Pete Saunders

Pete Saunders

Pete Saunders is a counselor in training at Capella University. He also writes a weekly blog and conducts a weekly video interview on manhood at

  • I Love the Smell of Dirt

    Jul 14, 2011
    This blog post is not about my quirky habits and preferences, even though I do love the smell of dirt, and burnt wood, and sand. It is, rather, about change and what can, or should, be changed about a person, specifically in the context of human behavior. My wife is fascinated about my fixation with dirt. I have no doubt her fascination would quickly turn into revulsion if I were to start storing large quantities of dirt in containers in our bedroom, close to our head so I can inhale the scent at night. As counselors and counselors-in-training, are we trying to change behavior or perspective? Can we truly permanently change someone’s behavior?
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  • Unlearning Homophobia

    Jun 06, 2011
    In 2001, during my first semester at college, I was awoken early one morning by violent shouting, screaming, and banging coming from the dorm room facing mine. I remained in my room until things quieted down. Shortly after, I learned that the residents of the room were attacked and beaten by fellow students, some of whom were their neighbors, classmates, and friends. I remember my thoughts switching between, “How could they do this to fellow students?” to “How can these guys possibly be homosexuals. That is wrong.”
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  • No Emotions Allowed

    May 23, 2011
    Very recently, I went to visit a dying friend in the hospital. We have known each other for about 4 years now and have become very close friends in the last year. Our friendship is quite unusual. He is 85 years old, almost 60 years my senior. He makes me think of the relationship I could have experienced with my grandfather if he were still alive. Regrettably, my grandfather died when I was 6 years old.
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  • Will it Happen to Us?

    Apr 27, 2011
    A few weeks ago, my wife and I learned of five married couples, with whom we had a connection, who had recently had to deal with infidelity, separation, and other major threats to their marriage. These revelations shocked us and caused my wife to develop anxieties and fears. With one of the couples, the husband had been unfaithful for over 15 years, and blames his actions on his wife being too miserable, undermining his masculinity, and not being intimate frequently enough with him. Shortly after learning about the troubles facing these couples, my wife and I were separating for work when she called me back and with deep concern said, “I’m scared. I do not want that to happen to us. I will start texting and emailing you more throughout the day as you asked.” With a smile, I simply responded, “Ok.” I enjoy receiving intimate text messages from her, except they do not come often enough.
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  • Are Good Counselors Born or Made?

    Apr 12, 2011
    “You have a natural ability to listen and make others feel comfortable,” my wife said to me a few years ago. “I worry you might lose that with formal education,” she continued. My response, “Wow.” My thoughts, could she be right, about the formal education? What if school really kills my “natural ability”?
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