Any guest of Oprah Winfrey‘s show was a guest of America.
Two decades ago, Dr. Phil became a regular guest on the show. Outside of his strong southern drawl, he was mainly known for his unusual approach to treating mental illness. The question is… is his unusual approach an obscure clinical approach that actually helps patience in an unorthodox way or is it a way for him to get viewers ala’ Springer-Wilkos-Povich. I mean, he is responsible for the “Catch Me Out Side” girl.
During a 2003 appearance, one guest questioned him about his “use of hardball tactics.” In fact, he says:
“I do use an approach that is very straightforward… I’m not much on psychobabble, buzzwords or letting your inner puppy come out and pee, or whatever.”
Exemplifying his approach he continues, “…that’s not me, I try to do what works.” Concluding in his own defense, “changing lives” is his goal.
Viewers seemed to appreciate his approach or style. Causing him to rise to fame and propelling by his own day-time talk show into almost 30 Daytime Emmy nominations. But some directly affected by him counseling, beg to differ. At least two former guests officially have made complaints to the press, stating that Dr. Phil’s unusual methods had adverse effects on them, aiding them in their self destruction.
Todd Herzog, a former winner of Survivor appeared on the Dr. Phil Show in 2013 because he was struggling with alcohol addiction, seeking help.
Yet, Herzog tells The Boston Globe, when he arrived at the Los Angeles studio, he was sober, Then upon walking into his dressing room he found a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. After finishing the bottle, he claims he was given a Xanax to “calm his nerves.”
He would then need to be carried on stage and lifted into a chair. Leaving Dr. Phil to pan to the camera and state:
“I’ve never talked to a guest who was closer to death,”
Another former guest told the Globe she was directed to a drug market to find heroin for her detoxing niece, who appeared on the show battling heroin addiction.
Very dramatic! Especially, if it went exactly how Herzog and the other guest alleges and everyone knows that drama makes for good TV. What is Oprah saying? Nothing. She has not released a statement in regards to this scandal.
However, Dr. Phil adamantly denies the allegations.
We do not do that with this guest or any other,” he wrote. He called the allegations “absolutely, unequivocally untrue.”
The Director of Professional Affairs for the Dr. Phil Show, psychologist Martin Greenberg says this in defense of his boss:
“Dr. McGraw has a very strong sense of trying to not exploit people… Now, it is a television show. These people volunteer to come on. They beg to come on. And he tries to treat them with respect . . . and to give them the opportunity to get help if they want to do that.