Recognize the benefits.

Close relationships with mentors, in turn, are thought to generalize, enabling youth to interact with others more effectively. In particular, by modeling caring and providing support, mentors can both challenge negative views that some youth may hold of themselves and others, and demonstrate that positive relationships with adults are possible. In this way, a mentoring relationship may become a “corrective experience” for youth who had experienced unsatisfactory relationships with parents or other caregivers.

So, despite its Freudian origns, transference is a relevant concept that can help mentors understand and navigate some of the complexities that might arise when they forge a meaningful connection with their mentees.