Publishing 101

Traditional, Self-Published, or Hybrid? One of the topics I’ll be writing about here is publishing, and within that field, book publishing. Consider this to be a broad overview — the 30,000’ view — of the basic options. I’ll drill down into each of these areas in future posts. If you have a book you are writing or have written, one of the most important decisions to make is whether to seek out a…

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The best laid plans …

What do we do when our best laid plans go awry? I’m in the process of finding out. In the run-up to closing my psychotherapy practiced, I had a clear plan for how I would spend my time in “retirement.” I’ve had a taste of doing workshops in distant cities, and I wanted more of that. I would apply to conferences around the world, and several times a year present what I’d gleaned…

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Freewriting

In high school, I was taught to write using the following method: 1) determine your topic and the main points you want to make, 2) outline the steps needed to make those points, 3) research the subject so you can prove those points, 4) flesh out the outline, and 5) revise and edit as needed. Although most of the time this method worked for school papers, it always came at a cost. I was…

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New Directions

First, thanks to those of you who subscribed to my new Transformations Press email list. (If you’re not subscribed, you can sign up here: http://subscribepage.io/transformationspress) Now, a quick question, one similar to what I often asked therapy clients the first time we meet: What brings you here? I intend the Transformations Press email list and the corresponding Facebook page to cover writing, photography, art, and self-publishing, and I have my own ideas of…

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Two Roads Diverged…

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both….” I suspect Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is still taught in high schools, and that it still both puzzles and inspires its readers. I encountered the poem as a junior or senior, when the roads before me seemed not just dual, but nearly infinite. The poem resonated then, and it resonates even now because we are still, daily,…

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An Apology… and a Gift

Okay, first the apology. It’s been months since I last posted here, and I’m sorry about that. I thought I could juggle working as a therapist, posting regularly, and completing a large project (more on that in a minute), but I was wrong. As with physical juggling — where even the experts have been unable to teach me to keep three balls in the air — I can juggle only two major activities…

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Stay Loose

Seven months into the State of Emergency, and the virus has not changed. The ways it spreads have not changed. It’s degree of fatality has changed only slightly for all but the richest and most privileged. And the patterns of government and behavior that have escalated the spread of the virus have also not changed. “How do we cope with all this?” is the question I often hear from clients and friends, and…

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Pandemicide [Full text]

David J. Bookbinder, LMHC david@transformationspress.org First, they came for the Mexicans and the Muslims. Then, they came for the refugees and the immigrants. Then, they came for the Blacks, the Latinxs, the Native Americans. Then, they came for the old, the sick, the poor. Now, they come for us all. Pandemicide. Therapist as Analyst I’m a psychotherapist. It may seem unusual for someone with a background in psychology to analyze national public health…

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URGENT: Pandemicide

I hope you’re doing well during this difficult time.  For the past couple of years, I’ve been focusing on balance – in these posts, in my book The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World, in a forthcoming online course, and in my own life. The greatest unbalancer most of us have experienced in our lifetimes is happening right now, so I thought I’d better directly address it. I began with…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis – Step 2, Assess

I typically see people for psychotherapy after they’ve broken through denial but before they reach a state of true acceptance. Often, they come to my office wanting something to change but wanting to change nothing in themselves. Once we get to the radical acceptance phase, they’re able to stop vacillating between one strong emotion and its opposite and take a realistic look at their situations, the obstacles to their recovery, and also at…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis – Step 1, Detect

Among my clients, friends, and family, those who are doing well in the pandemic have accepted that this is the way the world is now. They’ve arrived at a modified way of life that feels safe, and from that base of safety they’re looking for opportunities during this crisis and beyond. But they didn’t start out doing well, and neither did I. Shifting from the breakdown of denial to full detection of imbalance…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis – Step 0, Denial

I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and my work for the past 17 years has been to help people overcome psychological and situational problems that cause them emotional distress. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many people back into counseling – I’m now seeing, through telemedicine, almost twice as many clients as I was seeing in person before the pandemic. It has also led many who never worked with a therapist into counseling for…

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TL;DR: Do’s and Don’ts for Navigating a Global Crisis

I’ve been working on a detailed article about how the Art of Balance system applies to the current global crisis, and how to use it to navigate your way back to balance. In the meantime, I’ve also been keeping track of what’s been helping my clients, neighbors, friends, and family members — and also what hasn’t been so helpful. So, without further ado, I bring you this list of Pandemic Do’s and Don’ts.…

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The Art of Balance in a Global Crisis: Part I, Origins

The scenario: UnBalancer sweeps the globe. It begins in the wild, unbalancing a tiny creature that’s captured, taken to a live market in China, and slaughtered. From one vendor’s cart, it scurries around the market, dividing rapidly, like tiny UnBalancer rats and fleas. Buyers, unaware, take it home and UnBalancer enslaves them to its will. Swiftly and relentlessly, UnBalancer spreads. Throughout the world it appears, emulating scenes from scary movies and silly pop…

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Is it live or is it Memorex?

(Faking it till you make it and the cure for hypochondria) If you’re old enough, you might remember the iconic Memorex television commercials from the 1970s in which jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald shatters a wine glass with her voice. Then, the playback of a recording of Fitzgerald on Memorex tape shatters another. The announcer asks: “Is it live or is it Memorex?” More on Memorex in a moment. But first, a brief trip…

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Stuck? Find the bottleneck.

A few months ago, I took a business bootcamp course from Mirasee, an organization that helps build and scale businesses using a combination of audience-building strategies and online courses. The intention of the course designer and company founder, Danny Iny, was to teach participants how to jump start a business. I’m not sure, yet, whether the course will help me do that, but it’s already made a difference in how I approach problems…

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The Reluctant Carnivore

Last week, I happened upon a Facebook video that gave me pause. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=Sx-CxuAeVPo Until a few years ago, I’d always eaten meat. I love a good hamburger, a steak, turkey breast, salmon, grilled chicken. And I’d always been aware that I was indirectly killing a sentient creature. But, I thought, I’m also an animal, and other animals eat animals. I could hunt for my food if I had to. In April, 2014, a…

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Dive Deep to Live Creatively

Creative activities—and the creative approach to life that often accompanies them—can help us better withstand the huffing and puffing of life’s Big Bad Wolf. Creative activities are rewarding outlets for self-expression. They give us a sense of accomplishment, often have a centering effect, and they’re usually fun to do. But besides these obvious benefits, creative activities can also enhance how we approach our lives. When we work creatively, we dive deep into ourselves.…

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Clean Up Your Cat Hairs!

Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay is desperate ground. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War Stress is one of the most insidious challenges to building resilience. It can be a constant strain on our natural balancing mechanism, gradually wearing down its efficacy and slowing its response time. Basic ways to reduce stress that therapists often recommend include changing your emotional relationship to the stressor…

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The View from 30K

I recently flew from Boston to the West Coast to see my oldest and closest friend. I don’t fly often, but when I do, I try to get a a window seat. Yes, there’s less legroom, and yes, I have to step over people if I want to use the restroom, but there’s no other way to get the view from 30K, and the view from 30K is important to me. On this…

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