Is Dr. Phil...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    a bully? Seriously. I watch him about twice a year. Today there was a woman who had adopted a boy and she was clearly in over her head. She'd essentially given the boy over to her daughter, and her sister in law wanted her to take him back or give him up outright. I could see problems with both the mother and her daughter's family, but Dr. Phil was all over that woman. One example that really stuck in my craw:

    The couple has two other kids, and it was one of their birthdays. They called the mom the day of the birthday party and asked her to come and she was already on her way out of town and said she couldn't make it then. She had sent gifts with her ex. Ok, so she didn't call to ask about what their plans were, but they didn't give her an invite in advance. There was so much hostility at her for not dropping everything and going, but no blame to them for not giving her advance notice. What it seemed to me like was that they knew she wouldn't come, had a better relationship with her ex than with her, then called to rub it in her face that she was being invited when they already knew from the ex that 1/2 an hour's notice wasn't enough.

    Then they all kept bullying her to sign over her parental rights right then and there or to take the child that she was unable to control home. No "What can we do to help you?" Just, "Well you have given up on this child so why not give him away?" It made my blood run cold.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sometimes when I watch Dr. Phil I get the "bully" vibe. Most of the time, however, he seems to be calling a spade a spade and offering professional help with the problem. There are a few things about his show that bug me on a pretty consistent basis. I don't see why his wife is getting more and more involved. I think it dilutes the professionalism of his advice. Have nothing against here but she is not the expert.

    The one who is really driving me crazy is Dr. Drew. I swear he has been indoctrinated into the Nancy Grace syndrome to drive the ratings up. I used to respect him. Now...I wait to see what the topic is before I decide whether to "click" the remote or not. If I hear his comments about Casey Anthony one more time...I won't even start watching the show to see if it's real or not. "I'm just trying to understand this"....makes me barf. He needs to know that the public understans that "this" is "the ratings". DDD
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The show today on Dr Phil was a year or two old. I think I have seen it at least once if not twice before. One thing Dr Phil is very blunt about is his thing about not changing what you dont admit and that mother kept saying how everything was due to something else or because of this, that or the other. Always an excuse and never asking for help. He actually did say...when are you going to ask me for the help because I am waiting to give it to you and still it took her another 5 minutes or so and him repeating himself. She really didnt look like she wanted to accept the help either.

    I dont really remember what the deal was with the birthday party.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I happened to catch today's episode, too...

    I agree completely about the birthday party thing. That was definitely a passive-aggressive "Non-vite" "Un-vitation". And Dr Phil never called them on it. They also claimed that the child behaved perfectly at their house - and then in the next breath they said he cried for hours and would have tantrums and it was all the mother's fault.

    So yeah - bully.

    on the other hand - she did not agree to the help he was offering...

    There's definitely a lot more to this story.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I never really thought of him as a bully. He's extremely blunt though, says exactly what he thinks, and he doesn't tolerate any excuses or BS from people. The show today has been on at least once before. I thought that the woman did agree to accept help towards the end but I could be mistaken. But I don't believe for a minute that the boy was perfectly behaved for everyone else but the adoptive mother. To me, she seemed like she was completely overwhelmed, had no idea what to do, and was at the end of her rope with the boy but she didn't want to admit it.
  6. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I didn't see the show but I usually don't like Dr. Phil. I don't mind being blunt but he is unwilling to consider that anybody's opinion but his could possibly have merit. I do think a lot of times he speaks the truth to people who don't want to hear it, and they need that, but God forbid anybody should disagree with him. Then I definitely see the bully thing come out. And he definitely is not always right. But don't tell him that.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I liked him during the first season.

    But unfortunately Hollywood got to him. It's like a disease. Then his wife was advice or whatever. Now I don't have anything against her either, seems a pretty smart woman to me I guess. But no she's not the professional and really has no business offering advice, not on this type of show.

    I haven't watched him in ages. I do like his honesty and that he called it like it was without spending forever beating around the least he used to. Sometimes that can come across as bully type behavior I suppose.

    Once the hollywood thing took effect, I lost interest. At that point in many ways his credibility was lost. Are you really helping someone if you're also playing to an audience? Know what I mean??
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with mutt. I don't like him. I think he's mostly trying to entertain rather than help. I'm not sure what his credentials are, but I don't think they are much better than a social workers. I could be wrong.

    At any rate, I don't watch him much anymore and wouldn't want a therapist like him. To me, the best therapist lets you come to your own conclusions with a little guidance. But, of course, he's going to offer some hot deal for me that's where the people probably get real guidance. Hey, it's television :)
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I quite like watching Dr Phil, but I don't think I've seen this episode. I usually agree with much of what he says but occasionally I feel he misses the mark, or actually lets himself get hooked in too deep with someone he should walk away from.

    One thing I will say - he and his staff do A LOT of homework on every situation before they even consider having them on the show. So there would be a lot more that the viewer is not getting told about or shown. So his behaviour would be influenced by a lot of other stuff too. Yes, the family may have been deliberately inviting the mother at the last minute, and if so he should have called them on it (and maybe he did later on off camera - who knows?) but possibly what he was trying to work on at that point would have been deflected if he had changed direction. I don't know.

    I also quite like Robyn but I agree, anything professional, she needs to stay out of. I met a woman last Christmas in the supermarket who was very emphatic that I should read Robyn McGraw's book, especially the chapter on bio-identical hormones, because women generally need hormonal tweaking especially testosterone when we reach "a certain age". The woman I spoke to tried to use the book to insist to me that I should immediately stop taking my cancer medication and get myself immediately onto hormone replacement therapy. She did not listen when I said, "I cannot take HRT, because my breast cancer was hormone-receptive; I would risk an explosion of cancer growth if even one cell was left behind, and I took hormone therapy."
    I have not read Robyn McGraw's book but if it makes any kind of blanket statement that women in general should take HRT, then it is likely to cause problems for women like me who must not.

  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I don't watch it and don't care for him. I liked him at first, but not do much now. I think my real issue is why would you want your problems aired on national tv? Yes you should get help but why the needed for the publicity
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    What posesses any one to go on national (and these day international apparently) television to discuss their VERY personal family matters? Why would anyone do that? I would imagine, on some level, that the truly intimate details may not be exposed to a degree where honest to goodness diagnosis and solutions can be explored. I think that Dr Phil works with what he has, makes very quick diagnosis and subsequently tells his guests what do, without giving the guest an opportunity to explore their role, their background, their past and current way of life. I don't know that he's a bully, but I don't think he is qualified to be doling out professional advice to strangers on tv. Ethically, I would have a difficult time working with a program like this one.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I think some go because they've run out of local resources that can/will help, or can't afford it, whereas this might air the dirty laundry but also get some paid-for help. I'm sure there are attention-seekers, too, but most just seem lost and out of other options.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I don't believe there are any overly fast diagnoses. The work behind the scenes on a show like this is massive. This is not Jerry Springer. Whether it is ethical or not - there would be standards that Dr Phil would have to adhere to, or risk being very publicly struck off. So we can only assume he adheres to those standards set by the professional board. He IS qualified and would have to work to maintain that qualification.

    However - I do feel you would have to be desperate for services absent in your life to date, to go on a show like this.

    Dr Phil has often explained the ethos of the show - he takes on various cases purely as instructive, because he feels that the process will educate people in some way, other people in a similar situation. He's very open about it. He also has his failures and these are also very public. So when he 'calls out' someone, it is not based just on what the viewer has seen. For every minute of screen time, there would be another two minutes of recording time and a number of hours of staff footwork to get a lot more information on that particular situation. You sometimes get a glimpse of tat when a guest on the show has been difficult and Dr Phil calls in his staff to bear witness to problems being hidden.

  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Oh, I think the woman was completely inept and I was disturbed by her inability to admit that the best thing might actually be that she walk away if she really felt that no one was ever going to help her/everything was someone else' fault. But her sister in law was extremely angry - I can see why - and if I were in her position and the choice was to work with the sister in law there is no way in he// I'd do it. I'd sign over custody right then and there because all I could see was that Dr. Phil was on their side and the only one that needed an advocate was the boy. I just didn't get the impression that Dr. Phil was offering to help her gain control of her parenting back, I thought he was offering to police her parenting for the daughter and sister in law.

    It would be interesting to know what ever happened in this family. If I were to predict, Mom would have failed miserably at parenting the boy, the Daughter would take custody and sue for child support, and the sister in law would walk away once he had made sure that everyone had failed his expectations.
  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have never been a big fan of Dr. Phil, but for awhile I did respect his tendency to call people on their bad behavior. I agree that as the years have gone on, he's been pulled deeper and deeper into the Hollywood machine. When he stepped into the Britney Spears debacle a few years back, I lost all respect for him. It was a blatant publicity stunt, in my opinion, that exploited a young woman's tragic downfall for his own benefit.
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I had to make a rule that no one spoke that man's name in my presence or I was going to get violent. At least back then (maybe 6 years ago??), he did several shows (on Oprah) that basically said that all mental health problems in children could be fixed with better parenting.
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Unfortunately, that's mainstream American's way of thought. Then, when the kid turns 18 they are magically supposed to know how to make it in this world. Dr Phil fell into the trap of reflecting mainstream instead of sticking to his own principals, in my humble opinion. I could feel resentment but, goodness, the vast majority of people in mine and difficult child's lives have done the same thing- POs, tdocs, judges, etc. It's the trend these days and they all want to fit in with each other- otherwise, it wouldn't be "normal" or "sociable".

    Independent thinking and sticking up for a "right" isn't respected these days.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I haven't heard that attitude (that all problem kids can be fixed with better parenting) from Dr Phil lately. I can't recall when I've heard him hold that view as a general thing. Individual cases may be different, but I do remember having seen shows which did deal with kids who had serious mental health issues and good parents who were out of their depth through no fault of their own.