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Blog articles are written by members of the Samaritan staff for our counseling clients, for our church and donor partners and for the larger community. They grow out of our reflections about how life experiences are influenced by the interplay of mind, body, spirit and relationships. To learn more about the therapist who wrote the article, click on their name in the by-line.  

Forgiving:  A Path for Healing
by Tita Subercaseaux

  Forgiveness is not a popular concept in this culture where perfection is over- valued.  Our self-esteem is too often measured by how perfect and admired we feel we are.  When we find ourselves on either side of the equation --        having hurt someone or having been hurt, we face the human reality of our not being perfect.  It is hard to accept that there is no possibility of going through life without making mistakes.  Yet, it is through acknowledging our    mistakes and our vulnerability that we grow deeper in our relationships.

When we ask someone for forgiveness, we become vulnerable.  When we acknowledge that we’ve hurt somebody, even without intending to, we are accepting that we are not perfect. It is a risk to do so, because we know we could feel humiliated, rejected or we could lose that person’s love and respect.  To read the full article, click here.

  The Shadow Cast By Gun Violence
by Jesse Dobner

I was drawing the Giza Plateau, shading the pyramids to convey centuries of desert erosion while trying to keep my extra ebony pencils from rolling off the uneven art table I was sitting at with three other students. It was only second period, intro to line drawing. The class was quiet, students poring over their sketch pads, the soft steps of our instructor traced between the tables as he glanced over our projects. I looked up when I heard the classroom’s television turn on and saw one of the administrators of my small, private high school flipping through channels. She stopped on the local news and took a step back, keeping her back to the class and her eyes locked on the screen. Everyone was watching now; a parking lot full of ambulances, cop cars, crying teenagers. It was breaking news from Littleton, about thirty miles away from my school in Boulder, and the anchor was saying “possibly twenty dead,” “national tragedy,” and “school shooting.” That was April 20th, 1999 and the first time I had ever heard of Columbine High School. To read the full article, click here.

                                                                                                                                                            “Showing Up”  --  A Year of Mission in Bolivia
                                                                                                                                                                   By Bill Collins

In Bolivia, my wife Kathy and I lived as volunteers, spending most of our time with children who were living in orphanages.  It was freeing to serve in a way where we were “extra.”  It gave us a lot of time to think about what it means to “show up” with regularity in the lives of children who don’t really have enough adult attention in their everyday lives. 

In the first week of my study of counseling, someone articulated a principle that I often thought of while we lived in Cochabamba:  “Don’t do for another something they can do for themselves.”  Perhaps one related story holds within it many of the new elements I returned with from a year of mission.  One of the first tasks Kathy and I had when we visited one orphanage was helping the children fold the clean laundry.  Having the boys and girls gradually learn to do for themselves is an important value in this home for children with physical disabilities.    To read full article, click here. 


Parenting Teens and Social Media
 by Anna Anderson

  Interacting with friends online is a huge part of the social lives of today’s teens.   Ninety five percent of teens from 12-17 years of age are now online, and eighty one percent of online teens use social media.  Most teens are more digitally savvy than their parents, and that often leaves parents feeling overwhelmed. Teens are using a variety of applications as technology evolves.  Highly visual applications with instant sharing are the most popular.  Facebook, Instragram, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Reddit, Tumbir, Kik, Snapchat, Pheed, Wanelo, and 4Chan are the hottest social platforms (Davidson, 2013).   To read full article, click here.

“Hold Me Tight” Can Be Good for Couples
 by Michael Rogers 

 I believe that Susan Johnson’s book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, is a “must read” for two kinds of couples: those who are feeling stuck in the way they communicate and want to get unstuck, and those who feel close to each other and aspire to a greater level of transparency and intimacy.  It’s a great tool for couples to use when they’re in therapy, or for couples who simply want to improve their relationship to read on their own.  Here are my suggestions for reading the book together as a couple. 
 To read full article,  click here.

 Survival Kit for Stepparents
by Peggy Hansen


  1. Give up the belief that there’s only one RIGHT way to do things. Be willing to consider new possibilities and other ways of looking at the world.
  2. Try to stay in the present moment, rather than letting yourself slip back into the past or drift into the future. Focus on things you have some control over.
  3. Accept an appropriate amount of responsibility for maintaining a comfortable and safe emotional “climate” in your home, but don’t get stuck in managing every detail.
    To read full article, click here.


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