About David Joel Miller

David Miller is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Counselor, faculty member at a local college, certified trainer and writer.

Blueprint for moving from writing to creating a blog.

By David Joel Miller.

What steps will take you from planning to hitting post?

Man writing.

Writing.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

So far, I’ve been talking about long-range planning for your blog.

What your primary topic will be, what will be your voice or personality, how are you going to go about attracting readers to what you have written?

So where do I suggest you go from here?

Spend some time reading blogs.

Read lots of them, on your topic and on others. Look at what other people are writing about and how they’re presenting the material. Make some notes about blogs you especially enjoy. What draws you to those blogs?

At this point, you are immersing yourself in the blogosphere. Some blogs are heavy on illustrations. If you’re an artist, talking about your artwork, you’ll need to feature images or examples. Do you gravitate towards blogs that include video clips? You will need to decide whether you’re going to create those videos or provide links to existing videos. This is an excellent place to pay attention to copyrights, yours and other people’s.

With your blog use images?

If you’re an artist, you want to be sure to include notices that the work is copyrighted. There are lots of tricks you can use. While you can’t copyright an idea, you can copyright the finished product. Some artists show only a portion of their work or pictures of them in their studio creating. Writers often give away snippets of the story or book. If you plan to use video or images, make sure you abide by the creator’s copyright.

There are several sites where you can obtain images available under a Creative Commons License, free for anyone to use or share. What you don’t want to do is just steal images off the Internet. The last thing a new blogger wants is a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit for copyright infringement. When in doubt read the fine print or contact the person who posted the original and ask them for permission.

You can, of course, create your own photographs or videos. If you decide to do that you have to ask yourself why? If your original plan was writing, detouring into photography and video production can sabotage your writing plans. But then maybe you’ll discover what you really want to do is express yourself visually rather than through words.

Start producing content.

If you plan on your blog lasting more than that first few weeks, it’s a good idea to have some content in reserve. In the middle of your blogging project life happens. You don’t want your blog to go dark, with no new content for periods of time. We haven’t gotten to the mechanics yet, but I will share one thing I learned the hard way.

One year I tried to post every single day. There were many nights I was up late getting that post done, and this was at a time when I had a full-time job as a therapist and a part-time job teaching classes to beginning counseling students. The result was that a lot of posts were published with typos and spelling errors I wish I had caught. I have significantly reduced the errors by writing ahead of time, letting the posts set for a while, and then proofreading it a second time before posting. I’ve also taken the pressure off myself by scheduling posts to appear in the future. It is currently the beginning of August, and I already have at least one post per week scheduled to run on counselorssoapbox.com until the end of the year.

Think about how often and how much you will post.

Learn from my experiences. You’re probably better off to plan on posting once a week then to plan on writing every day and ending up without posts ready. As I write extra posts, I save them for later use or schedule them for future dates. Don’t turn the pleasure of blogging into avoidable pressure.

With all this planning done, your next step will be the mechanics of setting up your blog site.

We will start talking about the mechanical parts in the next post. Think about the mechanics of a blog as similar to starting your own business. If you need a vehicle for business, do you need a nice car to transport clients or a van to carry materials and equipment? Having created some content will help you plan the layout and functionality of your blog.

I hope you are finding some of this helpful and I am looking forward to talking to you again.

You’ll find more posts on this topic under – Writing.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Sasquatch.

Wandering through a hole in time they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time but the Sasquatch wants to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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When should you stop trusting?

By David Joel Miller MS Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Have you continued to trust when you shouldn’t?

Trust.

Trust.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Trust issues commonly are of two types, being afraid to trust anyone when you really need to or continuing to trust people even when you shouldn’t. Not being able to trust when you should, can damage your relationships and leave you isolated and lonely. Trusting the wrong people, trusting too much, or continuing to trust someone who has harmed you in the past can cause you a lot of pain and suffering.

Every relationship whether it’s romantic, work related, or a casual social interaction begins with an initial level of trust. How high your trust is, initially depends on your personality and your past experiences. Based on your experiences with a person you begin to either trust them more or less.

Many people with trust issues confuse trust with power and control. It’s not trust if you control what they do or if you watch them constantly. If you must check up on them, that’s not trust.

What are the warning signs that you are trusting too much? When are the times you should stop trusting?

When the risks are high, you should trust less.

Lending someone a pen, is probably no big deal. If they don’t return it, you can buy another one pretty inexpensive. Lending that same person $20 is a little riskier. When them a thousand dollars and it could destroy your friendship. When a friend owes you something and can’t repay it, you lose not only the money but a friend, who is now embarrassed to see you and have to say they can’t afford to pay you back.

When your gut tells you, something is wrong.

Feelings are valuable sources of information. If you have this uneasy feeling, you shouldn’t trust some listen to your intuition. Feelings are not always right. Just because something scares you does not make it dangerous. When something doesn’t feel right, you need to proceed cautiously.

Trust weakens when their behavior changes.

Trust usually develops over time in a relationship. You trust someone you know more than you should trust someone you have just met. Someone you have known for a while begins to act differently pay attention.

Trust less when they are hiding something.

Whether it’s a romantic relationship or friendship when you discover a person is hiding things from you, be cautious about trusting them. People who are behaving honestly, don’t need to hide anything.

When they are unreliable at the small things, do not trust them with big things.

If someone is habitually late, says they will do something but doesn’t, be very careful trusting them. It’s easy to make excuses for people who let you down in small ways. Don’t make the mistake of trusting someone who is unreliable in small things with something that is important to you in a big way.

When they have been untrustworthy before, trust less.

People commonly behave consistently. When someone has hurt you before, anticipate they are likely to do it again.

When they are evasive and withhold information do not trust them.

Being evasive suggests this person doesn’t trust you or that they have something to hide. If they are leaving out part of the story, you should not trust them.

You ask for something they can’t or won’t do.

When you ask someone to do something for you, think for a minute about the nature of your request. If you’ve asked for something they can’t do, and you expect them to do it, that unreasonable request is creating your trust issues. When someone has told you no, pay attention.

The longer you have known someone, the more you expect from them.

To increase trust, you need to know more about them. It’s unreasonable to put a lot of trust in someone you have just met.

When they have mixed motives, trust less. It’s easier to trust in win-win situations. You should be more careful about trusting when their interests and yours do not coincide.

When their main goal is to get something from you, trust sparingly.

You should reduce your level of trust for someone if you find out that their main interest is in selling you something. In romantic relationships, it is important to identify when that other person is only interested in sex or wants you to pay for something, after which they don’t show interest in continuing to see you.

Look here more on the topic of trust.

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Sasquatch.

Wandering through a hole in time they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time but the Sasquatch wants to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Sasquatch, my third book is about to be published.

By David Joel Miller Writer, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Wanted to share this with you. I’m a little excited about this. My third book, my second

Novel - Sasquach

Sasquatch
3rd David Joel Miller Book

novel, Sasquatch, will be available starting this week.

This book is an idea been working on for about five years. The underlying theme is how you or I would cope if we were suddenly thrown into a situation without all our modern technology.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

I took a different approach with this book. My first two books were available exclusively on Amazon. If you been reading my Wednesday writing posts, I talked mostly about the lessons I learned from blogging. Stay tuned. Eventually, I would like to tell you the story of my journey from ideas to finished books. I’m still learning as I take that journey.

I decided to take my third book “wide,” which means it will be available in a number of e-book stores rather than being exclusive on Amazon. It’s not that I wasn’t happy with Amazon. I’ve been delighted with my experience in publishing my first two books on Amazon. I just decided this was an opportunity for me to grow and learn more about publishing on other platforms.

One of the reasons I decided to go wide was how many people outside the United States have been regular readers of counselorssoapbox.com. The last time I counted counselorssoapbox.com posts had been read it over 130 countries. In some of those countries, they often use booksellers other than Amazon. I wanted to make sure that wherever you are my books were available to you.

As of today, Sasquatch, as well as my first novel Casino Robbery, will be available on

Amazon,

Kobo,

iBooks,

Barnes & Noble,

My books will also be available shortly on Tolino, Scribd, 24symbols, Playster, Overdrive, ODILO, and several other sites. I will update these links as they become available.

The book covers may be slightly different depending on the site from which you purchased the book. The content of each title is the same, regardless of the cover.

Tomorrow we will get back to the regular Mental Heath – Happy-Life post.

The reminders.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Focus.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Focus

Focus.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Focus.

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”

― Zig Ziglar

“Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.”

― Leo Babauta

“Focusing is about saying No.”

― Steve Jobs

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Your blog needs a personality.

By David Joel Miller.

What will be your blog’s voice or personality?

Man writing.

Writing.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Writers spend a lot of time trying to develop their “voice.” That may or may not be the same thing as your own voice. Some lessons I learned in writing and publishing my first two books taught me that lesson. In the early stages of writing the books, I ask friends and colleagues to read the books. As an aside here, in the future, I think I will ask strangers to be the first readers and work with an editor next.

So, what did I learn about voice from the first readers of my books?

People who read my nonfiction book told me that it “sounds just like you.” My voice came through in the writing. I’ve done a lot of teaching and running groups and developed an individual style for public speaking. That’s not what happened when I had people read my first novel. Not only did they tell me that my protagonist did not sound like me, but they said the hero had a distinctive personality. One beta reader even told me that something they liked about the book was that each of the main characters sounded differently. I had succeeded, at least in a small way, in giving different characters different voices.

So, what does that have to do with creating a voice for your blog? One thing you will need to decide, plan on, is what will be the voice of your blog be like. It could sound like you, but it could also be a very distinct personality. But that I don’t mean that you should be phony, just think about the style in which the posts will be written.

If you are knowledgeable about a subject, you could write like a professor.

My blog does reflect my personality. At the college, they call me “Professor Miller.” The central theme of my life has been learning new things and teaching others. Writing with a “Professor” voice doesn’t mean lots of large words and long sentences littered with citations. I tend to believe the best teachers take a complicated subject and explain it in a simpler way.

If you decide to write in a “Professor” voice, you need to either be an authority on the subject or be willing to do a lot of research. While I’m licensed as a therapist and counselor, I still read a lot of research trying to learn new things and trying to be sure that I’m explaining things correctly. That’s what a professor does.

Your blog could have a “persuader” voice.

If there is a topic you feel strongly about you may try to convince others to agree with your point of view. That doesn’t mean you should use sleazy tactics or try to get over on anyone. Good persuaders provide people with information but also explain things in ways that overcome objections.

If you feel strongly about global warming, or pollution, or animal overpopulation, you could easily write a blog about any of those topics. The professor would be describing the science behind pollution and possible technologies to minimize its impact. The persuader would be trying to convince people to do something about that pollution, reduce usage, recycle, maybe even buy an electric, nonpolluting vehicle. You can write about any topic, but the voice you choose can result in a unique presentation.

Your blogs personality might be the “entertainer.”

Some blogs teach some persuade, while others primarily entertain. The entertainer can teach or persuade, but they do it differently. The entertainer blog, rather than presenting hard facts or emotional reasons, will get there point across by telling stories that are enjoyable to listen to. Fiction frequently contains a theme or moral, illustrated by an interesting tale. Entertainer personalities are more likely to use humor or detailed descriptions of people and places than either the professor or the persuader personality.

There are many other voices you could explore for your blog.

There is a branch of Psychology called positive psychology. One premise of this branch of psychology is that there has been too much emphasis on what’s wrong with people and not enough emphasis on the positive. It’s possible to create a blog which emphasizes one of those positive characteristics such as creativity, vitality, zest for living, kindness, gratitude, or spirituality. Deciding on your blogs voice or voices can make it much easier to write your posts.

You’ll find more posts on this topic under – Writing.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time. The newsletter started out to talk about mental health issues. I recently added some other categories. In addition to mental health, you can also sign up for newsletter updates about writing and my novels. You can sign up for any one of these lists or all 3.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.

By David Joel Miller.

Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders.

Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Obsessive-compulsive is a label that is frequently misused. Most people, when they say they are obsessive-compulsive, mean that they have strong preferences for the way they want the thing to be done. In the mental health field, what we mean by Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders are a group of disorders which seriously interfere with a person’s relationships, their ability to work, cause them distress, or prevent them from engaging in other important activities.

A personal story about compulsions to illustrate this difference.

I have a preferred breakfast meal. It comes frozen and is relatively inexpensive. Each week when I do the grocery shopping, I buy enough for the following week. I tend to eat this meal every day. Should I end up traveling, or get behind schedule I’m open to eating something else.

Someone with OCD or a related disorder might feel that their failure to eat the required breakfast, could cause their day to be ruined. They might believe, even though they know it is illogical, that their failure to eat the required breakfast, in a specific order, could result in someone starving to death, or harm coming to a family member. These beliefs that their actions or inactions, can cause harm results in an overwhelming compulsion to perform actions.

I have used an extremely exaggerated example here, but I hope you can see the difference between an extremely strong preference and a compulsion. A compulsion is something you feel forced to do even when it makes no sense. It is as if the person with OCD is being controlled by an outside force.

Defining obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are persistent, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts, urges, or pictures that you can’t get out of your head. Compulsions are the things people feel required to do to reduce the tension caused by the obsessions. These behaviors are often done a specific number of times. Compulsions may involve inflexible rules which must be obeyed to prevent something bad happening. Some Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders involve self-injury, like hair pulling or skin picking, which continues despite efforts reduce or stop the behavior.

Classifying Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders.

In the past, Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders were scattered throughout the diagnostic manual. Some of these disorders were in the chapter on anxiety; some were mixed in with impulse control disorders, others were under somatoform disorders. A few were not even recognized as mental illnesses in the past. In the most recent DSM-5, these issues were brought together in a single Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders chapter.

Sometimes it’s hard for professionals to diagnose which disorder a person has. It is possible for one person to have several of the Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders. Many people with Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders also have anxiety disorders, trauma and stressor-related disorders and some form of depression.

OCD leads the Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders parade.

Among the Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders, the best-known disorder is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, a serious mental health issue which is estimated to affect between 1% and 2% of the population worldwide.

Other Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders include Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hoarding Disorder, Trichotillomania, (hair pulling), and excoriation (skin picking). All of these disorders significantly interfere with people’s lives. Symptoms in these disorders recur, despite repeated efforts to control or stop the Obsessive-Compulsive Related Behaviors.

Substances and medications can cause, or induce, Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders. Some medical conditions can also cause obsessive-compulsive behaviors. In the DSM-5 they are also seven other conditions lumped together under the heading Other Specified Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders. One of those conditions is Obsessional Jealousy. This is one of the few times jealousy counts as a symptom of a mental health disorder. More on Obsessional Jealousy in a future post.

Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders.

The primary treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is exposure and response prevention therapy. While exposure and response prevention therapy has some similarities to systematic desensitization, which is used to treat specific phobias, relatively few therapists are trained in exposure and response prevention therapy.

One resource you may want to consult is the WordPress blog ocdtalk.  http://ocdtalk.wordpress.com/

For more information on Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders see:

Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders category

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Hoarding Disorder

Trichotillomania, (hair pulling)

Excoriation (skin picking)

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Education.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Education.

Education.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Education.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

― Nelson Mandela

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

― Robert Frost

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

― Plato

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration