DEA Meeting: Dr. Paul Chafetz

Ron Schulz introduced Dr. Paul Chafetz.  Ron has a friend who is a Dallas police officer and he has the greatest stories about the things people do!  Dr. Paul is the only one who probably has better stories; ethical reasons may keep him from telling some of the best stories, but his presentation will be very interesting!

Dr. Paul received degrees at Brown University and the University of Florida and trained at Duke University Medical Center and Houston Medical Center. He has maintained his private practice since 1982 and also taught as an associate professor for 21 years.

Dr. Paul’s work is based on his core belief that life is hard and life is hard for a good reason:  to give us lots of opportunities to learn and grow!  No matter what our age, whatever challenges life throws at us, our job is to “Grow Into It”!  The growth might be painful, but it is beautiful, magnificent and almost holy!  Dr. Paul’s job helps people master various psychological concepts, insights and skills.

Dr. Paul gave us the example of Jeff.  Jeff’s life is like a bus!  He is an active, healthy grownup.  His life has room for a lot of things including the people in his life, his memories, strengths, weaknesses, obligations, privileges, joys, pain, and even the hopes that move him forward and the baggage that holds him back.  Inside Jeff’s head is the driver’s seat.  Jeff has noticed there is a connection between how marvelous his experiences are and which part of him sat in the driver’s seat.  Sometimes the awake, objective, pleasant, emotionally aware side of him sits in the driver’s seat; able to focus intelligently on the outside world as well as on the needs and well-being of the other people around him.  Other times, the angry part or the sad part of his personality gets into the driver’s seat and it can lead to bad things!   When jealously drives, it can make everything go sideways, like some stupid argument.  Or, insecurities from childhood or other emotions can steer life into a ditch!

Dr. Paul’s job is to help people be the best they can be.  Many unhappy people are stalled and stuck in their transitions from one chapter to the next.  He specializes in showing his clients effective strategies for resolving these dilemmas like:  asking loved ones open-ended questions and really listening to the answers, always thinking before speaking, finding clarity about beliefs, goals, priorities and what brings meaning in life, finding and using wise consultants, choosing realism over denial, behaving assertively rather than passively or aggressively, and recognizing and processing the emotions that life always causes.

Many other unhappy people lack some basic skills for maintaining peaceful relationships with loved-ones.  Dr. Paul helps them learn and acquire these skills, like:  1) maintaining common courtesy with loved ones; 2) avoid a harsh start-up, 3) learn your partner’s love language; 4) accepting constructive criticism as caring; 5) expressing empathy for other people’s distress and challenges; 6) give loved ones the benefit of the doubt; 7) expressing gratitude frequently; 8) adopting a respectful curiosity about your partner’s thoughts and feelings and therefore listening well and seldom interrupting.

Jeff learned it is worthwhile to work hard to keep the adult, objective side of him in the driver’s seat of his life.  That way, his life journey stays pleasant and peaceful and he keeps moving forward toward his goals.  It really does matter which part of us drives our bus.  If anyone you know is having trouble keeping their adult side in the drivers seat of their life, please tell them to call Dr. Paul!  They can talk about working together to keep them moving forward.

In Dr. Paul’s practice, he can also evaluate a person’s mental capacity to sign a will, which can help it stand in case there is a will contest.  He can additionally help people develop mental readiness for life after work.  Dr. Paul is also he is an expert on helping people love difficult relatives.

As Dr. Paul accompanies patients on their journey, he learns a lot and they help him grow every day!  He feels privileged to have this job!  Dr. Paul’s enthusiasm for the value of the work is driving him to reach a wider audience than just one person at a time, through teaching, public speaking, website, podcasts, vlog and book.

Leads he would welcome are: (1) direct client referrals with anyone age 21+ with emotional challenges or  dilemma, (2) Connection to referral sources  (your clergy, physician, attorney, or a speaking opportunity with his target audience), or (3) outreach:  forward his vlog to friends and colleagues!  The DEA is near and dear to Dr. Paul!  If there is anything he can do for any of you, please call him!

In lieu of a booksigning, Dr. Paul is having raffle drawings for 2 gift certificates to Chef Michelle’s wonderful store: Infused Oils and Vinegars!  The drawing will be September 18th, from those who purchase DEA raffle tickets!

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