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Student Mentorship​

Student mentorship

Herbal Medicine Student Training Clinic

Apprenticeship training in herbal medicine has traditionally occurred where herbalists worked alongside their peers; sharing their accumulated knowledge and wisdom and learning from each other. While Mentorship is not intended to replace academic training; apprenticeship is a valuable experiential form of education, keeping alive the oral tradition of learning and providing a bridge for students completing their formal training and preparing to merge into a professional practice. 

Many students of herbal medicine seek the guidance of an experienced clinical herbalist to act as a mentor in a clinic environment while offering support, guidance and critical feedback; providing an unique opportunity for students to become confident, skilled clinical herbalists.

Herbal Medicine Mentor

Supervised Clinical Experience

Preparation for Professional membership

For professional membership in various Herbal Medicine organizations such as the American Herbalists Guild,  the British Columbia Herbalist Association and the Ontario Herbalist Guild; supervised, ‘hands on’ clinical experience is an essential component of the professional training. Most governing bodies require 400-500 hours of supervised clinical practice to qualify for the designation of professional medical herbalist.

Mentorship options include one on one coaching online, in person week long intensives, scheduled throughout the year and online group trainings.

Since 2002, Katolen has been accepting student apprentices  who are enrolled in structured herbal medicine education. She is an approved clinic supervisor with Dominion Herbal College Student Training Clinic, a mentor with Wild Rose School of Natural Healing and Heartwood Education (UK)  where students of advanced herbal medicine programs have the opportunity to obtain clinical training hours under the supervision of a qualified Medical Herbalist. 

students present at the low income community clinic
online herbal education

Herbal Medicine student Mentorship

Depending on your past training, interest and current goals and the time of year attending; this Mentorship may cover some or all of the following: 

  • Philosophy and Foundations of Western Herbal Medicine
  • Medicinal Actions of Herbs in the Western Tradition
  • Intake Process: review of client consultations, skills involved in case history taking, record keeping and follow up consultations. 
  • Health Assessments and long term health program strategies medicine making, remedy formulation and dispensing are also important components of mastering herbal medicine skills
  • Development of your Clinical Skills: physical examinations and assessment, urine analysis and blood pressure taking
  • Herbal Protocol Development for Common Health Ailments
  • Formulation Techniques 
  • Herbal Medicine Dispensing
  • Understanding dosage for individuals
  • Setting up your business: stocking your dispensary, tips for running a clinic, inventory taking and systemization in the office for growing your clientele 
  • Observation of day to day activities and contribution to the running of an herbal business
  • Medicine Making Techniques: tea blends, tinctures, tincture formulations, salves, oils, compresses, vinegars, creams etc. * Note: students may be responsible for purchasing some materials for this component- shopping list to be sent out in advance
  • Incorporating Herbs into your existing Holistic Practice: for practitioners of various healing paradigms
  • Application of Essential Oils, Flower Essences 
  • Plant Identification and herb walks may be incorporated at certain times during the year 
  • Making Herbarium Collections
  • Creating case studies for publications and journals
  • Resource Lists for Books, Schools, Programs, etc. for Herbalists 


Rachel Silves continued

Rachel Silves continued

Katolen’s student clinics are a jam-packed week that truly ignites and accelerates student learning. After each student clinic I felt that I gained 1000 more hours of experience! As a person and mentor, Katolen is extremely supportive as well as someone who can challenge you and hold you accountable to your desire to grow as a clinician. Katolen is extremely professional, and her communication is excellent. I highly recommend Katolen as a mentor and her student clinic experiences are one of a kind. You will be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable, professional, and supportive mentor to work with.

Rachel Silves

Rachel Silves

I am honored to write a testimonial on my experience mentoring with Katolen Yardley and her fabulous student clinic. Katolen is what every herbalist aspires to be. Katolen has the ability to meet students where they are at, whether that is a beginning plant walk at Van Dusen gardens (which is how I initially met Katolen) or an advanced student who is just about to graduate from a professional herbalist program. Katolen is able to tailor the learning to the student’s interests and push students to learn and grow as herbalists and clinicians. One of Katolen’s strengths is her vast knowledge and thirst for learning. Katolen continues to study and bring new and cutting-edge research and knowledge to her student clinic and mentees. Katolen has a collaborative and supportive approach and makes students feel welcomed even when in the awkward skill building phase. A couple of highlights from my time at student clinic was the emphasis on mastering physical examination skills which I believe really sets Katolen’s student clinic apart and the blend of client experience and formulating. Katolen is highly skilled at formulating and this is one of the areas that I was able to master while working under Katolen's guidance at student clinic. 

Irma du Preez - Heartwood Student from Belgium

Irma du Preez – Heartwood Student from Belgium

 I just want to say what a lovely experience it has been spending some online time with you - wish I could have attended a person-to-person training session. I always left with a feeling that questions that I had been carrying along for some time got answered. What I so much enjoyed, is the way that you get everybody involved, making it a lively, interacative and truly valuable learning experience. Much of what I have learnt from you will be applied in my clinic soon! Thank you so much.

Langara College Student

Langara College Student

Excellent instructor, very knowledgeable, personable, courteous with excellent people skills, she presented an excellent mini course on herbal medicine.

Langara College Student

Langara College Student

Katolen addressed the class with a type of eloquence not possessed by enough teachers. Helpful with questions and eager to provide information. Knew her knowledge of herbal medicine and clearly has a passion for herbal medicine, this is truly inspiring.

Charity Parkinson - Apprenticeship Student, Vancouver

Charity Parkinson – Apprenticeship Student, Vancouver

I have learned a so much in the past year and a half that I’ve spent apprenticing under Katolen, and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a safe and natural approach to health and healing, either as a patient or a student.

After being in the clinic with Katolen, I saw how the traditional approach of herbal tinctures and teas that she uses as the major form of administering herbal medicines, is truly the most effective method. The speed and rate of success with these forms proved great results with her clients, however mild or severe the condition. This gave me a lot of confidence as a newly graduated herbalist, in the powerful effect of healing with herbal medicines.

She provides a wealth of reading material to her clients in relation to their personal needs, in order to educate anyone who is interested and to allow them to be even more interactive and responsible in their own health care. She also has a gift at being able to answer questions in ways that patients can better understand, and in a timely fashion. Her approach with clients is always very compassionate and open- minded. She quickly gets to the root of the problem with careful observation and skill-full questioning.

Katolen Yardley has proven to be not only a successful herbalist, but also a fabulous teacher in many respects. What I have learned most with her, as an apprentice, is how to create personal formulas for each client to meet their individual needs, while treating all affected systems proportionately. I have also learned first hand how to continually update and follow up on each protocol as the health of the patient evolves.

Amber Maetche

Amber Maetche

The student clinic week was extremely beneficial to my learning journey as a Herbalist. I gained hands on experience in clinical examinations and how to properly conduct client consultations. Katolen is a great teacher; she encouraged us to expand on our already growing skill set and provided so much knowledge to all of our questions. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and meeting other Herbalists.

Kristen From

Kristen From

Katolen holds a space of clarity and open-mindedness for her students, making her clinic a great learning environment. She delivers information in a concise manner and is thorough in answering questions from students and clients. I had my first practicum experience there and she was gracefully patient and encouraging the whole time.

Herbal Medicine Student Clinic

Apprentiship Process

For select students of herbal medicine completing their formal training, there is limited opportunity to obtain clinic training and apprenticeship hours at pre-set dates throughout the year. Online mentorship is also an option for distant learning during monthly preset dates. For more information on requirements and the application process please send us an email:

  • Introducing yourself and 
  • Outlining your herbal studies, education, and current level of knowledge
  • Sharing your interest in and goals with pursuing the mentorship program
  • Communicating dreams and intentions for furthering your education in Herbal Medicine
  • Requesting our application form
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