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September 28th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

Behind the Scenes

Untitled-1I often get asked, “Dr. Phil, how do you decide what topics to do on the show, and how does it all come together?” “Do you ever get nervous being in front of millions of people every day?” “Is being so straightforward and confrontational something you learned to do, or is that just your personality?”

Let me answer those questions in reverse order. And here’s something that might surprise you: Despite the fact that my job, at least in my opinion, sometimes requires confronting people about their dysfunctions, my personality is, deep down, very non-confrontational. I grew up in a pretty volatile home situation, and I became discord-averse at a very young age.  In fact, I hated arguing and confrontation so much that I actually used to come and go from the house through my bedroom window to keep from walking through the war zone!

Also, I only deal with those who reach out to me and my team at the show. They do so because they  know I am likely to tell it straight. In fact, that is why most people say they come to me — to get straight answers. You may have thought that my staff and I are out on the street stopping cars on Sunset Boulevard and saying, “Hey, you look a little screwed up. Want some tips on improving your life?” HA!  Might be fun, but we don’t. Also, I have to say that in my private life, I totally mind my own business.

In fact, if I’m out with friends and a debate springs up about politics, sports, marriage or anything else, I stay out of it. I’m “off duty.” I’m literally the last guy to weigh in. I’m most likely not even going to step forward and tell my friends that they’ve got spinach in their teeth or that they smell really funny.

When I do talk with someone who has sought me out, I do think I owe them — and I owe our audience — the unvarnished truth as I see it, whether they like it or not, and some don’t.

I’ve even had a few people take off their microphones, throw them down and walk off the set in the middle of the show. Sometimes, people write in and say, “We want help with our marriage,” when what they really meant was, “I want Dr. Phil to tell me I’m right and that my spouse is wrong.” Oops, sorry, didn’t work out that way.

As to the second question, I don’t really get nervous because I seriously weigh almost everything I say before I say it, and we do our homework.  It’s worse than being back in school!  My team and I — and by the way, I have, absolutely, without a doubt, the best and hardest working team in television — sometimes start working on a show weeks in advance. By the time we are ready to tape the show, I am a handed a notebook, 200-250 pages in size, that has been prepared by me and my team,  made up of our research staff, producers and advisory board members. The notebook includes a cross-sectional history, a longitudinal history and a narrative history for each of our guests.  It includes an up-to-the-minute review of all the academic literature (psychological, sociological and medical) that deals with that particular day’s topic. There are detailed notes from experts whom we have consulted.

Then, from that huge notebook, I prepare a series of blue cards that I refer to during the show to make sure I don’t forget to talk about something that’s important. I don’t have any script whatsoever — just my bullet points on my blue cards.

Does this seem like a lot of work for a one-hour show? Maybe, but in my opinion, that’s what it takes to get it right. The team here at the show is so passionate about our subject matters and our guests that they define the “gold standard.”  So I hope you  keep watching, and let us know what you want to see dealt with on the show, because you actually do pick the topics.

Also, this season, I’m turning the tables with a new feature called “It’s Your Turn, Dr. Phil!” So, now it’s your turn to ask me questions. No question is too big or small, so let me hear from you!

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43 Responses to “Behind the Scenes”

  1. Kellie says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I was wondering what is the best way to reach you. I have written several times through your website and I have not received any responses. I understand the volume of emails you must receive so how do you choose which one to do a show on or just even to contact? I am in emotional crisis and would really love the opportunity to just talk to you or have someone care enough to listen. Thanks for your time in reading this post. I have been watching you since day one and I love your show and hope to hear from you soon.

    Kellie in Tulsa, OK
    Age 40

  2. cornvillelady says:

    I do love that you are so honest about things. have you ever gotten a request from someone asking you how they try to stay in the work force. I have a job, some days I feel like I want to quit and just stay home not have to deal with the public. When I have a bad day/week, I get migraines and end up loosing my weekend. Sometimes I think I am using this as an excuse, other times, I just don’t know

  3. Vera Parker says:

    I was wondering if you have done a show which has shocked you? There have been a few I have spent days thinking about and wondering how these people get so messed up. Also I tell my daughter you have one of the most beautiful smiles, she told me to tell you that.

  4. Linda says:

    That was interesting read. I don´t want to appear on a show but if I could ask you a question about you it would be this. I read Barack Obamas book “Dreams from my father” and in it he said that every man is either trying to live up to his fathers expectations or make up for his mistakes. Do you agree with that and in that case what would you say that you are trying to do? You don´t have to answer that if you don´t want to. I really like your show.

  5. Stef says:

    You said something in “the marraige carraige” (ha, ha) that got me to thinking about a topic I’d love to see covered on the show. Just how did you & Robin keep the marraige alive after having kids? I’m not saying that quite right. Have a show that really explains how to keep the couple a couple without just falling into the “Mommy & Daddy” only routine. How can you be 100% the couple you were before kids while still being 100% the parents you should be? I’ve seen so many couples change when they have a baby and I don’t want to be them when I do. I know things change, but it seems that y’all had a really good balance and your kids turned out very well.

  6. Katie says:

    Can you please do a show on the real lives of college students? All I ever seem to hear about my peers is that we’re lazy moochers and binge drinkers and it’s just not true. I think my parents have seriously forgotten how stressful college is and it’s incredibly frustrating to try to make them get it. I’d love to switch places with my mom on a school day. I’m not saying her job is easier than mine, I’m just saying I think she needs reminded of what it’s really like. Not to mention that times have changed since my parents were in my shoes!

  7. Anita says:

    Sometimes when guests are being interviewed before the camera, they deny that they have told your producers what you have on your cards. What’s up with that? Do they just simply forget what they have said, or do they decide to deny it when they get in front of the cameras? I sometimes wonder if they were trying to say ONE thing and the producers interpret it in ANOTHER way. I know that if I were on the show and before the cameras, and you told me I had said something that I KNEW I hadn’t said, I would feel betrayed and somewhat trapped and frightened. I have always wondered what’s going on when this happens during your show.

  8. lifeflows says:

    I’ve always related to Dr. Phil because he thinks like I do. I’m also like him in that I don’t confront unless it’s necessary, because who needs the upsets? I’ve always thought though, that it takes a strong man who people will listen to, to have any hope of being heard when they speak difficult truths. Dr. Phil is what the world needs for any hope of straightening out.

  9. Blgspc says:

    Sometimes after watching your show I ACTUALLY wonder when you leave the stage after talking to one of those Ultra RESISTANT and equally disordered couples, if you deposit that folder of information into a secret file, entitled, ‘Somehow The Rocks In Her Head, Match The Holes In His.’….. Just curious.

    So…..um….are you like attached to those little light blue cards or are you considering something a little more impressive? Alright, so hot pink with rhinestones would be a little too ‘flashy’….how about something in a nice PINSTRIPE design?!? You could even keep the blue color, if you want! You could even have ‘Dr. Phil’ written in the reverse pattern on the cards. Now, THAT would be Striking! Whadaya Think?!?

    Yours Very Truly,

    BG :-D

    P.S. I REALLY DO NEED to know how I can affix a photo to my entries.

  10. Patty Sanderson IN says:

    I just want to say that I really enjoyed reading your blog about how you do your shows and I think that is awesome, I was always wondering how you did your show and when reading I was like WOW how devoted and determined, and how much passion you have towards your guests and your staff. I think that is awesome that you are on TV. I don’t watch every show due to things I need to do at that time but when I do watch, it is very educational, and knowledgeable. Sometimes when I watch the show some of the guests get on my nerves. When the come on there and they are rude and hateful when you didnt come to them first. They came to you looking for help and some of them look and act like they only want to hear that they are not doing some wrong they want the easy way out and it just drives me nuts that they do that. I really wanted to see the show today but was unable to see it. And I wont be able to see the show tomorrow cause I have a dr. appt but I know that it will be a good show, cause you never have a bad show cause your shows are always interesting, you always leave your viewrs on the edge of their seat. That is what I like about your show, you give us a senxe of knowledgable stuff. I think your show is better then any of the talk shows they have on TV. God Bless You
    Patty Sanderson

  11. Joyce Long says:

    Love this new post. We actually have at least one thing in common. I hate arguing and confrontation so much I will do anything, to advoid it. Right down to being a doormat for everyone else to walk all over. I never learned how to say no.
    Like many, many others I do wonder how you choose who is worthy of your help. I too have contacted the show many, many times. On my behalf, on the behalf of someone else but never, ever get a response.

    I can tell you that while I do need help and would love to hear from you, there is someone else who needs it more desperately than I do. Her name is Jennifer Lawhill. I know you have read some of her tweets, she is going downhill fast. Please. please step in and help her.
    I too have watched your show from day one and I love it and you and Robin.
    I may be depressed and things are going downhill financially fast, but I would love to see Jennifer get this help. She is a great person and is so scared. She cannot do it on her own. Her legs are so bad, she has been in incrediable pain this week and they cant do surgery due to her weight. She needs help now.
    Thanks for the new post.

  12. Michelle says:

    That was an interesting read. I worked at a behavioral mental health group home for twelve to fourteen years, and I was just a supervisor of staff there, it took a lot of hours, because I was also part of the therapy on each of my girls on the unit I had. I had discussions with staff, therapists, and then once a week with everyone in a meeting making sure we stayed on the same page. Even then I still felt there just isnt enough time to fit every child, and wish somehow there would have been more time. Now I am a stay at home mom with two boys, our oldest just turned three, and our second born will turn two next month, it is challenging this close together, but love it. I have a question for you, and have also written and do not get a response, and I do understand that you have probably millions that contact you every day. I guess I will continue to write you. We have a few issues around, my husband is in the army reserves, and where we are currently has NO FAMILY anything, no family program, and we are looking at a deployment next fall. My husband was over in Iraq in 2004, and came home to a divorice, his wife at the time cheated on him. How do I make sure that when he deploys he understands that with our children and my love for him I will be waiting for him to come home? How do I keep the memory of him for our three and almost two year old sons? So they have some kind of father son relationship, because a year for them or longer is a LONG time. Please any information so I dont screw this up for my kids would be definitely appreciated. I love the job you do,, Keep up the Good work,, You put many and many hours in,, so much appreciated.

  13. sarahcaiafa says:

    Thanks for the insight. What i wouldnt give to pick your brain
    2 autistic kids equals chaos in my house
    a mother in law who is a pill poppin queen and daughter who has been arressted 3 times in 3 months
    a 1000 mile move away from it all yet inlaws think we are in idaho when in acutality we are in a total different state. Guess that would be a sept lie but is it really a lie when protecting yourself and your marriage???

    See I could pick your brain for hours and hopefully have life changes big enough to last us our lifetime.

    My kids fall asleep to your books. For whatever reason your voice sooths them. Has been this way since 2003 and blake was an infant.

    Thanks for all your hard work dr phil

  14. Joyce Long says:

    Been reading some of the tweets between you and a couple of us on twitter so now I have a question?
    On your Website (the drPhilshow) it has a place where it says contact Dr Phil, do you read these? Do you read any of the emails sent in and if it is up to the producers who is on the show, do you ever step in after reading one and say that you would like for this person to be helped? Just wondering as Aces40 desperate for help and I know you said that a producer was looking into it but how do you decide who is more worthy of help??? She has 2 small kids. Her legs are now so bad she can barely walk. They cannot do surgery unless she loses weight and she needs help with that.
    I am not that articulate so I hope I worded this in the correct way.
    I just wonder if you ever decide who is going to be on your show and who is going to get help or is it always left up to the producers???
    You are a great man and I really admire you. May seem disallousioned at times but still think you are the greatest.

  15. paul millard says:

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t like your show at first, for the reasons you talk about, I think it is hard to face the truth, I do think people want to hear what ok we want to hear, because it takes less effort if I’m the one who doesn’t have to change. Problem is we dig ourself into such a big whole all we see are muddy walls and no way out.

    I had a Therapist she followed your closely, and swore by you, I said I swore at you that you were to hard on you guests, I called her a Philistine haha, for following you she laughed, but I’m off work disabled now so I am home all of the time, and I saw an ad for one of your shows about the guy who shot the suicides at the bridge, a subject that interests me because suicide is often in my thoughts, I started following you and now I get it, that you are making your guests face the truth no matter how hard that is. I wrote my Therapist and told her that I am a Philistine now :-) So now I keep watching and learning as I’m so messed up much more than anyone person can help me, so keep those good shows coming, you help a lot of people. Thanks

  16. F.D says:

    My Question is, have you ever regreted doing a show.

    Yesterday (Sydney here) I was watching a the show where the a woman couldn’t decide whether she wanted in or out of the relationship with he abusive partner, also on the show was her partners ex. The ex was the one to introduce the couple. I didn’t get to finish watching the show, the kids came home from school. So I’m not sure if you asked the ex this. But she also calmed she was abused by her ex. If that was the case then why on earth would she set her friend up with her ex. kind of twisted to me.

    If I was the producer, that would have been one of those shows you wished you didnt do. I mean I didnt see the point really. I get the domestic abuse thing, but it seemed like the guest where Jerry springer show reject, not crazy enough to be on Jerry but sane enough to be on Dr. Phil. There did afterall, all spend the previous evening together. Weird yes. The only thing they were missing was the all in brawl.

    Another question: How do you choose you guest, it obvious from previous post that not all emails sent to you are answered.

  17. Just a quickie note to let you know I think your blog and show are great. Not sucking up, just stating fact. :)

  18. Dr. Phil,

    I love to hear about UR staff too and that’s one thing I remember from your shows is the extensive research y’all do enough to fill a notebook. I’m guessing notebook in your lap is just one such notebook. I had a KODAK moment of blue cards from watching the Dr. Phil Show. Too, TOTALLY ADMIRE that you have follow through with guests.

    Stef mentioned “marriage carriage” which reminded me that like you I really liked how rhymed and literally was a “marriage carriage” (FUN). Love horses as much as you and UR family and I love dogs. Well, Jay has a sphynx cat yet… still a pet.

    Agree on what was said about Jennifer Lawwill needing help being critical. I hope too that I get a head to toe, inside and out ultimate makeover because I trust you and THE DOCTORS and y’all’s colleagues and have multiple unattended medical, dental and vision issues since uninsured. Please, before I have another abscessed tooth from what was an “incorrectly seated crown” I was told etc. or another gallbladder attack. I was told this weekend by a man who had that if you have a severe gallbladder attack they do a long incision and if do preventatively, out patient surgery. Jennifer Lawwill says she feels better after hers and WOW the one attack I had was more painful than appendicitis. Please help as we both are on borrowed time. Thank you.

    By the way, what if the research you do is one sided if because like you the person you research went out the back window, except emotionally instead of literally, and never stood up for self or knew records erroneous until someone laughing about lied about person. Or I heard one person say a record was suppose to be erased since she was just there and didn’t participate and lost her job because not removed after all as told would be. In other words, not everyone has someone as influential as you are with Dr. Phil Family to do damage control and keep the record straight. I mean this in the nicest way and as a compliment too that, too, not everyone is over six feet tall in community standing or literally like you are. When Dr. Phil speaks people listen… like all of us.

    Thanks for all you and your family and staff online and offline do, as well as all those who contribute to help, though the venue of Dr. Phil Show and THE DOCTORS. I was just thinking about how people y’all help if y’all hadn’t helped might not have received help. That’s commendable on many levels. I know there are more of us asking for help than y’all have resources to help and because of your book SELF MATTERS since that includes us all within that all is me and you and we. I truly feel that y’all pray for all of us you are and are not able to help. Like everyone who writes in I hope that one day that FINALLY includes me. THANK YOU!


  19. Had two typos because phone rang and I had to answer. 1) PREVENTATIVE gallbladder surgery man told me this weekend doesn’t require long incision like emergency gallbladder surgery so that’s why I hope I receive help SOON. Man also told me to stand up for myself to get help so I am. Plus, I so don’t have funds for another $3,000 abscessed tooth from incorrectly seated crown and dentist that said would reseat when did other work said didn’t. In pain with teeth, knees, sporadic gallbladder pain. Oh, and vision like eyes of many on THE DOCTORS that had cataracts. Talk about needing a 50,000 mile check up for the home stretch to feel in tip top shape. I fit that bill.

    As well, love exercise and since slipping on hay and tripping over pumpkins I can no longer go on powerful, prayerful walks. Plus, Dr. Sears tweeted to just do upper body exercises until meniscal tears fixed and I have rehab so I guess doctor who said exercise bike okay a couple of months ago was mistaken. See, again, why I want to see the best of the best doctors like you and THE DOCTORS. Like Robin is 55, October 14, 2009, I will be too and I want to feel fabulous in my fifties like y’all do with teeth as pretty, too, please. Healthy from head to toe, inside and out.

    2nd typo (though through): “Thanks for all you and your family and staff online and offline do, as well as all those who contribute to help, THROUGH the venue of Dr. Phil Show and THE DOCTORS.” This gives me a chance to thank y’all again though: THANKS DR. PHIL AND ALL Y’ALL.


  20. N. B. Joyce Long above, too, is in critical need since four children live with her, niece who’s like a daughter, three grandchildren who depend on her and her daughter etc. You’d have to get the particulars from Joyce Long.


  21. eman says:

    every one needs to hear the TRUE but they donot have to like it :)

    * i am a psychology student and i suggest to add a section that gives some helpful
    Web sites or books or topics addressed by you to psychology students i know its not the right place to write that but i didnot know were ..

    THANKS :)

  22. Dr. Phil: Suggestions… On shows like today’s “American Girl” offer a chance for online fans to win:

    Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends
    by Patti Criswell

    Chrissa American Girl Doll

    Books for teens by your son, Jay McGraw:

    “Life Strategies For Teens”
    “Life Strategies for Dealing With Bullies”
    “Closing The Gap”

    I don’t have any children yet LOTS of your online members do so would enjoy a chance to win one of the above here online… I think your blog would be a great place to periodically pop up with a contest to win one of the items audience gets such as on American Girl Show today. Perhaps you could choose among those who comment here. BTW: Great Show Dr. Phil and Support Staff. I bet Robin and your staff enjoyed as much as you and we in viewing audience.

    N.B. Oh, have thought a special place for TEENS ONLY to post online as per Dr. Phil Show would be a good idea as often teens wind up on message boards among adults talking about some heavy duty topics that might not be age appropriate. Maybe even Teen Guys & Teen Gals Cyber Pad with an easy to see/find cool icon to click on on home page of Dr. Phil Website. IDK… Just a thought.

  23. Janet Davies says:

    Hi Dr Phil

    I have often heard to speak about your dad and his drinking. Although you do not go into details on what occurred behind the closed doors of your family’s home, I can imagine it was pretty dysfunctional. In spite of it all, you turned out to be a pretty great guy! My question to you is this. Do you think you would have been better off if child protective services interveined and placed you in a foster home?

  24. RE:
    eman says:
    September 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    GREAT idea… then we’d have more CBT type psychology student graduates; sort of like apprentices of Dr. Phil. BTW: How’d U upload a picture? Sincerely, SEA

  25. doggiekisses says:

    Dr. Phil:

    The long process you and your staff go through to get to the point of taping a show is a challenge, but the results you get are phenomenal! You asked for feedback, but you must know how many people you help everyday with your ministry. It works! Great job! As one who has never missed one of your shows for eight seasons now, nor your appearances on the Oprah show, your work is truly the highest and best use of television. Keep up the good work! Kiss and hug Maggie for me!

  26. barb cinq-mars says:

    hi dr phil i love your show read a few of your books and robins too my daughter loves u too shes 24 lives in kitchener ont and she watchs your shows in fact u cant talk to her when shes watchung u would love to meet u some day and robin

  27. barb cinq-mars says:

    hi dr phil i love your show read your books 2 of them i own and robins book too my oldest daughter tonya watches your show too she lives in kitchener ont and have 2 kids of her own i cant talk to her on the phone if shes waching your show have to call her after thats so funny would like to meet u and robin sometime

  28. Katie says:

    I just thought of an “It’s your turn Dr. Phil” question. When and how did you decide to become a psychologist, like what made you want to be one?

  29. Tracy Hinds says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,

    I work full time, so sometimes I don’t get to see your show. (I live in Ontario, Canada) I always find your shows so interesting and knowledgeable. I am just an ordinary person, but I think the same way you do, everything you say is something that I believe, and not just because you have said it, but because I have thought it. If that makes sense. I hope all of those people who you help appreciate you and I think that you help people you haven’t even met. You know how they say you learn something new every day?? (by the way, I don’t know who “THEY” are..haha) But, watching your show has taught me things, especially when you are talking about kids, my son will be 14 in a month and watching your show about what to look for if you think there is something not quite right with your teen was tremendously helpful…I haven’t found anything (thank goodness, but I am also not naive to think there won’t be anything in the future) But at least I know some signs, and may not have known if I hadn’t watched your show..so THANKS!! You and Robin inspire people to be better people and that people are worth more than they may think they are…I am very fortunate with the way I was raised and the life I have now, but I have friends who haven’t had a great life and I try to help them the best way I can, your show helps me do that. I wish for you both continued success and a very happy life! Take care.

  30. Essie says:

    You should ALWAYS tell your friend they have food in their teeth.

    Seriously. Always.

  31. Wendie Haines-Whalley says:

    Hey Dr. Phil, aren’t you and Robin just dying to be grandparents already? I know we shouldn’t push this issue with our children, but isn’t it hard to wait? *I have five georgeous grandbabies of my own and, believe me, each one is a treasure. The great thing about being a grandparent is that you get to have fun,be a friend and confidant, and spoil the heck out of these wonderful children without the worry about all the “parent” stuff. FANTASTIC!

  32. brandon says:

    i was watching your show today i can not believe that you are helping those young kids.ther are not more other people in the world right now that are needing your help.the two kids will mess up they say they want. ill give them about six months that they will screw up again.Also i cant believe that therr parents are letting them to still live them.if they were my kids and they still wanted to stay together i would kick them both out of my house and see if they can live by them self. if they didnt want to stay together then i would help them out.ill give her boyfriend a year he will be back in jail.

  33. Sharon Laine says:

    Hello Dr. Phil! I was wondering if you could do a show on CAREGIVING and how to get over the death of someone special to you that you cared for and start living your life again. I was a Caregiver to my “little man” whom had Alzheimer’s. We were together twelve years and he was the love of my life even though he was much older than I was. When he got sick, I cared for him by myself 24/7 (with the help of Hospice) until he was gone. I am married now but I still can’t bring myself to disposing of his belongings including his ASHES. I have been married seven years Dr. Phil, and I really need your help as I know this is not fare to my husband! I had John cremated just so I would still have him with me! How do I let go and move on Dr. Phil? Thank you for taking time to read my post and congratulations GRANDPA!!! God Bless to you and your family!

  34. Carol says:

    I have just one question.

    Why does it take to ladies to comb your hair?

  35. Bob P. says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I love your show.Being a born again Christian like you I use your wisdom/advice in my life and for others. One thing that troubles me about what you do on your show is: You say piss me off and other comments like that. The kids that watch your show will pick up on these so called words and use them also. I pray for you all daily. Your doing a great service for the Lord and mankind.
    Brother in the Lord,Bob

  36. justnancy (nancy031394) says:

    I just wanted to thank you for Tuesday’s show topic ~ the beautiful family who had been subjected to unspeakable horrors, similar to those of Jaycee’s. I must admit that my first thought was to switch channels. I know there are many terrible things that happen in the world and I did not wish to dwell on any more. I didn’t want to feel bogged down. I wanted to focus on the true, the noble, the right the pure, the excellent and the praiseworthy… I wanted to think on these things. However, I quickly realized that your show was all about that! The contents of the show were true. The survivors were admirable! And, you helped them get in touch with the fact that they were indeed “pure” in terms of the heinous crimes that had been forced upon them. I found myself focusing very little on the past nightmare and a great deal on the beautiful, strong people who were on your stage. I was also thrilled to see the gentle, effective way that you were working with them, helping them to recover and get that much closer to inner peace that they so desperately deserved!

    The details of the crime were no doubt, lurid. However, this was not about the crime any more than those brave people on your stage were about the crime. The crime was something terrible that had happened, but in no way did it have to define the victims! They could learn to step beyond it and into their true selves ~ the people they were designed to be and the family they were designed to be.

    Thank you, Dr. Phil, for helping them reconnect and heal. It was an inspiring thing to watch!

  37. hello dr. phil and peteski productions,

    i am curious as to what and why stories you choose?

    irregardless i want to share this with you all.

    i am 50 years old and have been keeping a past life to myself. i am about to explode. please help!!!!!

    i would like to confront my estranged husband after over 20+ years. he abused me in every way and i want to know why.

    this man kicked me in my belly while i was approx 3 months pregnant. i want to know why.

    he verbally abused me in front of two of his sisters he wanted us to adopt.helloooo. i want to know why.

    yes, i married him! you want to know why? i was young and dumb. he kidnapped me and took me to another state. i want to know why.

    help me rid of this aching pulsating feeling of what was i thinking!!

    in order for me to get over this, i need to see him in person.

    will you help me?

    y. april parker?

  38. Danielle Cassoff says:

    i have so many questions for him im so thankful for his hard work, it amazes me that someone who is that successful and talented could be so humble

  39. Brenda Thomas says:

    I love the straight talk and wish more people communicated that way! It’s frustrating that so many people are dishonest or beat around the bush. I can deal with the truth and often think to myself while watching the show that what Dr. Phil is saying to the guests is probably the first time they’ve heard someone communicate so directly. I’ve seen the show enough that “how’s that working for ya’?” has become something I say!

    Often I find that I am moved to tears by a show topic or guest…members of the audience are crying, the guest is crying. My question to Dr. Phil would be…how are you able to distance yourself from some of these stories so that you don’t show emotion? I’ve seen you pass lots of handkerchiefs to the guests to wipe their tears but I’ve never even seen a welling up in your eyes.

  40. Brenda Thomas says:

    Oh, I almost forgot! I totally agree with Essie. Please tell me if I have spinach in my teeth. Please!

  41. Danielle Cassoff says:

    hi dr.phil! hope everythings going well! your shows are always so interesting your work must be really important to you because it shows that you work very hard! when im older i want to be just like you!

  42. Haifa says:

    I just love you …

  43. Denyse says:

    Like many of us, you came from an alcoholic background, could you have more shows on the effects of being raised in such an environment? I am 60 yrs old and still have flashbacks of things that went on as a kid, my Dad being the alcoholic and Mom being the enabler. We saw and heard things that children are not meant to see and hear. Out of 5 children, we are all effected in some way and surprisingly most of us still bitter, mostly at our mother for always reminding us how much of a good wife and mother she was and how much of a drunk Dad was. Dad was handicapped having had polio at a young age, never missed a day’s work, always handed his paycheck for the family, and was never given credit for anything. Needless to say, we all married under the age of 19…4 out of 5 of us now divorced. I married at 17 to a fellow from a worse background, raised by an abusive mother and an alcoholic dad who left when he was 10yrs old. Luckily for my husband, he had been in a loving foster home for the first 5yrs of his life.
    We knew when we married that we wanted a diffrent life for our family. Even with many struggles having married too young, we were always close and respected eachother, now married 43yrs with 2 adult boys, we both don’t drink, and neither do our boys. You could say it’s a happy ending, but our upbringing has affected our relationship with other people all of our lives. Always wondered how other people we’re affected by being raised this way.

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