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Faith-based counseling center to get new executive director

Rev. Jim Swarthout (Photo by Betsy Demitropoulos)

Rev. Jim Swarthout (Photo by Betsy Demitropoulos)

The Samaritan Counseling Center of Barrington has named Rev. James Swarthout as its new executive director. He takes over the reigns next month.

Swarthout, an Episcopal priest in the Chicago Diocese, is the rector of St. Paul Episcopal Church in McHenry. He will leave that post to take leadership of the faith-based center, located in an office building at 800 Hart Road on Aug. 15.

Rev. Mary Tudela (Photo by Thomas Balsamo)

Swarthout of Barrington Hills is taking over from Rev. Mary Tudela, who has directed the non-profit psychotherapy center since its inception about five years ago.

Tudela was on a priest at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Barrington from 2004 to 2007, but left to open the center.

The Samaritan Counseling Center opened in 2009.  The center offers counseling, consulting and educational programs for children, youth and adults, along with pastoral consulting for clergy and lay church leaders. It is accredited by the National Samaritan Center in Denver, and endorsed by the Barrington Area Ministerial Association.

There are clinical psychologists who offer faith-based counseling as an option, a clinical supervisor and life coaches. Reduced fee rates are offered to those who struggle financially.

Though Tudela will be stepping down from the position, she will continue to take part in the center on a limited basis, supporting current clients, and the center with spiritual retreat design and organizational planning. She announced her plans to retire from the position last year. In her spare time, she plans to market her recently published book about practicing faith in the workplace.

She said Swarthout is the right person to take the center to the next level of growth.

“His ties to the Northwest counties of the Chicago area will be invaluable to the goals our board of directors has set for the future, as the service area expands into McHenry County,” Tudela said.

Swarthout serves on the Mental Health Board of McHenry County and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Board of Connections and Communications, as well as Dawnbreakers Rotary Club of Crystal Lake.  He is certified by the state as an advanced addictions counselor and relapse prevention therapist. He also holds an administrator’s license in school social work, having taught classes in parenting and adolescent development. He founded the St. Paul Bank Diaper Partnership, which distributes around 200,000 diapers a year in McHenry County.

“Hope is the core of Samaritan Centers, as I have always experienced it. It’s an honor to have the baton of hope passed on from such a professional as Mary,” Swarthout said.

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