What makes Recovery Mentoring different to other talking therapy options?

We often get asked what we do that is different from other talking therapy options such as CBT or counselling and why can it make such a difference to our individual clients. We are constantly evaluating and measuring our practices to help explain what we do and how we transfer our knowledge to other organisations and educators. We have found that by breaking down some of the key themes that we have identified in recovery mentoring, we can explain better what we do to help our clients…

What signs or difficulties might be happening that show someone needs help –

  • Difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
  • Not wanting to eat or not having a good eating pattern
  • Avoiding people/phone calls or letters
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Brain feeling “woolly” or “foggy”
  • Edgy in public or crowds
  • Not socialising
  • Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope
  • Hard to get out of bed or off the sofa because you don’t have any motivation

The process we take our clients through can be quite challenging because it’s a combined effort between ourselves and the individual to make change happen and move forward. We wanted to pinpoint some of the things that show someone is up for the challenge and ready for recovery. Here are some of our ideas…

What are the characteristics of a Hummingbird client –

  • Wanting more and needing change
  • Wanting to feel better and be understood
  • Feeling isolated and wanting to be more included in their own community environment
  • Wanting to get help and be listened to
  • Not wanting to be a burden on others
  • Lacking knowledge of recovery and themselves
  • Having difficulties problem solving
  • Feeling stuck or hemmed in but unable to know how to move forward

So how do we work with someone who presents with these issues? We have developed the following model that works for our clients:


We empathise with traumas or difficulties mentees have experienced or are currently experiencing. We draw on our own lived experience of struggles and low times to enable them to tell their story without fear of judgement and support them to focus on and recognise their strengths, abilities and achievements.  We talk with them about possible options and solutions to help them to look forward to a healthier and happier future.


Every person is the expert on themselves as they know their own goals and aspirations and the barriers that are preventing them from leading the life they want. Our job is to facilitate or “unlock” a persons ability to recognise the role they play in their own decision making and ultimately, happiness.  We never tell someone what they need to do as they are more likely to succeed if they take control and make their own decisions about how they want their life to look.   This approach allows mentees to build their resilience, self-belief and allow them to move on.


We support mentees to pinpoint and understand why they may be experiencing difficulties.  We encourage them to gain knowledge and insight into personal health and support them to build confidence and develop positive mental, social and physical well-being.  We will discuss different options available and if appropriate, link them to people and organisations that provide specialist information and support. Examples of these are: peer support, community services, educational organisations and educational websites.  There are many web resources available that help people feel better equipped to move forward and/or educate friends and relatives about their circumstances. We aim to help mentees access additional information that may help them to decide which strategies and coping mechanisms may be useful to them to achieve their personal goals.

For testimonials on how recovery mentoring has worked for others please click here.

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