For an untold number of reasons we’ve lost the role of elder in our modern societies. This means children, especially adolescents and young adults, are often left to their own devices to figure out what life is all about.
This process driven by trial and error often leads to significant and serious errors that are unnecessary because they don’t have a trusted advisor to turn to before crisis hits. Many of them won’t turn to parents precisely because their way to prove their autonomy is to prove they can handle things without needing the advice of the exact people they are establishing their autonomy from – namely their parents.
I’ve built my career around building the critically important relationship with them that they need during this stage of life… holding that space where these teens and young adults can find the answers they seek … not in conversation, but by example and the direct advice that can only come from experience and expertise.
Brief Background of how my Evolution Mentoring® model came to be:
I recognized very early on in my career that 99% of teens do not psychotherapy because they are not dealing with mental illness or psychological disorders. Rather they are struggling with growing up issues, and they need tools, perspective and training that equips them to manage the complexities of their lives.
The most effective way I have discovered for delivering this to this age group, is through creating a unique Mentoring relationship that is unlike any other in their life. I become a trusted adult advisor with whom they not only can turn to at any time but whom they also want to turn to and have in their lives.
This is modeled on the ancient practice of Mentoring and Apprenticing that was commonly done until the 20th Century. It is also based on models like Obi Wan Kenobi and other mythical Wise Elders who show up in a young person’s life to help them find their strengths, face their fears and set them on their way to thrive in life. My own personal models for this were primarily my paternal Grandfather, several teachers I had in college and graduate school, and Dr. Joseph Riggio who mentored and trained me in the powerful skill-set of Soma-Semantics and the MythoSelf Process.
I call what I do for teens and young adults, being a Third Voice™:
Parents and adult caregivers are the First Voice of influence. The collective society – peers, pop-culture, etc – form a cacophony of noise that makes an often overwhelming Second Voice. Then I, as their mentor, offer a powerful and often invaluable Third Voice… a Third Voice that helps them navigate their way through the various opinions, distractions and temptations of life, to ensure they make the right decisions to lead the right life for themselves… a life that will be deeply satisfying personally and professionally.
My niche are teens and young adults who are deeper thinking, more sensitive and often very perceptive and smart. They have unique gifts that come with unique challenges.
Their common challenges are:
- Because they tend to feel things in a more intense way, things that most teens easily move on from, they tend to be deeply effected by (for better or for worse)
- They also tend to be overly critical of themselves.
- They can get distracted by an often constant dialogue running in their heads as they over-think almost everything.
At their best though these qualities make them:
- Far more likely to find real love & form deep lasting friendships
- Recognize incongruence’s and hypocrisies’ in the system and become adept at finding leverage points to create influence in a positive way in the world
- Succeed in challenging, often competitive careers, in spite of the obstacles and challenges they will face
My clients are the types of teens who will do things like one or more of these:
- Aspire to be Olympic athletes (literally in some cases but mostly as in there is no such things as ‘good enough’ as their pursue their interests and goals)..
- They are the ones who want to start their own businesses, follow unconventional paths, and wind up succeeding as they do.
- They are teaching themselves foreign languages, reading the classics, following political bloggers – giving themselves the education they don’t get in the classroom
- They are ones who prefer having lasting girlfriend/boyfriend relationships (instead of just hooking up), even when this isn’t the norm and when true love and loyalty is hard to find
- They are the ones who become leaders and influencers because they desire to right the wrongs of the world.
- They are often the creative types, artists, film makers, designers, etc… But they aren’t satisfied just toying around with their guitar in their free time: They aren’t satisfied until they are entering films into Film Festivals, getting impossible to get internships and jobs in the fashion industry and pursuing excellence in their crafts…
On the outside they tend to look like any other modern teen. They can be highly social, involved in sports and other extracurriculars, working hard to get good grades… and they can also be more internal, more introverted, preferring alone time or a few friends.
For every one who doesn’t go to college at all and still finds a deeply satisfying life, a dozen more are not just going to colleges but getting admitted to many of the elite colleges and unversities around the world.
Though their interests and passions can be in any area of life, all of them connect and commit deeply to the people and things that matter to them and to achieving excellence in these areas too.
I call this work I do Evolution Mentoring™
This work helps young people like them to not just manage the challenges of their teen lives (internally, socially, parental, academic, athletic, etc), but to learn and grow from these challenges to ensure that they evolve into thriving young adults. To me they have truly arrived when they can function autonomously, enter into and sustain deeply satisfying relationships and careers, and make meaningful contribution to the world.
Specifically I help all my clients:
- Find their life’s direction and cultivate the tools, capacity and attitude to achieve success
- Find and build relationships with all the right people
- Find their own unique authentic voice and gain the confidence to use it
- Perform under pressure
- Make excellent decisions
- Manage complex interpersonal situations
- Recognize opportunities and act on them
- Create opportunities where none seem to exist
- Stay positive and focused even amidst challenges and setbacks
Mentoring is a process both of education/training and modeling.
I am not just teaching my clients how to get these kinds of results, I am modeling it. Thus the relationship they have with me feels real because it is real. It is also not bound by 50 minute sessions in an office as my clients can call, text, skype, IM, etc as needed to ensure they get the input they need in a timely way. We meet out in the world, I know their families and friends and occasionally they even come to know mine.
Evolution Mentoring is a results based practice. Thus I do not charge for my time. Instead I charge for the room to do what it takes to get results. Fees begin at $1500/month (or $7500 for 6 months) for Unlimited Access. A lower level of access is offered in select circumstances for $575/month.
Because of technology, Evolution Mentoring does not depend on where you live. Though I am based in the San Francisco Bay Area (with offices in San Francisco and Marin), more than half my clients are spread out around the world, connecting on skype, etc. I also typically do regular visits to New York to meet east coast clients in person multiple times per year.
Unlimited Access includes the time we meet in person,on phone, skype, etc. It includes access to me via text, IM, etc. Most messages are returned within 2 hours or less, and often I will be able to answer the moment a client reaches out to me. Often these impromptu conversations which may only be a few minutes in length, prove to be the amongst the most valuable exchanges we have – where one 10 minute chat can feel worth months worth of investment.
That is the power of Evolution Mentoring and it is the reason I only work with the right clients who are committed to working with me in the right way to make this work.
Comprehensive Initial Consultations are always free. Expect they will last several hours in most cases. We have to determine if this is the right match before we both commit to working together.
Results Happen Quickly: If we do work together, your teen we will begin experiencing results almost instantly – they will be lighter, more hopeful, more talkative and more confident. At first this may last only for a few days at a time… but soon enough this way of life will integrate and permeate who they are and the quality of life they will come to live.. a quality of life I aim to help make extraordinary.
To learn more, contact me directly at 415.441.8218 or email Jeff@Leiken.com