Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays and a Reminder from Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan   


     Holidays can be a wonderful time of being with friends and family, celebrating, and entering into the religious meaning of the season.  And it can also be a time of feeling stress, anxious and depressed.  Rather than being a time of just celebration with family many homes can be filled with tension, conflict and disappointment.

     For some, our expectations for great holidays were established during childhood.  What was once an exciting and magical time can turn into an annual to-do list that feels overwhelming.  We may feel responsible for creating the perfect holiday gathering for our loved ones. Holidays can also be difficult at times because many of us are experiencing the loss of loved ones for the first time this holiday season.  There are other losses too: loss of health, loss of employment, loss of connection with others due to a variety of circumstances like divorce or separation.

    Our culture including the media add pressure on most of us to be certain ways, to over-consume.  This can burden us with considerable debt, emotional, physical and spiritual fatigue. So during this extended holiday season it is important to practice good, healthy self care. 

  • Be realistic about what you can do and provide.  Measure your resources of money, time and energy and plan and celebrate accordingly. 
  • Communicate.  The ideal family is mostly a myth.  We are born into families which have a host of issues of hurt, disappointment and resentment along with feelings of care, love and high regard.  Communicate with others about your and their expectations. Articulate expectations – yours and others – in order to provide realistic events and experiences.
  • Take time amidst all the activities to rest, during the holidays and not just at the end of them. Take times for naps, for walks, for quiet activities that you find nourishing like listening to music, reading, etc.  When appropriate ask for help from others.
  • Eat, drink, be merry, but be mindful of any issues that occur when you eat or drink too much.  If you work hard at your sobriety, increase the number of self-support groups you attend.  Call sponsors and friends and share your struggles and ask for and offer support.

     Intentionally planning for and taking care of ourselves can make the holidays a special time of the year.  And we here Samaritan Counseling Center wish you a blessed, safe and joyous holidays.

Dying for Want of a Friend

robin williamsDying for Want of a Friend

The reported suicide of actor/comedian, Robin Williams, August 11, 2014, has touched many of us.  So many valued his talent.  As a clinician, I particularly appreciated his portrayal of a caring therapist in the movie: “Good Will Hunting.”  Sometimes I tell people if you want to know what a good therapist/therapy looks like, watch this movie.

I recently participated in a workshop on suicide with the above title: “Dying for Want of a Friend.”  The presenter, the Rev. Russell Crabtree, made a powerful statement.  “If you use the word “suicide” in a sentence you can save a life.”  He stressed the importance of talking about suicide, the importance of “normalizing” it.  If you know of someone who is going through a difficult, painful time in their life, ask them about suicide.  One might say: “Someone going through what you’re going through often thinks about suicide; are you thinking about suicide?”  If someone answers “yes,” then listen to them.  Invite them to tell you what has been going on in their life to lead them to considering ending their life.  So often a person ends their life for one of several reasons: the loss of hope, the loss of social connection, and to end the pain they are experiencing.

One does not need to be an expert to be a friend, to listen, to help someone talk about their pain, loneliness and loss of help.  Often just having someone to talk to can diminish the desire to end one’s life.  If a person needs further help, needs to feel safe, then you can refer them to Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan or take them the nearest emergency room.  Helpful websites include: commongroundhelps.org or call Common Ground crisis hotline: (800) 231-1127.  Resources for faith communities can also be found at www.MentalHealthMinistries.net.

September 7-13 is National Suicide Prevention Week.  Our September Lay Caregivers workshop is about suicide awareness.  Please see the flyer below.  Mary Brennan is an excellent presenter.  Join with me in praying with and reaching out to those who are in pain and might be considering suicide, considering dying for want of a friend.

Robert Martin

Executive Director

Letter from the Director

Samaritan Institute LogoSamaritan Counseling Center Experiences an Accreditation Review

On June 13th and 16th, Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan experienced an extensive accreditation process by the Samaritan Institute of Denver, Colorado. Our Center is part of the Samaritan Institute network, which includes 77 Centers in 26 States and one center in Japan; Samaritan Institute has over 500 locations. At the end of 2013 over 650,768 counseling sessions were provided by these Samaritan Centers. Each Center is reviewed and accredited every four years.

Passing an accreditation involves gathering over 150 documents detailing policies and procedures and gaining an overview of the Center’s operation including structure and organization, clinical performance, finances and client services. It is, besides being a lot of work for staff, an opportunity to take a good look at the health of the total organization.

Our Center received a positive and affirming evaluation. Now that the accreditation visit has been completed, the site visitor will draft a report that includes addressing several issues. Like people, no Center is perfect; there is always room for growth. Improving our marketing strategies, tightening up our referral network, and strengthening our financial base are areas the Center will address in coming months.

It’s important for our clients, friends and supporters to know that Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan is a quality counseling center that works hard to fulfill our mission to “provide professional therapeutic counseling and educational services to all God’s people.” Being an accredited Center provides a high level of service and quality.

Robert Martin
Executive Director

12th Annual Charity Golf Outing

SCC is pleased to announce the 12th Annual Charity Golf Outing! Golf Outing Main

This year’s Golf Outing is even more special as we are celebrating 27 years of service to residents of this community and beyond.

This past year, we provided over 6,000 hours of counseling and have found that many more people are asking for help from our client assistance fund.

All monies raised from this Golf Outing are used in our Client Assistance Fund. 

Save the date: Friday, June 28

Place: “The Lion” at Tanglewood
53503 West Ten Mile Road South Lyon, MI 48178

Cost: $135.00 per golfer, includes cart, practice tee & balls, lunch, golf, on course beverages, dinner & awards.
$30.00 for dinner only

Click here to register online.

Click here for brochure (mail-in registration available) Tanglewood The Lion

Or register by phone with SCC (248-474-4701)

16th Annual Clergy, Counselor, and Congregational Leaders Day: May 29

Sacred Moments: Cultivating Spirituality in Pastoral Care & Counseling Sacred Moments

Come participate in a workshop that will help you integrate spirituality into your work with congregants, clients, patients and others.

SCC is pleased to bring Dr. Kenneth Pargament to speak on Sacred Moments.

The workshop is divided into two parts:

1. How to understand and evaluate spirituality in counseling relationships:

  • Defining spirituality as a process and its key ingredients
  • Articulating how spirituality changes over the lifespan
  • Identifying indicators of a well-integrated and poorly integrated spirituality

2. Addressing spirituality in ministry and counseling:

  • Positive spiritual resources and spiritual signs of problems
  • Questions that facilitate spiritual dialogue & assessment
  • Ways to help clients draw on their spiritual resources & address problems
  • Sacred moments in the process of working with clients, congregants, etc.

This workshop will draw upon theory, research, audience participation and clinical cases.


About Our Speaker Pargament

Dr. Kenneth I. Pargament, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Bowling Green State University and Distinguished Scholar, Institute for Spirituality & Health at the Texas Medical Center. The Samaritan Institute of Denver, CO, accrediting organization of the Samaritan Counseling Center of SE MI, presented Dr. Pargament with the National Samaritan Award for his contribution in the vital field of the connection between religion and mental health.

He is the author/co-author of over 200 articles. His books include Spiritually Integrated Psychology: Under-standing & Addressing the Sacred (2007); The Psychology of Religion & Coping: Theory, Research, Practice (1997); Forgiveness: Theory, Research & Practice (2000).

Location: North Congregational Church
36520 W. Twelve Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48331 

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Cost: $70 (includes lunch) 

Refunds will be given (less $15 processing fee) until May 21st

*Special Note: Thanks to a gift from the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, the first 20 United Methodist Pastors to register BY PHONE (248-474-4701) receive a $50 scholarship for this workshop.

Click here to register online.

Click here to download brochure (mail-in registration available on brochure).

Or call SCC @248-474-4701 to register by phone.


March Lay Caregivers Workshop

LCG0313Discovering and Celebrating Life’s Purpose: A Lay Caregiver’s Guide

Date: Sunday, March 17, 2013

Time: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Place: Nardin Park UMC
29887 West Eleven Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI  48336

Presenter: Linda Potter-Gallant, L.L.P.

Cost: $15.00 if your congregation does not hold a subscription

Registration must be completed by Thursday, March 14.

Call SCC at 248-474-4701 to register