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Interview with Joseph L Gill

He is a semi-retired state-licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) and psychotherapist. He also specializes in stress management and relaxation therapy. Since winding down his practice for retirement he has found writing and publishing as a way of continuing to use his expertise in helping others. He loves to travel and do nature photography and feels they go hand in hand. He publishes travel photo books with plans to develop a video that he can go to Senior care facilities to virtually share his travel and photography experiences with those who are unable to do so themselves. 

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
Well, I don’t seem to come across that way and most people don’t suspect it, but I have a rather shy personality, but just don’t let it get in the way. I can be quite gregarious and forthcoming when I want or need to and enjoy doing so.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
I am not a career writer or author so I don’t plan to write or publish books. When it occurs to me to do so, however. I go at it with a vengeance and cannot stop until I have a finished product.

Q.3 When did you decide to write The Rational Emotive Train?
During the entire year of 2019, I was disabled by symptoms of a massive Inguinal hernia that Doctors were not able to diagnose because the scans showed it to be small and insignificant, however, when I finally got repair surgery the surgeon said it was massive and didn’t show on scans because it retreats when lying down to take the scan. During the year, meditation was my only savior.

With my 35 years of experience of giving counsel and therapy suffering from various situations of emotional turmoil I also learned to give CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to myself by documenting the insights I got from meditation and reading them back to myself. During one of my meditations while envisioning that I was relaxing on a cloud it came to me that I should build a train with consoling information on various sections of the train and I put the book together during my recovery from the hernia. Eventually, I put a manuscript together and found a publisher.

Q.4 What do you want readers to take away from your book?
Although we all sometimes need guidance; we all have inherent abilities to make successful and adequate adjustments to life events. My job as a therapist has always been to help others help themselves. I have discovered in myself and my clinical practice that spirituality is an important, and asset to sustaining good mental health, and it can also work well in conjunction with the medical models.

Q.5 What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
The publisher’s illustrator I chose was quite skillful at producing my vision of what I wanted the cover to look like including the environment and the diversity of the people I wanted boarding the train and riding the train. He did a great job on the cover and exterior. I love the overall presentation of the book.

Q.6 What are simple everyday things we should do to bring more love and positivity into our lives?
You should reach out and make more contact with friends and family. Be more social and make new friends. Find time for meditation and giving gratitude to the one above brings peace and love. Set goals or keep a to-do-list and cross them off when you complete them to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. Love and treat yourself and a friend occasionally for lunch and chat. Set goals for yourself and plans for implementing them.

Q.7 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?
Focus on making ourselves happy and making others happy as well.

Q.8 How do you deal with a lingering, creeping thoughts of doubts, anxiety, and fears?
Right now, I consult my book, The Rational Emotive Train. It works.

Q.9 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Just start writing anything that comes to mind. Eventually, you will get back on track.

Q.10 What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Don’t sweat over the small stuff.

Q.11 How many books have written? Which one is your favorite?
Like I said, I am not a career writer. I have published two clinical books like the RET, but several travel photo books. This I enjoy publishing the most.

Q.12 When was your last memorable learning curve?
My first learning curve came when I got out of the armed services and returned to a job, I had at a grocery store. I realize that I did not want to be a grocery clerk or manager for the rest of my life. I decided to start college even though I did not know what I wanted to be in life I did know I wanted to have a higher education degree, and that was a huge turning point in my life.

Q.13 Tell us about your writing process while you’re working?
When I decide to write a book, I am compulsive about and ask for and require much solitude. Usually, I am accommodated, and I appreciate that.

Q.14 What are your sources of hope, love, strength, and peace?
Always positive.

Q.15 How does your family/friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
They simply adore everything I produce and always have. They are my primary support group.

Q.16 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
This is a judgment I cannot comment on.

Q.17 What would you share with folks who are skeptical of reading Non-Fiction?
I think people read and choose to read books based on what they are looking for. People interested in or looking for entertainment or humor will probably seek to read books of that genre and may or may not be skeptical or distrustful of non-fiction. Some folks are more eclectic in their choice of reading and will be open to reading both fiction and non-fiction perhaps with one or the other being dominant. Personally, I try to be open-minded in my reading choices and not be stuck on one genre. It is good to be open-minded in reading choices, fiction, and non-fiction.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would like to have met Martin Luther King and Gaudi. I was and still am impressed by their courage, confidence, and faith in what they were doing to help mankind.

Q.19 What books have most influenced your life?
A. Change Your Thoughts-Change Your Life
by Wayne Dyer. It is based on the wisdom of the Tao. The book is in line with the life path that I follow in life. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. My book is small, but I wanted it to make a big difference in the life of whoever reads it. Having a background in Philosophy I enjoy the writings of Plato. I was influenced by all his writings. The book that stands out for me however is titled The Republic.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
My life has been one of serendipity. I never planned what I wanted to do or be. I was drafted in the army, got out, and started junior college majoring in liberal arts and discovered I liked the humanities and social sciences rather than the hard sciences. When I went on to higher education at SJSU I chose a double major, psychology, and philosophy. However, when I went on for my Master’s degree, I was told I couldn’t have a double major. I figured I could make a better living with psychology so I chose that. I didn't want to go for a doctorate, so I Studied to get my MFT license and went on to build a private practice of clinical counseling while also teaching first in community colleges and then on to teaching at San Jose State University. So, I maintained a dual career; teaching and private practice. That’s as far as I can go.

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