Friday, February 01, 2008

Oh wow--what does Dr. Phil have more of, brain cells or hair?

Hey, guess what? Dr. Phil isn't actually licensed to practice psychology in any state in the US. Due to an ethical violation some years ago, involving a 19-year-old patient (oh my) he has to take some Ethics 101 type classes, which he's never done. Hence, he's never gotten his license back. Schweet. I know I trust random bald Southern men to tell me how to live my life, regardless of their professional credentials. You know what they say, "If the head is bare and the twang is there--they've got to know what they're doing!" Bzzzzt. wrong.

Recently, for instance, Dr. Phil did a "teen intervention" show. 14-year old Pseudonym McPromiscuous is skipping school, running away from home, doing drugs...basically running down the checklist of delinquent activity. 'Hmm...degrading myself with 30-year-old pervs I've met on the internets...check. Smoking pot behind the school instead of going to math...check...running away...." So what do you do? Look at what's going on in the life of a 14-year-old that makes her think it's worthwhile to get sexually involved with men twice her age? Ask her about a history of sexual or emotional abuse? Try and figure out what's so f*cked up at home that she feels running away is the only way to solve it, and address either the crazy sh*t her parents are doing to her, or any underlying mood disorder? Hell no! Time for tough love. Ship her off to a 'therapeutic school' (is that what they're calling reform schools nowadays?) where she can, and I quote, "learn to take responsibility for herself." Poor girl has never had anyone take care of her, has never had a model of self-care and responsibility--and now, at 14, she's being told to get with the damn program, cowboy up and act like an adult. There's this assumption that she's acting out because she's BAD, not because she's HURTING.

It's true that, biologically speaking, adolescents are insane. Their brains aren't finished cooking, their bodies are doing all this exciting/terrifying/"oh god no one else's looks like THAT" stuff and then you add gallons of hormones and put all this into the pressure cooker of the average American middle/high school. A certain amount of poor judgement just comes with the territory. But when someone goes off the deep end, perhaps it would behoove the adults in their lives to look at the circumstances surrounding the kid's life rather than laying blame at the feet of someone who isn't even old enough to drive/sign a legal contract/buy beer. Way to go, Dr. Phil. Once again you are a douchebag.

Or on an episode where he told an anorexic woman he'd just met: "If you don't stop manipulating, if you don't stop controlling, if you don't start listening, you're going to be dead in six weeks." Wow. Scold her like a little kid, because people with eating disorders don't already have issues with feeling shamed and invalidated. Awesome. Aaaaand the infamous episode where a group of women competed to get free breasticles from Dr. Phil--the one with the most convincing argument for why she needed some boobies to improve her life...got them. What the hell. What the hell. I hate Dr. Phil.

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