Transformative self-discovery: Reflections on the transformative journey of becoming an advisor.

Howard S. L., Güven Yalçın G., Karaaslan H., Atcan Altan N., Esen M.

Relay Journal, vol.2, no.2, pp.323-332, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Name: Relay Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Other Indexes
  • Page Numbers: pp.323-332
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Learning to become an advisor requires a lot of commitment and personal strength because as you learn to help others find their own problems, so do you, the advisor-trainee, discover your own problems and challenges. As your advisees experience moments of self-doubt and insecurity, so do you, often mirrored in the question, “Will I ever become a good advisor?” Good advisors persevere through their struggles and, like their own advisees, they soon learn to find the joy in the self-discovery process. Finally, they emerge from the learning process having been transformed. We call them ‘advisors’ but the significance runs far deeper. Whether by accident or by design, the process of becoming an advisor is almost a mirror-image of the process the advisee undergoes as they too learn to transform themselves(Kato & Mynard, 2016).  The new advisor has not only gained a deep understanding of themselves and how they overcame their struggles, they have also gained a deeper understanding of their advisees’ struggles. No longer abstract, the deep connections formed between advisor and advisee are now dynamic and almost tangible. The advisees may go on to graduate and leave school, but the new advisors remain, ever ready to advise and guide the incoming students in the next academic year.

In this paper, we will hear the personal stories of four advisors. The first two attended training courses led by Jo Mynard and Satoko Kato at KUIS while the remaining two were trained by Gamze and Stephanie at AYBU. All of the stories portray similar strong themes of evolution, transformation, growth, deep inner awareness, increased confidence and trust in one’s self as an advisor, and acknowleging that learning as an advisor is a life-long process. The stories offer a deeply touching insight into the power and beauty of the enriched transformations that every advisor-trainee hopes to experience and every advisor-trainer hopes to inspire. It is our hope that the sincerity in these stories will be equally inspiring to those who are just beginning their journey to become an advisor. Finally, we offer these stories so they can serve as a guiding light for those already on the path to advising. We want you to know that your own struggles are just temporary and that there is so much beauty waiting for you to discover. The strength is already within you; may you use the light of these four advisors to find your way to your own transformation. We hope you are as transformed by advising as these four authors are.  Thank you.