Last week on the Dr. Phil show — something so sad and utterly amazing happened — and Dr. Phil and his parental guests and an “expert” in the audience failed to see, and then act upon, the alarming breakthrough a young woman expressed right under their television noses.


The show revolved around a 14-year-old girl who loved dressing naughty and calling herself a “slut” and a “whore.”  Her 12-year-old sister was “perfect.” 

The somnambulistic parents were uninvolved in the older child’s life except to buy her thongs and to tell her what a failure her life had become; the full energy of the parenting was spent on celebrating the adorable younger child who just happened to look exactly like them.

The slutty child gladly took on the role of the family black sheep rebel — you could tell she knew she was playing a role and that she didn’t really believe in any of the bad things she was saying or doing — but Dr. Phil made an excellent point that if she plays slutty long enough, that will become her reputation, and she will quickly find young boys and men who will take her up on her image and take her to a place she does not want to go.

Dr. Phil drilled into the girl to find out if her core was still real or not.  He said she was smart.  She denied it.  He told her he knew she could be successful in school.  She denied it.

In the last five minutes of the show, Dr. Phil gave the slut one, last, appropriate, pummeling for not living up to her gifts — and the young woman broke her facade for just a moment and confessed in a small voice, “I don’t know who I am anymore.” 

Her father spoke over her.

Dr. Phil interrupted the father to send the show to a commercial.

We, the audience, were left stunned and wondering why Dr. Phil didn’t acknowledge that soul-bearing moment in the blistering glare of a national television audience.

We knew when the show came back from commercial that someone on Dr. Phil’s staff would alert him to the girl’s final, caustic, revelation of character that was a quiet cry for help to change back to her old, non-slut, successful self.

The show came back from commercial and Dr. Phil’s eyes were glassy — he gets that way when he’s rushed for time and reading off a teleprompter — he thanked his onstage guests, and then threw it to the child psychologist in the audience who was shilling a book. 

Nobody acknowledged the girl’s confession as time was running out and then we were back to Dr. Phil who told us goodbye and walked off the show with his wife, Robin, as is his traditional want.

The rest of us at home were left to simmer wondering if anyone in that television studio caught the young woman’s plea for help and we slowly became outraged that Dr. Phil’s television doctoring proved that day that he was more interested in selling soap to housewives than saving the soul sitting in front of him.

7 Comments

  1. This is grievingly sad!
    Dr. Phil pried and scoped into this young lady’s life to reveal her soul just to keep the audience begging for more. He needs the unfortunate, the bewildered, the used, and the confused to appeal to the publics interest just to get the ratings he needs to stay on the air!
    In reality, the young lady probably never received the help she actually needed. Where does she turn to? Her parents have obviously rejected her because she embarrasses and humiliates them. The renowned Dr. Phil didn’t acknowledge her cry for help! Some professional he turned out to be!
    She undoubtedly feels undesirable and lost. That’s why she chooses to dress in such a provocative manner. She was wanting someone to notice her. To actually see her for who she really is and not the facade that she cast out to everyone. That person is just a wall she puts up! A neon light!
    She is in the most crucial stage of her life! Guidance, for her, at this point is vital to help her to become a contributing member of society … in a healthy and desirable way.
    How sad that no one is really there for her! No mentor in her life! No one to look up to or to open up and talk to about how she is feeling and hurting.
    Shows like Dr. Phil annoy me! It’s the HOLLYWOOD image that is being projected on our televisions. There are really no professional attributes extended to those who are desperate.
    The glamour and flare of their misfortunes are on display much like the circus used to lure the public into attendance with their “freak shows.” ( the handicapped and those with abnormalities).
    Isn’t it time things changed?

  2. You’re absolutely right, Heartmelody69, Dr. Phil blew it this time with that poor young woman. He berated her for an hour, and when she finally confessed and gave in and exposed her truth — he missed it. We can’t even say he was cogent enough that he ignored her, because he didn’t seem to care to act upon what she said right to hi face. It was mystifying and disappointing.
    Dr. Phil’s in the middle of a rough patch. Oprah must be pressuring him for ratings because his Octomom obsession was unhealthy for us and unseemly for him. Only after she rebelled against his plan of help and moderation did he and his staff begin to “take a step back” from her — and we all know what he should’ve known — Octomom is trouble waiting to happen. She is unhappy, unfriendly, and strangely disconnected from reality. He should run from people like that seeking the spotlight for selfish interests instead of taking them in for exploitation on his show.

  3. I remember watching a couple of Dr. Phil’s show and wondered – what is this guy doing actually by bearting others? There are n number of professional people outside who can help these participants, starting by showing some respect…?

  4. Katha —
    Dr. Phil is, first of all, an entertainment show. He isn’t really about healing or helping people — it seems he only wants to yell at them while saying silly catch phrases. He’s a more intellectual version of Jerry Springer — but the Springer show is more emotionally honest.

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