Trauma-based & Family Psychotherapy For Angry, Anxious, Depressed, and Frustrated Families

Understanding Gang Life: Why youths embrace trouble

ruben vazquezToday has been an interesting day for me. I hope this day has found you well, resting and enjoying your time off (hopefully). At times like this I find it a great idea to pick up a good book. A book that will cater to my need for mental stimulation and yet, educate me to something new. One such book today is A Rainbow of Gangs by James Diego Vigil. This book is beyond a simple sociological evaluation of gang-life. It is a personal account of various cultures and barriers in the lives of our youth. Although the book is a bit dated (published in 2002), the facts remain the same. We have a youth culture that is in dire need of love, affection, direction, self-worth, respect, a family, stability, hope, and a future. Without these things, many of our kids lose their lives literally or figuratively. Either way, it is bad and should not happen! Why have we failed at helping our youth find purpose in this life? The number one answer that comes to mind for me is that no one cares. When there are very little people who care about the lives of needy youths, they fall prey to a multiplicity of problems within and outside their homes, schools, and neighborhoods.

I am of the firm belief that knowledge is more than power. It embodies compassion. Our kids need our understanding, our listening ear, our ability to relate to them. There is a very touching story of a young man nicknamed “Puppet” in chapter 4. Not only was this young man the victim of his parent’s problems, but also of his adolescent years. With various foster care parents/families or homes, schools, and experiences with bullying and negative peer influences, Puppet struggled to find his identity. He ended up joining a gang out of a need to find his identity, meaning, hope, and protection. His only tool left was a gang. Our kids should never have to turn to the most destructive tool to “survive” their lives.

If you decide to check this book out, allow this book to call you to action, to call you to show compassion.

Passionately speaking,


Photo credit: ruben vazquez

As always, I wish you well

*CORONA VIRUS UPDATE1050 Lincoln Way, Ste 1 - Pittsburgh PA

States across the nation are passing laws, reducing restrictions, and enacting new regulations to help support the transition from stay-at-home orders to the normal flow of life again.

To keep everyone at Anchored Child & Family Counseling safe, I will only be opening the office for in-person sessions 1 day of the week. The other days of the week will consist of teletherapy sessions until the mask wearing restrictions are reduced or eliminated and corona virus cases have gone down.

My office assistant and I will be monitoring insurance policies for any changes to corona-related cost share, copayment, and coinsurance policies. I will be checking and rechecking insurance policies to ensure you will be covered for teletherapy. At this time, all major insurance companies (UPMC, Highmark, Aetna, Optum/United, and Cigna) are continuing to provide coverage for teletherapy into September 2020.

Please check (the practice website) for updates and my business facebook page at:

Please continue to stay safe!
Thank you



Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Licensed Child & Family Therapist
National Board Certified Counselor
Internationally Certified Trauma Therapist

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