Shrink Rap: Dr. Paul on “Fragile Power”; On Sale Now!

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer

Shrink Rap: Dr. Paul on “Fragile Power”; On Sale Now!

On Thanksgiving, we like to ski. And, during the holiday season, Christmastime ups the ante in Telluride, even more: temperatures drop; snow flies; Town lights up like a jewel box; and locals (and guests) embark upon a series of parties, plays, and old-fashioned celebrations leading up to the Big Day. And one of the bright stars of these events, the kick-off, is Noel Night.

The 2019 holiday shopping extravaganza takes place this year on Wednesday December 4. The early December tradition brings all of Telluride’s small businesses together in one unified goal: to entice locals to do their holiday shopping where they live. Stores offer discounts, games to win those discounts, drawing people in with everything from cookies to holiday music. Among those retail outlets is Telluride’s indie bookstore Between the Covers, where you can purchase Telluride local Dr. Paul Hokemeyer’s book titled “Fragile Power.” Not in town, you can order from Between the Covers, 970-729-4504, or purchase the book here too. 

For the record, Dr. Paul is an internationally recognized expert on treating clinical issues at the nexus of relationships and behavioral health.

Dr, Paul

The fabled golden egg of Jean la Fontaine’s tale of “La Poule aux oeufs d’or” (or “The Goose that laid the golden egg”) is Dr. Paul Hokemeyer’s meme for “Fragile Power,” the title of his book about lessons learned from treating the rich and famous. The sentiment that begins La Fontaine’s legendary tale is “Greed loses all by striving all to gain,” remixed over time as “Much wants more and loses all.”

When we say a person who is respected – even worshipped like a god from afar – has clay feet, we mean he or she has some serious faults, invisible fissures on what, at a surface glance, appear to be flawless, unbreakable veneers.

In “Fragile Power,” Dr. Paul – who just happens to be the world’s foremost clinical authority on power people, the ultra rich, ultra famous, ultra beautiful – pulls back the curtain of clouds that covers their seemingly enviable lives on Mt. Olympus – to reveal the sorts of fears and foibles we all share. Reading “Fragile Power” we learn that neurosis is the great equalizer: on the psychologist’s couch at least Us is Them and Them is Us.

But rather than assuming the stance of an objective observer – read the god-like, arm’s-length, objective observer positioning favored by all too many less than empathic medical professionals – in this insightful page-turner, Dr. Paul tells on himself. And his Full Monty reveal underlines a raw, unedited vulnerability that explains, at least in part, why the .01 percenters have come to trust the insights he delivers, always with compassion and wit and, on the pages of his book, through compelling, often heartbreaking, sometimes heartwarming case histories.

The power people in Dr. Paul orbit, the fabulous and familiar faces that grace the covers of glossies from Vogue to Forbes, trip the life fantastic – until the day they fall and can’t get up. At least not without a little help from a professional like him, someone who ironically and altogether humbly describes himself in “Fragile Power” as a “country doctor” – but one whose bag is light on the tricks or formalized tracks of his trade because, as Dr.Paul explains:

“Patients defined by their elite power are not inclined to cede it, which is one of the primary obstacles professionals (like me) face when attempting to connect with them. They’re used to being the smartest, prettiest, wealthiest, most famous person in the room. This need to be the alpha female or male hinders their ability to engage in a collaborative process with a person they see was an outsider, do not trust, and are skilled at manipulating and controlling. Managing this obstacle and utilizing it to reach a reparative outcome with the patient takes patience, humility, and a thick skin as the patient challenges your competency and integrity…”

Dr. Paul clearly believes there is no one-size-fits-all formula that would help his colleagues deal with “their conscious and unconscious prejudices against a group of people they simultaneously idolize and disdain,” he explains, continuing:

“The point of this book is to utilize the challenges I’ve faced as a clinician struggling to make reparative connections with individuals who live in the world in positions of elite power to advance the field of mental health while helping human beings who exist act all levels of the socioeconomic spectrum live richer, happier, more authentic lives. It’s a narrative of becoming, rather than being…”

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer’s “Fragile Power” reveals the fragility inherent in the status we desperately crave and provides a roadmap to ways to avoid self- and relational destruction though compelling, if misguided aspirations. The book is a must-read even if you are an outsider looking over the fence at his profession. His message: life inside the bubble (or golden egg) can be and is often suffocating. Outside lies the possibility we might one day be able to join forces with the Privileged Other and form a community defined by mutual trust and respect, shared hopes and dreams.

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, more:


Dr. Paul Hokemeyer

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer (Dr. Paul) was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised with his older brother (Billy) north of the city in the gently rolling hills of Harford County Maryland.

From an early age, Dr. Paul was confused by the world in which he was born. Struggling to find his place in it, he embarked on transformative journey that took him to Alajuela, Costa Rica, where he studied Spanish as an exchange student, to college in Cleveland, Ohio, to law school in Columbus, Ohio, and on to Washington DC and Amsterdam, where he worked in the realm of environmental and social justice.

Eventually, Dr. Paul found his peace and place as a psychotherapist helping other human beings repair and make meaning out of their lives.

Dr. Paul, a J.D., Ph.D., became an internationally renowned Marriage and Family Therapist licensed in the states of New York and Colorado. He appears regularly in a variety of media outlets including CNN, FOX News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to maintaining a clinical and consulting practice, he works as a case manager to ultra high net worth and celebrity patients to ensure they obtain the highest level of clinical care. His book on the topic of celebrity and mental health, “Fragile Power” was just published.

Read more about Dr. Paul and his work at

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