DEA Meeting: Dr. Paul Chafetz

Dr. Paul Chafetz was introduced by Chris Clausen. Chris has known Dr. Paul for 25 years!  He has been serving Dallas for a long time.  Check out his amazing website and blog; it is very informative!  Dr. Paul is a great life-coach, has tremendous insight, is very compassionate and has also published many articles and a book!

Dr. Paul trained at Brown University, the University of Florida, Duke University Medical Center and Texas Research Institute of Mental Sciences. He was in part-time private practice of clinical psychology in Dallas from 1982 – 2002, while also teaching psychology at TWU and at UT Southwestern Medical Center as an associate professor.  He has been working full-time in private practice since 2003.

Dr. Paul’s work is based on a core belief that the reason people face so many struggles and dilemmas in life, love and loss is so we can learn from living and grow from learning. Whatever adjustment life is asking us to make, we can and should “Grow Into It!”. It is his job to help adults “Grow Into It”!

Dr. Paul’s practice includes 4 areas of expertise:  Clinical Psychology (ages 21-101), Forensic Psychology (evaluating mental capacity), mental readiness for life after work, and loving difficult relatives. He focused on the first and last of these today.

A foundational concept is personality.  Personality is formed by influences from nature, nurture and choices.  Dr. Paul believes our choices are the most important.  Choice is what gives each of us an opening to improve ourselves and grow.  However, people have to want to change and do the work.  His goal is for people to have fewer days that are a wreck and more days that are are success!  We are all in the midst of transition, all moving to our next stage.  He wants to help people complete their challenges and have lots of meaning along the way!

In Psychotherapy, Dr. Paul first helps people learn about themselves:  their personality traits, past, etc.  He then helps them articulate their current dilemma, process emotions, clarify beliefs, identify needed skills, plan the work, examine obstacles, work the plan, integrate and review and then inoculate against relapse!

Dr. Paul’s practice also largely involves Adult Children of Difficult Older Parents, or CODOP.  The strategies of the CODOP program include:  10 concepts to empower you mind, 10 insights to comfort your heart and 10 skills to guide your actions.  The adult child who learns these skills changes their understanding of their difficult parent and their experience of interacting with their parent changes from one of relating to a monster to seeing a person who is wounded, lonely and frightened, harming themselves as much as they do others.  One of Dr. Paul’s favorite skills is “Become a smarter fish”!  Don’t take the bait.  If you try to reason with an unreasonable person, you become hooked!  Don’t again enact your role in the same old play.

It is common for Dr. Paul to come to know his patients far more authentically and deeply than anyone else in their life.  It is an honor and sacred responsibility and priceless opportunity to accompany his patients through their journey.  Psychological growth is for everyone, even for Dr. Paul!  Dr. Paul loves what he does and strives to reach a wider audience than just one person at a time, including his teaching, speaking, website, blog and book.

He also has a personal life!  In February his oldest step-son got married!

Leads he would welcome are: (1) direct client referrals with anyone age 21-101 with emotional distress or facing a dilemma in living, (2) Connection to referral sources  (your clergy, physician, or attorney, and any speaking venue), or (3) outreach:  forward his blog to friends and relatives!

In lieu of a booksigning, Dr. Paul is having a raffle for a delicious, delivered dinner for 2 from Remarkable Affairs Catering!  To enter the raffle, email Dr. Paul ( the full names and email addresses of 3 adults in the Dallas area who agree to receive Dr. Chafetz’ blog!  You can enter as many times as you want!  All subsequent entries need only one entry.  The winners will be chosen next week!

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