What are the main differences between Mentoring, counselling and Advocacy?

Expert Answers
equeenan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not sure if you are looking for a general definition of each of these categories or its relationship within a specific field?  I am providing definitions of the more general sense. If you are looking for a more occupationally specific definition the please let me know!

Mentoring:  A mentor is generally agreed upon to be a trusted friend, advisor or just someone who is wiser then you in a specific aspect. For example, you might seek out a mentor in advertising if that was your career choice. It would be someone who had experience and success in the field who could guide you through the various hoops.[i]

Counselor/Counseling: This is far more difficult to define without being sure of your specific area, but enotes provides numerous examples and definitions of each that can be accessed here. [ii]

Advocate/Advocacy: An advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of someone or something else.[iii] For more specific forms of advocacy you can check out the link here.[iv]

Based on this information mentoring in the general sense is an intentional training of someone else who is less experienced then you and in a specific area.  Counseling can be argued that it is a less specific version of mentoring. Unless you are referring to counseling in the legal sense then it is the guidance of a person in general. An advocate may provide some level of guidance, but the primary responsibility is to represent and speak for the person or possibly business in question.


[i] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Mentor#Mentor_as_term

[ii] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Counselor


[iii] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Advocate

[iv] http://www.enotes.com/topic/Advocacy#Forms_of_advocacy