DEA Meeting: Dr. Paul Chafetz

Dr. Maude Cejudo introduced Dr. Paul Chafetz, our newest author and a practicing clinical psychologist since 1982!

Dr. Paul showed us a picture of “his sandbox”, his office, where he spends all day in the private world of his patients, in their minds and hearts.  Dr. Paul see patients from age 21 – 101.  Everyone is different!  He might spend his morning with patients coping with chronic pain or physical disease or the disease of a loved one.  Some are coping with an unhappy marriage or mental illness in themselves or their spouse.  After lunch, his patients may have difficult parents or be young people trying to find their place in the world.

From Simon Senek’s model of Why? How? What?, Dr. Paul shared that his “Why?” is his belief that our job in life is to continue growing by learning from cradle to grave.  The “How?” of his approach is that we talk about their experience of being “them” with the goal of turning the challenges of life into building blocks of a better “you”.  Dr. Paul believes that life is a journey of continual growth that takes us through a succession of stages, which are bridged by transitions.  The past is gone, the next stage is waiting for us, and we are in transition on the threshold of our future.  His “What?” is managing transitions in adulthood.

There are 3 psychological components of transitions:

  1. Cognitive – learn skills, new concepts and strategies
  2. Emotional – process feelings caused by this transition
  3. Behavioral – do the work to move forward

What transitions are you in the midst of?  They are probably not identical to what they were 3 or 6 months ago.

To manage the transitions in adulthood, we:

  • work on self-awareness, assumptions, beliefs and childhood (roots of beliefs) to recognize and regulate their feelings and clarify their goals
  • concepts:  what is love? what is healthy grief?  how does one set personal goals?
  • specific skills:  how to listen, express empathy, be courageous, earn forgiveness, and be assertive

By putting these steps into play, Dr. Paul tries to help patients grow by learning from their life experiences, with the goal of creating meaning in everything they do.  Meaning is the bedrock of making life worthwhile and fulfilling.  Dr. Paul gave us 9 ways to create meaning by always growing:  learning, helping others, creating, producing, experiencing, loving, self-awareness, self-management and spirituality.

His goal is for his patients to actively grow into their challenges and transitions, creating lots of meaning along the way!

Psychotherapy is hyper-local and Dr. Paul has explored various ways to multiply his impact through teaching, blogging, podcasting, writing his book, and speaking engagements.

Leads Dr. Paul would welcome include:

  • anyone in emotional distress or facing a dilemma in living, whether that is yourself, an employee, colleague, friend, or relative
  • your doctor, clergy or attorney as a synergy partner
  • any speaking venue

In lieu of a booksigning, Dr. Paul is having a raffle for a $50 Topgolf gift certificate and Topgolf gift bags!  To enter the raffle, go to Dr. Paul’s website, copy any 2 blog post titles and email them to Dr. Paul (!  The winners will be chosen next week!

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