reaches 1 million views.

By David Joel Miller.

How things have changed over the last few years.

When I first started writing the blog I had no idea where it might take me. In early 2011 I heard about blogs and had to ask one of my colleagues what a blog was. That first year just learning how to post and how to insert a picture in my posts was a major task. At that time, I was still trying to master making a call on my flip phone.

My goal in creating was to share the things I had learned and was learning about mental health, substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and having a happy life. In writing the blog, I rediscovered one of my purposes in life. One strength assessment said my primary strength was being an information excavator. I feel most fulfilled when I am learning new things and when I can share what I’ve learned with others.

Over the last 6+ years, the blog has grown from an occasional post to almost 1300 separate posts. Readership grew from one or two readers a day until recently approximately 1000 people per day have been coming to the site. This month the blog reached another milestone, over 1 million post views.

Thank you, so much, to everyone who reads or subscribes to this blog.

During these years I’ve worked on becoming a better writer. At first, my goal was to write acceptable blog posts and then to perfect those posts to the kind of information people might come back to read on a regular basis. Some of those early posts continue to be read years later.

Along the way, I’ve worked on writing longer nonfiction works. My first completed book is now available for sale in both a Kindle and a paperback edition.

During this journey of learning new things, learning to write effectively, and to share that information, I’ve concluded that some stories I need to tell are so personal and confidential, I can’t tell them without violating clients trust. Because of this, I’ve been working on ways to create fictional stories to illustrate these problems and their solutions.

My first novel, Casino Robbery, featuring a protagonist who is suffering from PTSD was written last year during NaNoWriMo and was one of the winners. When I wrote it, the narrative was a complete work of fiction. Unfortunately, some of the things I wrote about have since come to pass. Casino Robbery is due to be released before the end of 2017.

Below is the announcement for my first book Bumps on the Road of life. There’s also a link to my Amazon author page. New books will appear on my Amazon author page as they become available. I’ve decided that I should share some of my journey in learning how to express myself through writing with others. From time to time I will include some posts on about the things I’ve learned about writing and the areas I continue to struggle with.

If you have questions or comments about mental health, substance use disorder, having a happy life or about my journey of learning to become a more effective writer, please leave a comment or use the contact me form. I won’t pretend that I have all the answers in any of these areas. What it will promise you is that I will continue to seek the answers and to share with you what I find.

Bumps on the Road of life is now available in Kindle format for preorder. It will be released on 11/13/17. The paperback version is ready now.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Over time you may stay off track and in

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of life

Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

More to come as other books are completed.

Thanks to all my readers for all your support.

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Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – 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 the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


Want to write a post for counselorssoapbox?

By David Joel Miller

Interested in writing a counselorssoapbox post?


People who have lived with and overcome a life problem have a lot to share. We refer to that sometimes as lived experience. That perspective teaches you things that you can’t always learn in other ways.

I wanted to throw an opportunity out there for those of you who read this blog. If you have something to say but haven’t found a way to say it yet, I invite you to consider writing an article for this blog. Whether you currently have a blog, or this is the one and only time you are planning to write something you are welcome.

My plan is not to change the blog to an article one, but it might be fun to share some things written by others from time to time. Frankly, this may also help me by keeping the blog going with fresh posts during those times when my other activities keep me from writing.

In all fairness, I need to tell you what sort of articles I am looking for. The main focus of this blog is and will remain on having a happy life. I strongly believe in recovery, that people do not need to stay stuck in their illness forever and that they can and do get better and go on to have happy fulfilled lives. What that means to each of you may be a quite different thing.

Many of the posts I write are about mental and emotional illnesses, substance abuse and their co-occurrence. Some posts have been about counseling and therapy. Related to those topics are self-improvement, parenting, and relationships.

What I most would like to hear about are not the daily problems but the daily successes. If you went for counseling, what worked and what did not work. If something else was helpful, what was it and how might others make use of the resource you found?

Even if you did not have a problem that got a diagnosis but you found a way to overcome that issue I would love to hear from you.

If there was a particular book or exercise that you have done that led to your growth and learning, by all means, share that also.

Professionals are welcome to join in this opportunity. Many professionals are themselves in recovery or have had to do a lot of work on themselves to get to the point they could be helpful to others. We also find we learn a lot from our clients. So if you would like to share those lessons learns, by all means, send them along, just please be sure, as I know you are aware, not to share anything that would violate someone else’s confidentiality, privilege or otherwise get us in trouble.

Articles for consideration should be from 500 to 1,200 words and positive or constructive in nature. As the author and editor of this blog, I reserve the right to reject anything that does not fit with what I am trying to do in this blog and to make small edits as needed. I would ask the author before making any big changes in what you write. I also reserve the right to reuse your article or quote from it in other things that I am writing.

If you send pictures make sure they are not copyrighted or I can locate a picture to add to your article. At this point, my blog is not big enough to pay for submissions but in exchange for your contribution, I can offer you a byline.

These articles should be original, not something already posted to another blog. Most bloggers know how to reblog and we all do that from time to time but for this submit-an-article program, I am looking for new and different points of view.

Whether you have written a lot of posts or this is the one and only one you will write all submissions are welcome.

This is not something that needs to be done right away, I have posts scheduled to appear for a few weeks yet but I find those who say they want to write but never get started never get them written. If you have an idea let me know and we can plan for a future date for your post to appear.

So if the idea of being a writer whose article is featured on counselorssoapbox appeals to you or you just have a burning desire to say something contact me and let’s see if this is something that could happen.

You are of course always welcome and encouraged to leave a comment on anything that is posted even if you chose not to write a long post.

Here is hoping that you all will continue to read counselorssoapbox and that some of you will decide to write an article for the blog.

Thanks for reading,

David Joel Miller, LMFT, LPCC

Warning – Gremlins are hiding in the send button!

Why do emails suddenly change after you click send?

Mine keep doing that. I am getting worried. I need to find a solution to this issue. The email message looks perfect. Nothing underlined in red. Not even a smidgen of green or purple. But let me click send and the whole message changes color and the misspelled words appear. What could be causing this?

I thought there must be something wrong with my computer. So I began my search. It took a while but now I have the proof. My suspicions have been confirmed. There is something wrong with my computer. I don’t want to scare you but this could happen to you also.

It does not appear to be a computer virus. I have checked for all the usual symptoms. No part of my computers anatomy is hot to the touch. There are no noxious fluids leaking from any orifice. These are the usual signs of illness in family members and I checked them all first.

Now I know that computers are not flesh and blood but it is reassuring to know that I have ruled out that possibility, still, the problem persists.

When my cat gets sick I take her to the vet. The veterinarian was no help on the computer problem. His commuter is doing the same thing mine is. He referred me to a specialist.

An x-ray of the computer failed to detect anything hiding inside that did not belong. The specialist was baffled. At least that is what I think his email said. Much of it was misspelled and run together. His computer seems to have caught the virus. Can you catch an email virus by sending an email? Checking – Checking.

Carefully I have reviewed my email list. There seem to be some really sick people on the list.

Now I am not talking about clients, I expect them to have problems. But the sickest people on my email list were colleagues. I am especially fearful of anyone with a Ph.D. I have placed their email addresses in quarantine but the problem continues.

If it was just an occasional misspelled word I could cope with it. But the transposed letters have caused some embarrassment, especially when I send them to my boos. He was especially unhappy with once sentence that was supposed to read – not- and the gremlin changed to – Nut. People are also upset with things that come out like “some time of a problem.”  The one where I said I was “thinging about you,” also caused some problems.

Now I have always had difficulty with initial sonsonant counds. Ever since I first learned the story of Finder Cella and the Sgly isters and the Chince Parming mhe seets at the dancy fress ball. Some people call these spoonerisms, others call them mtupid sistakes. But my computer problem seems to be worse than that.

Other people’s computers are speaking a language like “newspeak.” They have words like U for you and LOL for launch our litigation – or something like that. I might be able to cope with learning a new language to be able to email but my computer just is not fat consistent.

I type out the word You – that is clearly what I mean. It looks right – I click send – and now it says ou or Tou or even Uou. Who keeps changing the letters?

Whne I typ nto it comes out not and ot is transposed inot to. It is al merry confusing.

For a while, I thought it might be the mouse. I got one of those new wireless ones. Ever since I got it the cat has taken to sitting on top of the computer and watching the mouse. They yesterday the mouse disappeared. The cat is looking awfully proud of herself but the self-transposing letters continue. I am chalking it up to gremlins.

A quick search of the internet shows that I am not the only one who has suffered an infection of gremlins. Apparently, American Motors Corporation (AMC) had some Gremlin connection from 1970 to 1978. I didn’t read the whole article but I doubt that that Gremlin and the one in my computer are in any way connected.

Still, I thought the severity of this problem required me to warn you.

So should you receive an email from me, or read a blog post in which the letters seem to have been rearranged to make them more nonsensical that usual, you will know it was not my fault. The gremlin did it.

I hope this gremlin warning made you smile. Happiness it one of the greatest cures for much of what ails us. So what makes you happy? How might you achieve a happy life? Till next time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog, there is also a Facebook authors page, in its infancy, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the books, trainings and classes category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area information about my private practice is at Thanks to all who read this blog.

Here are the Spruce!!

As promised the counselorssoapbox blog has been spruced up.

So why do we call the spring cleaning “sprucing up”

Like so many other words and expression we use here in America, we got this one from our Country-Ancestors in the UK. Originally spruce items, like the trees, were things imported or originating in Prussia. One thing Prussia was especially known for in the pre-colonial days was fancy leather goods. So back then to “spruce up” was to put on your fancy leather jacket. Later it came to mean to get dressed up or to fix up your looks. So we have both imported some spruce tree pictures for this occasion and cleaned up the site. For more information on this and other UK expression that made their way to America please see:

One of the new features on the blog is a section about the books I have been writing. None of the books are published just yet but I wanted to share the process and the progress I was making on these projects. Two of my novels are in the editing and sending to agent’s stage, more on them later.

My major non-fiction book project is about all the things beginning counselors need to learn to become helping as opposed to unhelpful counselors. It currently has the working title “How to do counseling” While working on this project I have had to do a lot of research on books for counselors and on books counselors might suggest to their clients. In my own private therapy practice, I sometimes do what we counselor types call “Bibliotherapy” which is suggesting books for our clients to read.

So as the project progresses I would like to tell you about some of the books I have read that might interest you. You will be able to see some short book revues about counseling, therapy, recovery and resiliency and other “having a happy life” books. As the list grows there will be a list of recommended books and resources.

If you have a particular favorite helping book email me or make a comment on the blog.

Till next time wishing you a happy life. David Miller, LMFT, NCC.

One last Spruce

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog, there is also a Facebook authors page, in its infancy, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the books, trainings and classes category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area information about my private practice is at Thanks to all who read this blog.