Friendship.

Friendship.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Friendship.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”

― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. 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

Advertisements

Family.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Family.

Your family

Family.

“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough”

― Walt Whitman

“That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.”
― Deb Caletti

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
― George Burns

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.

Friendship.

Sunday Inspiration.          Post by David Joel Miller.

Friendship.

Friendship

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”

― Robert Louis Stevenson

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

― Elbert Hubbard

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

― Abraham Lincoln

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.

Why is love so hard to find?

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

Feeling of love

Looking for love.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Everyone looks for love but not many find it.

LoveOf all the topics to write about why love? Nothing comes up more in therapy that the subject of love. Despite all the books on love, all the love songs and the poems about love, few of us seem to be able to find the love we are looking for. Why?

Love is big business. There are dating sites devoted to finding your one true love and books on how to attract that love into your life, but still, so many people are starved for love.

The 1960’s were full of expressions about love, love generation, summer of love, love child. One quote from long ago seemed, to sum up, the problem with a shortage of love.

“How come half the world is crying when the other half is crying too? Why can’t we get it together?” I remember hearing that, something close to that, from Janis Joplin shortly before she died.

One of the Jefferson Airplanes most remembered hits – Somebody to love. Despite all the looking for love there still seems to be a shortage.

There are several reasons we can’t seem to find enough love is this life.

If you don’t know what you are looking for how will you know it when you find it? Many of the things we say we want out of life are in short supply for just that reason. In psychology, they have a term for this phenomenon – The expert effect. Sometimes we don’t recognize we have something until it is gone.

Possible if we all worked harder on loving others, not the lusting kind but the real caring for other people sort of love, we might be less hungry for love.

Where do you find love?

The greater problem, the reason love may be so elusive is that we have been misled about where love could be found. When we are young we think love comes from someone else. Parents love, caretakers love and the love of friends and associates these things seem to make us “feel loved.”

For many out there that “love” was contingent on doing or saying what that other person wanted from us. We began a lifelong search for someone who could love us enough for us to feel lovable.

The problem is confounded for those who learned to substitute sex for love. If you just had the right kind of sexual partner then you might feel loved. So we look for lovers and friends that can make us feel loved.

Humans are social creatures; there is no denying we need other people. But finding someone who can love us so completely that we will never feel unloved and unlovable again, that is a futile search.

The place we need to look for that fullness of love is the last place most people would ever think to search. If you are to ever feel really loved, you need to begin by loving yourself. For if you are not able to love yourself no other person will ever be able to fill you with love.

What if you are so far down that you can’t even love yourself?

That is the time we need to look for that higher power, that thing beyond ourselves and those other failed human relationships. Look for someone greater than yourself and by that, I do not mean some earthly person.

Some find that unconditional love in a religious institution or in a recovery or 12 step group.

A saying around those tables is that other recovering people will love you until you are able to love yourself.

You can’t fill up that love-shaped hole in your being by rushing around looking for the right person to love you. First, you need to learn to love yourself and feel worthy of love and then you will be able to accept others love into your life.

Just my thoughts. What have you found out about solving this love shortage?

“Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

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. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Do therapists tell parents what kids say?

By David Joel Miller.

How much confidentiality should children get?

Do therapist tell parents what kids say?
Photo courtesy of pixabay

This can be a very touchy issue. Nothing more infuriates a parent than the sense of loss of control over their child’s care. Parents routinely want to know all about what their child is talking about in therapy. Children often ask “Do you have to tell my parents,” before they will disclose something. There are no simple answers.

Two primary questions here.

1. How much should the parents be told?

2. How much are they legally entitled to know?

There are good reasons why parents need to know what is going on with their child. There are also some equally good reasons why they should not be told. Let me try to explain both.

Consider this a general answer and deliberately vague, lots of factors play into this situation and these vary widely from location to location. So the legal practice in one state may not apply in another. From the therapist point of view, there are something’s the parents need to know and other things that will interfere with the process if the therapist tells them.

The exact legal requirements are another issue which varies with the jurisdiction.

Parent, therapist, and the child may also discuss ahead of time just what things will be told to the parent and what should be kept confidential.

Some parents want to know everything the child says. They want the counselor to pry those secrets out of their child. They ask us things like “Is he doing drugs?” “Is she having sex?” The great illusion of some parents is that if they knew all their children’s secrets they could better control the child’s behavior and “Keep them from making mistakes or doing something wrong.”

Let me give you a real-life example of a parent’s effort to control their child’s behavior and how it backfired. This particular example is based on a news story, not my clinical practice so parents, if I have seen your child, relax this is not your kid. I have imagined a few things that were likely to happen after the news account left off.

Dad was worried about his daughter staying out late and was suspicious she was having sex with one of the boys from her school. Dad wants to put a stop to this behavior. He gets an adult this girl trust to talk with her. Have that sex talk. She reveals that yes after going to a local hangout she and this boy did go off and have sex. The girl is 17 the boy is 18. So this sex, in my state, would have been illegal as statutory rape but not reportable by the counselor as child sexual abuse.

Dad is told. He becomes enraged. Dad pressures the police and the local D. A. to arrest this older boyfriend for statutory rape. Dad also files a lawsuit against the hangout where the two of them met for endangering the morals of children. Let’s not worry about the merits of a suit like this just now. The boy is in jail, the hangout is fighting to stay in business and now checks all the kid’s ID’s and no longer allows anyone under 18 to enter. Everyone in this small town knows who had the sex that caused the problems for all of the other teens.

The result?

This Girl, now furious with her father, sneaks out her window, goes to another spot and hooks up with a couple of older guys. She is going to get even with dad. She is now having sex with lots of older guys, not just the one cute potential boyfriend who is away in jail.

A better approach would have been to talk with the girl about love, relationships and the dangers of unprotected sex.

Parents make the mistake of thinking that they need to control children’s behavior to keep them safe. So very often that “protected” child turns 18 and now all bets are off.

Parents, at some point in your child’s life, probably in the teen years, your role should move from protecting your child to teaching them how to make good choices. That learning to make choices part scares most parents. What if they make a mistake?

Parents fear this because frequently those parents have made all those mistakes themselves.

We all need to live our lives, learn to make choices, for better or worse and sometimes in the process we fall down and get hurt.  A good parent can loosen their grip enough to let the child make some decisions and learn from them before they reach the point of having to face those huge, life-altering, decisions all alone.

Lots of teens ask me to not tell their parents things because they know they have messed up. Often the parents are very understanding and can help the teen solve the problem. Embarrassment and the keeping of secrets are not helpful to the teen.

Some reasons parents should not be told what their child says.

If there is a danger the parent will overreact, or harm the child then the counselor may be ethically bound to keep things from the parent.

More than one parent was concerned about what the child was saying because the parent was engaged in illegal activity, used drugs or had some other secret they wanted to hide.

If you are the parent whose child is in therapy, trust the therapist to tell you what needs to be told, to report what legally has to be reported and to try to help your child through the process of learning to make their own decisions.

If you are that teen in therapy, have this conversation with your counselor. Ask them what sorts of things they will be telling to your parents and what is confidential. Unless there is a safety issue involved it is generally best to let your parents know what problems you are dealing with and the counselor can help you with the process of telling them. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting help. We all make mistakes in life. The smart people know they need to fix those mistakes and sometimes that means asking for help.

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. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

How to Build a Successes Machine – The technology of success

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

Success

Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Build a successes machine, turn the crank and out comes another goal accomplished.

 

How do successful people do it?

Ever meet one of those people who are able to accomplish most anything they set their mind to? They are able to reproduce their successes project after project. I am not talking about the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs; knock one out of the park kinds of success. For that, you need not only ability, but a great idea and some good timing helps.

What I am talking about is that person who is more successful than most. They are the people in the next cubicle or down the block who seem to get a lot done, accomplish their life goals and manage to be happy doing it. How do those people do it?

They have built a success machine and they are able to repeat those accomplishments over and over. Want to know how to build yourself a success machine? Here is how you train yourself to improve the odds that your next effort will work out the way you wanted it to.

1. Doing your homework increases success.

People who repeatedly accomplish things don’t go off half-cocked. They have done their homework and know which things have a chance of working and which don’t. They don’t jump into doing things because they want them to be possible. No wishful thinking here but sound research.

This does not mean they go along with the crowd. They evaluate things for themselves, do their homework and once they have the facts make their own decision. They get noticed because they made the effort to check out an opportunity that other people overlooked.

2. Create a plan for success.

Good results do not happen by chance. People who get a lot done have plans; doable, well-researched plans. They also have ways of measuring outcomes and monitoring their efforts to see if they are on track. This does not mean they give up every time they get behind schedule but they do know if they are headed in the right direction or not.

For most projects, these plans are written out in some detail. They have budgets for both time and money and they have criteria for evaluation.

3. Break that success plan up into manageable steps.

Getting out of debt does not generally happen because you get a sudden windfall of money. It happens a few dollars at a time. The same thing holds true for other life goals.

Want a new better-paying job? There will be a series of steps you will need to do to get from where you are to having that job. Do them one thing at a time and if your research and planning were done well then you have a good chance of landing that big one.

4. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

One major cause of failure to get things accomplished is trying to do too much too fast. You decide to go back to school for a new degree, get a new job, lose weight and get in shape all in the same month.

All of these things are good goals. Over time you can get there, but trying to do too much at one time sets you up for failure. You won’t do well in school if you are out exercising. It is also hard to concentrate on exams if you are looking for a new job.

Break these projects up into small manageable steps. Make small changes in your routine.  Monitor your progress and switch your emphasis to the next phase as you finish each thing.

5. Keep on the path to where you are going.

Excessive, frequent changes in goals are likely to undo all the effort you have made. Spend time evaluating goals before you start on the journey. At some point, it helps to recheck those plans. Some people do annual or even monthly reevaluations. But don’t change those plans from day-to-day without a good reason.

Switching goals from day-to-day ensure that you will not be successful at anything.

6. Enjoy the trip towards your version of success.

People who enjoy the process of exercising lose more weight. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy, maybe walking, maybe join a softball league. If you want to eat healthier consider learning to cook healthier.

If you enjoy the subject you are studying you get better grades. And if you like this new career you are more likely to get hired and do well. They can tell in the interview if you are only taking the job because you are desperate and will plan to leave the minute you can.

Follow these 6 steps. Pick a small goal, do the process and watch your progress. As one goal becomes a part of your normal routine add another until eventually, you can say you have built the life you want.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that happiness will come from having or accomplishing. True happiness is the result of the pride you will take in your progress along the way.

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. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Desperate for friends? – Signs of a destructive friendship.

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

group of friends.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

5 Ways to evaluate a friendship.

Some friendships are destructive; some drain the life out of you. Why then do we hold on to those friendships even when there is something inside of us telling us this is not right?

Certainly one quality we want in a friend is someone who cares about us and likes us all the time. It is not much of a friendship if their feelings towards us are dependent on us being a certain way or doing a certain thing for them.

If we expect that kind of total acceptance from a friend then we might tell ourselves that we need to be there for them even when it is painful or has its emotional price. How then do we decide if this friendship has become toxic? When do we need to let friends go?

Some of us stay with unhealthy friends out of guilt or duty. We feel we owe it to them to continue the friendship. Others stay in unhealthy relationships because of an inner fear that if we did not have this friend then we might have no one.

It takes courage to look at this relationship and realize that this “friendship” is not healthy. When you spend time with this friend how does this make you feel?

1. Friends should be uplifting.

You should part company with a friend feeling better than when you met. That conversation you had with the friend should make you feel happy and good about yourself.

If you leave your time with that “friend” feeling drained, down or bad about yourself then you should reconsider this relationship.

2. How do you feel when away from this person?

Do you feel relieved that the visit is over? This is clearly a bad sign. Do you dread seeing them again but feel you owe it to them to visit?

A clear sign of a toxic friendship is that dread you get when you think about going to see them.

3. What do you do when you are together?

If the time together is all about the other person, when you are there to cater to their wants and needs, then this is a one-way friendship and they are on the taking end.

Some people are ill. We may take care of them. When we leave this person we may feel a sense of joy at having been able to be helpful. But if that person seems to constantly demand more, then this is not a healthy relationship.

4. What does this person like to do when you are not around?

If this friend’s primary interest is in doing things that make you uncomfortable then this is not a healthy relationship.

People who like to drink, get drunk or do drugs, want those around them to do those same things. Is there a pressure to be like them?

Does being around them place you at unnecessary risk? Are they involved in an illegal lifestyle? Then how healthy is it for them to involve you in their problems?

5. Do you feel pride or shame when you see how they treat others?

If how this person is treating others makes you feel badly, then consider that they are probably treating you that same way but you are avoiding looking at those behaviors.

Positive friends should make you proud, not ashamed of their behavior.

Take a look at your friendships, and the other relationships in your life, look at the unhealthy ones and consider how you can cut these off or limit your contact with people who are harmful to you and your recovery.

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, Barnes & Noble, 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.