James P. Krehbiel, Ed.S., LPC, CCBT – Troubled Childhood, Triumphant Life

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Troubled Childhood, Triumphant Life: Healing From the Battle Scars of Youth is an exploration of the impact of troubled childhoods on adult functioning. Over the years, I have counseled many people who felt stuck as adults. They kept recreating some of the same worn out patterns of thinking and behaving that haunted them during childhood. I began to ponder the question, “Why do some adults navigate a turbulent childhood, whereas others seem to remain powerless over the impact of their past?

I found that those who replicate the past, never process it effectively. They may dwell on it, through self-pity and rehashing, or avoid addressing their troubled history by intellectualizing, obsessing, self-medicating and employing other techniques to minimize the pain. Adults who triumph over their troubled childhood process the past by accepting and experiencing the full emotional impact of what happened to them as children and learn to release it. They swallow the “bitter pill,” understanding that there is no one, including their parents that will rescue them. This recognition, grieving and releasing frees people to create new way of thinking and behaving in the here-and-now.

Troubled Childhood, Triumphant Life chronicles case examples of those who have experienced the impact of childhood abuse and other problems and provides solution-focused strategies for individuals who desire to move beyond their perilous past. Chapter Helps are provided to guide the reader in his journey toward a more rational, fulfilling life.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am an educator, writer, licensed professional counselor and nationally certified cognitive-behavioral therapist practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. I treat children and adults experiencing anxiety and depressive disorders. I have taught counselor education courses for Chapman University. I have written numerous counseling-related articles, all available via internet searches. I am married, have four children and five grandchildren.

What inspired you to write this book?

I felt that there was something missing in the literature. A great deal has been written about child development and adult life-span growth. My book is unique in that it focuses on connecting the dots between childhood trauma and its implications for adult behavior. By exploring underlying faulty assumptions from childhood, I felt that I could help adults to stop activating negative thinking and behavior from the past and learn more adaptive ways of responding to life in the present.

How did you choose the title?

My publisher, New Horizon Press, worked with me on the title. We felt that the title most succinctly characterized the message of the book – from trauma to triumph.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

There were very few obstacles. I made some text changes in portions of the book and the publisher requested more content and the addition of reader helps at the end of each chapter. The process was very smooth.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

Several years ago I had some time on my hands. I felt trapped in working in a mental health agency that was dysfunctional. I was merely one of many therapist’s in the organization trying to make a living – but I was unhappy.

Since I was a part-time provider, I began to think of ways that I could utilize my time between patients. I recalled that my Uncle Eddie had written a manuscript, but never had it published. I recall my parents talking about “the dream that never materialized.” They poked fun about it.

I always loved to write, and as long as I can remember (like Eddie) I had a desire to write a book. I felt a passion to publish a nonfiction work regarding personal growth and development.

I started writing. This was a journey of self-discovery. I wrote about the nature of what I do best – helping people manage their problems. Not only did I write about others’ problems, I chose to disclose aspects of my own life story. I felt that it was only fair that my patients and readers captured a glimpse of the personal as well as professional side of me.

My writing was a pilgrimage that took me on a journey through human suffering and healing. I tapped into the resources of my personal and clinical expertise, and wrote about how life looked for those who struggled and confronted everyday challenges. I wrote about the courage, the risk, and the strength that is necessary for the development of personal growth

Redeeming my time was important to me. I began to build confidence in my writing and created a proposal that evolved into a manuscript about adults who struggled during childhood but learned to regain balance and perspective in their lives. I put the finishing touches on my work and submitted it to New Horizon Press for publication. They accepted my project.

I am now self-employed as a private practice counselor in a new office and I have never looked back. I continue to write frequently. I am pleased that I had the time during a difficult period in my life to finish a necessary part of my personal and professional search for growth.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I guess I would say that I am a perfectionist about proper punctuation and grammar.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned that anything worthwhile takes patience and hard work. The process of securing a publisher was tedious, but well worth the wait. I also learned that I had the persistence to realize a life-long dream.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would probably simplify some of the language regarding themes and concepts of the work.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

I like to read books that have a philosophical, religious and mental health orientation. My favorite authors are M. Scott Peck, Sheldon B. Kopp, and Alan Watts. All of these authors approach the mystery of life from unique perspectives.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Develop a stellar marketing plan because publishers typically have limited resources for promoting your work.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

The target reader is an adult between the ages of 20 to 60 years old who has experienced a troubled childhood.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can check my website at www.scottsdaletherapy.net or contact me directly at jkboardroomsuites@yahoo.com. I welcome people’s reaction to my work.