able to look back on the month of budgeting and identify overarching challenges and successes related to the work he has engaged in
  • Client will be able to identify key learnings related to the budgeting process from start to finish, noting individualized budgeting goals. Client will be able to identify the long-term changes he will need to maintain in order to support a consistent budgeting process in the future
  • Client will talk be able to identify next steps related to budgeting and speak on his desire and motivation to stick with the practice in its current state or a modified form

Taking Action

How can you position the client for success moving forward?

  • Provider will encourage the client to view the budget from a full month’s perspective, taking into consideration which weekly inputs contributed most to a better overall understanding of his spending habits
  • Provider will encourage reflection from the client around challenges and successes to crystalize learning
  • Provider will promote a discussion around what the client learned from the process and how they might be able to use this tool in the future, either as a consistent habit in support of their long-term goals or a tool deployed in service of particular objectives
Questions to Consider
  • How much time and energy will need to be devoted to budgeting in future sessions to help the client stay on track?
  • What systems or frameworks can you help the client to construct (i.e. a budgeting app or Excel sheet with pre-generated formulas) to better support the client in developing this area on his own?

When to Check In

Wrapping up work in modules is a skill unto itself.  If you’re feeling uneasy about planning for the end of the work, or aren’t sure about how to culminate one’s learning in this domain, you may want to consider checking in.  Consider these situations:

  • If you feel like progress has been slow and there isn’t much to reflect on
  • Your client has been dodging you on booking meetings, and you sense resistance
  • Your client continues to struggle with this domain, so despite progress, you’re concerned about his ability to continue to make it and don’t know how to wrap up that kind of discussion