Therapeutic Mentoring Course

The SAIL team partnered with an expert in therapeutic mentoring, Josephine Cardona, MA, to develop and teach a 16-hour course. The course was offered through University of Massachusetts Boston’s Continuing and Professional Studies to over 40 individuals from all over the world.

Course description

Youth mentors can play a critical therapeutic role in the lives of youth. There is a need for building competencies of mentors in the areas of mental health theory, research, and practice to ensure youth have access to high quality, strengths-based, culturally responsive, and effective mentors. 

Therapeutic Mentoring (TM) is a home and community-based service of structured, one-to-one mentoring sessions between a Therapeutic Mentor and a youth, designed to support a specific goal on the youth’s behavioral health treatment plan. TM is designed to give youth the opportunity for skill building through experiences in his or her natural environment.The service takes place in the locations most conducive to the youth’s acquisition of skills, including the youth’s home and a wide variety of community sites. Typically, TM is performed by a paraprofessional Therapeutic Mentor who is supervised by a qualified clinical professional.

Course goals and objectives include to develop an understanding of the history, effectiveness, and best practices in youth mentoring and the competencies related to therapeutic mentoring.

The course was taught by Josephine Cardona, MA, Kathryn Kurtz, PhD, Alexandra Werntz, PhD, and guest lecturers.


I really enjoyed the course! The best part for me was hearing the other great work that is being done in mentoring. The break out rooms were very engaging.

I liked listening and learning to some very intelligent, hard-working, real, people speak.

The history of mentoring lecture and research on strategies and new technologies were very good. I enjoyed hearing ideas from actual mentors.