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LOS ANGELES — He had won “Survivor,” the reality TV test of grit and strength. But Todd Herzog was so drunk when he appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show in 2013 that he had to be carried onto the set and lifted into a chair.

“I’ve never talked to a guest who was closer to death,” show host Phillip McGraw declared on camera.

TV viewers, however, didn’t see the setup for this shocking scene. Herzog, who was battling alcoholism, told STAT and the Boston Globe that he was not intoxicated when he arrived at the Los Angeles studio. In his dressing room, he said, he found a bottle of Smirnoff vodka. He drank all of it. Then someone handed him a Xanax, he said, telling him it would “calm his nerves.”


America’s best-known television doctor presents himself as a crusader for recovery who rescues people from their addictions — and even death. But in its pursuit of ratings, the “Dr. Phil” show has put at risk the health of some of those guests it purports to help, according to people who have been on the show and addiction experts. Guests have been left without medical help as they face withdrawal from drugs, a STAT/Boston Globe investigation has found, and one person said she was directed by a show staff member to an open-air drug market to find heroin for her detoxing niece.

While McGraw has been buffeted by controversy and lawsuits since he broke out as a celebrity on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” two decades ago, the show’s handling of guests seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders has largely escaped scrutiny.

McGraw declined an interview request through a “Dr. Phil” show representative. Martin Greenberg, a psychologist who serves as the show’s director of professional affairs, said guests have never been provided alcohol or directed to where to buy drugs.


In a statement, he denied Herzog was left alone with a bottle of vodka in his dressing room, or given Xanax. “We do not do that with this guest or any other,” he wrote. He called the allegations “absolutely, unequivocally untrue.”

Todd Herzog, interviewed in Salt Lake City, says before taping the show, he was provided vodka and a Xanax, a potentially deadly combination. Matthew Orr/STAT

“Dr. McGraw has a very strong sense of trying to not exploit people,” Greenberg said in an earlier interview. “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. It’s not a complicated formula.”

But in interviews, show guests and their families described a different reality.

Guests confront a painful and potentially dangerous detox as they wait up to 48 hours in hotel rooms for their scheduled taping, leading some to look for illegal drugs. One guest bought heroin with the knowledge and support of show staff, according to a family member. Another guest, who was pregnant, was filmed by a show staffer while searching for a dealer on Skid Row in L.A.

“It’s a callous and inexcusable exploitation,” said Dr. Jeff Sugar, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Southern California. “These people are barely hanging on. It’s like if one of them was drowning and approaching a lifeboat, and instead of throwing them an inflatable doughnut, you throw them an anchor.”

The “Dr. Phil” show said staff members have no right to detain guests or direct or restrict their behavior, and may not even know they are in danger of withdrawal or overdose.

“Addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting and trivializing. But, if they are at risk when they arrive, then they were at risk before they arrived,” Greenberg said in the statement. “The only change is they are one step closer to getting help, typically help they could not have even come close to affording.”

The show’s addiction segments aren’t just compelling TV and good for driving huge ratings: They also serve to boost related businesses. Treatment center operators are being offered valuable endorsements in exchange for buying a new virtual reality product that features “Dr. Phil” offering tips and coping skills to people in treatment.

Centers that buy “Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery” have been promoted on the “Dr. Phil” show as well as a second program called “The Doctors” that is owned by the production company founded by McGraw and his son, Jay.

Dr. Phil show refer Part 1

Many guests are sent to Origins Behavioral HealthCare, a company so closely associated with the show that some in the field refer to it as the company that Dr. Phil built. So intertwined are the two that Origins, in a Florida licensing report, bragged that the company has “a reputation that even Dr. Phil recognizes.”

Origins, which was founded in 2009, lists McGraw’s graduate school mentor, Frank Lawlis, as a member of its executive team. Lawlis has been a key adviser to the “Dr. Phil” show since its inception. His biography on the Origins website indicates Lawlis “consults with Dr. Phil about potential guests, and oversees resources for the guests as they leave the show.”

The show said, through Greenberg, that Origins is one of many treatment centers used as a resource and that the show doesn’t consider Lawlis’ role with Origins a conflict of interest. Greenberg said “no money changes hands” between the show and Origins.

“It’s a callous and inexcusable exploitation.”

Jeff Sugar, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, University of Southern California

On television, McGraw, 67, plays the role of a tough-love, no-nonsense adviser with a southern twang and a dogged determination to help his guests. He promises to “haunt them to the ends of the earth” once he gets involved in their lives. Segments where guests resist his advice often feature harangues from McGraw, prodded by cheering from his studio audience.

Many of his guests view “Dr. Phil” as a savior. Parents come to him begging for help saving their children’s lives. For many treatment centers, his endorsement brings patients and legitimacy; they offer guests free care in return for the show’s promotion. For viewers, McGraw offers hope. Some pepper the show’s Facebook page with their own requests for help, leaving sad stories and phone numbers where they can be reached.

The show seeks to “educate, inform, inspire and entertain our viewers,” Greenberg said. He said hundreds have emailed the show “thanking us for helping them face or address an issue that either they, or a family member might be struggling with.” The American Psychological Association presented McGraw its presidential citation in 2006, saying his “work has touched more Americans than any other living psychologist.”

The show has also made him wealthy: McGraw, according to Forbes, is the highest-paid daytime TV personality, earning $79 million last year.

Dr. Phil McGraw
Phillip McGraw on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2002, the year he started “Dr. Phil.” Kevin Winter/Getty Images

McGraw holds a doctorate in psychology, but has not been a licensed psychologist since 2006, when he let his Texas license expire. He became “Dr. Phil” after he worked with Oprah as a consultant when she was unsuccessfully sued by cattle ranchers in Texas for bad-mouthing the beef industry. He started appearing on her show, and then, in 2002, launched his own.

His show has been a subject of unsuccessful lawsuits by guests, and his forays into the lives of celebrities Britney Spears and Shelley Duvall have sparked outcries because of concerns they were exploited.

Some of McGraw’s own employees have raised alarms about the treatment of guests. In one lawsuit filed last year against McGraw and his production company in Los Angeles Superior Court, a former segment director, Leah Rothman, accused McGraw of false imprisonment for trapping employees in a room to threaten them over leaks to the media. Rothman also alleged that guests complained that their lives were “ruined.” One guest attempted suicide after the show, according to a deposition with another staff member.

McGraw denied the allegations.  Rothman’s attorney said the case was settled and dismissed in September. A representative of McGraw said Rothman was a “disgruntled” employee, and noted that McGraw’s production company is currently suing her in federal court. Rothman’s attorney, however, said she was a hard-working and long-time employee who is “vigorously defending herself” in the federal case.

“Plaintiff’s experience with Dr. Phil was that his primary interest was not about helping people on the show, but rather, done for the sake of ratings and making money,” says Rothman’s suit. “Dr. Phil often embarrassed guests on his show in their darkest hour, leaving the staff to pick up the pieces of the broken people who had put their trust in Dr. Phil.”

Herzog, pictured in Salt Lake City, says he is now sober and has reconnected with friends and family. Matthew Orr/STAT

When camera crews arrived unannounced at Todd Herzog’s apartment in Utah in 2013, he had no idea what was happening. The footage that later aired on “Dr. Phil” shows him sitting bewildered and barefoot on his couch, surrounded by his family and a two-person intervention team dispatched by the show after it was contacted by his family.

“What … is this?” he asked, his speech slurred and halting. “Can someone please tell me?”

Herzog’s hands were shaking and he said he was afraid he was going to die. One of the interventionists explained that Dr. Phil wanted to meet with him. Herzog was a flight attendant when he won “Survivor” at age 22 – and its $1 million prize. But his life spiraled downward after that, and he said, his alcoholism intensified while dating someone who was a heavy drinker.

After the show flew him to L.A. and put him up in a hotel, Herzog said he detoxed in his room over about two days. In a recent interview in Salt Lake City, he said he was sober when he walked into his dressing room on the set, and intoxicated on vodka and Xanax when he emerged. Herzog’s father, Glen, confirmed in an interview that his son was sober when he arrived at the studio to tape the show.

“Today, I had an entire bottle, like a liter, of vodka,” Todd Herzog told McGraw on stage. When Dr. Phil breathalyzed him in front of the studio audience, Herzog blew a .263 — more than three times the legal limit to drive.

“You know, I get that it’s a television show and that they want to show the pain that I’m in,” Herzog said in the interview. “However, what would have happened if I died there? You know, that’s horrifying.”

The combination of alcohol and Xanax can be deadly, said Dr. Maureen Boyle, the chief scientific officer for the Addiction Policy Forum, an advocacy organization for patients and families. No one should detox from serious alcohol addiction without medical supervision, she said, as withdrawal can cause seizures.

“The important thing here, this isn’t a TV drama,” she said. “This is someone’s life.”

The show, through Greenberg and a lawyer, offered a series of shifting explanations over two weeks regarding the medical oversight of guests when they come out to L.A.

In the interview, Greenberg said the show was not a medical facility, and did not have a responsibility to monitor guests.

“No, of course not, it’s a television show,” he said.

After STAT and the Globe sent detailed questions about Herzog’s case and others, however, the show, in a lengthy response signed by Greenberg, said guests with substance abuse problems are medically supervised “100% of the time.” The show said that any time a guest is likely to need inpatient rehabilitation, medical personnel from a treatment center are flown to L.A. “to supervise and manage any medical needs.”

Herzog, the response said, was “medically supervised the entire time he was involved with tapings of ‘Dr. Phil.’” The supervision, according to the show, included a nurse-practitioner flying with him to L.A., a nurse sitting up with him during the night, and a medical professional from a treatment center who “happened to be in LA at the time.” The show declined to name any medical personnel.

Then this week, Greenberg, through the lawyer, responded to follow-up questions by qualifying his earlier statements about medical supervision: “We mean 100% of guests agreeing to treatment. It does not mean that a guest is being monitored 100% of the time,” he wrote. He noted that “substance abusers adopt very clever means” to obtain alcohol or drugs, and “we cannot control what we cannot control.”

The director of the treatment center where Herzog agreed to go for help at the conclusion of the show said no one from that facility monitored Herzog while he was involved in the taping of the show.

“I was watching them walk him out severely intoxicated,” said Steve Thomason, who was then the executive director of The Arbor in Georgetown, Texas. “That was the first time I ever laid eyes on him.”

Thomason said he and his medical staff couldn’t offer medical supervision in California because they are licensed in Texas, and the person being monitored must first give consent to treatment and be on the premises of the treatment facility.

He said he was so upset by the condition of Herzog on the “Dr. Phil” show and the manner in which the show was conducted that he never had anything to do with it again.

“I honestly regret having ever done it,” Thomason said.

Other treatment centers contacted by STAT and the Globe similarly said they are barred in most cases from providing the kind of medical supervision described by the show.

Origins, which has treated scores of people who have appeared on “Dr. Phil,” provides a nurse to accompany a patient only on the airplane ride from Los Angeles to one of the company’s addiction treatment facilities in Texas or Florida, said chief executive Drew Rothermel.

Thomason also said he talked to Herzog’s mother after the show, and she told him her son was sober when he arrived at the studio that day.

Herzog’s mother, Shirley Herzog-Keeler, declined to comment but said the show helped her son get well. “I have nothing to say but good things” about the show, she said. “We were on the show to help Todd.”

Herzog said the show gave him opportunities to enter treatment, which he is thankful for. He said he was recently contacted by a show producer and asked to write a letter thanking McGraw for his help, which he did.

“I’m grateful in a lot of ways for the show. For getting me help in the nicest places in the country. That’s a gift right there,” he said. “There are some things about the show that I don’t like, and that I don’t think are real. … I should have been in the hospital, in that sense. There should not be liters of vodka in my dressing room.”

“We cannot control what we cannot control.”

Martin Greenberg, director of professional affairs for Dr. Phil show

Family members of two other show guests said that they had no medical support and, in one guest’s case, that staff members allegedly helped her get drugs.

Marianne Smith’s niece, Jordan, appeared on the show in 2012, in an episode called “Young, Reckless, and Enabled.”  Smith said she contacted the show to help her niece break her heroin addiction. Smith said that when she, Jordan, and Jordan’s mother arrived in Los Angeles from out of state, Jordan began going through withdrawal. Smith said she and Jordan’s mother were concerned for her well-being, and told a show producer she needed heroin.

“They told us where to go, Skid Row,” Smith said. “I was so scared.”

The producer also told them not to say who suggested the trip, Smith said. She did not remember the name of the producer.

One reason Smith said she and her sister were so panicked about Jordan’s situation is they had no medical assistance for her. “We never had anyone,” she said. “It was just the three of us girls the entire time.” She said the three were in L.A. for two nights before appearing on the show.

When asked about the experience described by Smith, Greenberg issued a denial: “We could go on and talk about Jordan L. or ten others,” he said. “Same reality. All had medical supervision.”

Joelle King-Parrish brought her 28-year-old daughter Kaitlin from Lansing, Mich., to the “Dr. Phil” show in October of last year for help with her heroin addiction. Kaitlin was six months pregnant, and King-Parrish said she assumed that when they touched down, there would be some kind of medical supervision — if Kaitlin went into withdrawal, it could endanger the life of her unborn baby.

But they were alone when Kaitlin began to detox. King-Parrish, who is a registered nurse, said staff members told her to “take care of it.” So she took her daughter to the hospital.

Kaitlin’s mother, Joelle, says in an interview from Lansing, Mich., that before the taping they traveled to Skid Row with a show staffer to buy heroin. Matthew Orr/STAT

After four hours, Kaitlin left without receiving treatment. The producer texted to say she should stay at the hospital. But Kaitlin would not, and King-Parrish was terrified the baby would die if her daughter did not get medicine or drugs.

King-Parrish and Kaitlin went to the “Dr. Phil” studio, where another show staffer joined them. All three got into a cab headed for Skid Row.

The staffer shot video, which later aired on the show. In it, King-Parrish tells the camera, “I am scared to death right now.” The camera follows Kaitlin from behind as she walks towards homeless encampments. King-Parrish said Kaitlin was gone for about a half-hour while she shot up heroin.

The trip made for riveting television. Experts say it could have harmed Kaitlin or her baby.

“That is incredibly deadly. You never know what you’re getting in a single dose,” said Boyle, adding that Kaitlin should have been under medical care the moment she landed in L.A.

Greenberg said that show officials agreed to do Kaitlin’s story only if “her mother agreed to be 100% responsible for managing her daughter’s health and possible withdrawal.” The show’s motivation for doing the story, Greenberg said, was to get Kaitlin’s unborn child out of danger.

The staffer that filmed the Skid Row trip, Greenberg said, “simply documented the natural behavior she observed, which would have occurred whether she was there or not.”

King-Parrish attempts to call her daughter Kaitlin. She was not able to reach her. Matthew Orr/STAT

The statement said it was unfair to highlight the experiences of a few guests out of thousands who have appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show.

“Few people contact us just to let us know how well things are going,” the show stated. “The fact you can ‘cherry pick’ three, or thirty, or three hundred guests for that matter, who seek to blame others for their plight or struggle in life, is not the least bit surprising.”

One guest who credits the “Dr. Phil” show with saving her life is Niki Dietrich, who was eight months pregnant and addicted to heroin when she appeared on an episode last year. She said she was living in an abandoned house with her boyfriend, and prostituting herself for money to buy drugs.

She was sent to an Origins facility after her appearance, and is now sober. The 28-year-old said she is working at a treatment facility and trying to get custody of her daughter.

“That was like a miracle,” Dietrich said of her appearance. “They hooked it up, for sure. The ‘Dr. Phil’ show, I have nothing bad to say about that experience.”

Even after intensive treatment for opioid and alcohol addiction, relapse is common. But the show does not track the success or failure rate of guests for whom it arranges treatment.

“Why, why, why on earth would they?” Greenberg said, adding that the show is not the organization providing treatment.

After his first appearance, Herzog went for treatment but then resumed drinking. When he returned to the show for a third time, in 2014, he found vodka placed in his dressing room again, he said, but this time he was wary of becoming incoherent. He drank some but not all of the bottle. The show denied that vodka was left in Herzog’s room.

Herzog’s last appearance was late last year, and this time, he said, he initiated it. He said the first three times, he felt coerced into appearing. The last time, he wanted the free treatment that guests are offered by centers appearing on the show.

“I know this time … I wanted help, I wanted to get sober, because I was dying,” the now-32-year-old Herzog said in an interview. This appearance, he was with a handler who supervised him closely before taping, giving him a shot of alcohol to hold off seizures, Herzog said. He has no memory of what happened on stage.

He knows from watching the show that he was brought out in a wheelchair, then suffered some sort of medical distress.

As staff members rushed to help him, a camera followed him off the set.

After Todd Herzog relapses, Dr. Phil visits his home and convinces him to return for another taping. Matthew Orr/STAT

Herzog said this week that he is sober. He works at a restaurant in Utah; he’s reconnected with friends and family; and he’s dating someone.

“I’m so much happier now. I mean, so much happier,” he said. “I’m living again.”

Jordan also went to treatment after her appearance, but she didn’t get well, her aunt said.

“It was a complete bust,” Smith said of the “Dr. Phil” show. “Didn’t help at all. Just ratings for him. People are going to him, like us, with serious, life-threatening problems looking for help. It just doesn’t happen.“

McGraw promised Kaitlin “the best help, in my opinion, in the United States,” and, on stage, guaranteed that she would be in treatment until her baby was born. Kaitlin left against medical advice after 15 days. Her baby was born addicted in January, King-Parrish said, and went into foster care.

“The treatment facility is not a locked ward, and she is a hard-core heroin addict. That’s what they do,” Greenberg said in his statement. “We deal with people in the real world.”

The show had the family back, after King-Parrish wrote them a letter saying she believed their appearance had been “for ratings and not help.” Kaitlin was sent to treatment a second time but kicked out for noncompliance, King-Parrish said.

Today, Kaitlin is homeless and she was recently admitted to the hospital with liver failure, her mother said. Kaitlin did not respond to requests for comment.

“Poor, middle class, high class. Rich. It doesn’t matter. Heroin will take it and kill you. And that’s what I have to make myself know, that that’s probably going to be Kaitlin’s end,” King-Parrish said.

She has resigned herself to what she fears is coming.

  • I am a single mother . I am trying to get some help for my 3 children. My daughter working hard but she’s drinking is bidder me a lot . I need help whit my daughter and my son depression problem Dr. Phil help me please

  • Dr Phil my boyfriend and I truly truly truly and desperately need your help to get our lives back so I dont die and can get my life back so I can be the mommy my babies need in there lives please please please I. We truly truly need your help please please please

    • This isn’t Dr Phil’s website.

      When you do contact him, or have somebody contact him on your behalf, I would suggest putting details explaining why you feel only he can help. Messages that get to the point and explain why “only Dr Phil will be a path towards changing your life” is what’s going to get a producer or assistant’s attention & increase the likely hood that somebody will bring your message up during a meeting.

      To be clear I do NOT work for Dr Phil, I have never worked for him.

      In the meantime, perhaps contact your local crisis center hotline? In my area the number is 2-1-1. They typically have a referral service if you need help along with peer counselors to speak with in times of crisis.

  • Most Importantly, entertainment shouldn’t be mixed with mental health and/or addiction. However our society has adopted, “Ignorance” as the most profitable and entertaining of story subjects, videos, photos, and etc. If the people of our country wouldn’t feed into such crap, how long do you think it would continue on as it currently has?

  • It appears to me that Phil McGraw is insensitive to his guests feelings; he often berates them when they are honest with him. I am not sure that the humiliation guests receive is worth the free treatment at the end of the show. McGraw appears to think more about his podcast advertising and his wife’s skin-care treatment than he does about the treatment of his guests.

  • Fundamentally, it’s entertainment. Nothing wrong with that. Dr. Phil does providing a psychological perspective on things, which is lacking in the mass-culture. What if Michael Jackson or Prince had received psychological counceling?

    The point is, you can’t “cure” anyone in one day. Indeed, psychotherapy may take one year or two years or ten years. If one accepts that serious help can be obtained in one day, the problem is with viewers who have this expectation.

    Nevertheless, Dr. Phil works very hard, and does his homework. He provides an insight into psychological ways of thinking about things. Fundamentally, as with all television, the show is there to provide entertainment.

  • I am very interested in the way television”entertainment” is now showing Dr Phil as a doctor, as his license lapsed in Texas. What have we put our hope in? A retired psychologist, and his anorexic wife who sells face cream even though I think she uses something alittle stronger aka botox or such?, even “Dr Phil” looks remarkably stiff faced, not that Botox is existential to being vain or in realistic , haha, age gracefully? Sometime”Phil” scares me, and I live on another continent! He’s definitely telling you each one , parents, family, friends etc how they contribute to any issue, then how they are very lame to be so self involved, next he asks them to beg for forgiveness and to send them on to either “runaway ranch, Origins,some multi amazing facility that they are never seen to return from,!, slightly scary to see, and always the people who are SO DESPERATE the audience laughs… sure he is knowledgeable about psychology and “forensic psychology” , but so are many of us.
    I’d like it to be one show of constructive criticism from audience and professionals including alternative medical options, if needed. Then the next show should be a follow up, definitely.
    Otherwise we see no cause and effect, no yin to hang, no exploitation to in unexploitation.

  • I watch Dr Phil daily. He is a great compassionate psychologist. I am a working nurse who does home visitation to high risk moms. I was recently in a car accident caused by a woman who chose to do herion and drive with her 4 year old in the car. I told the policemen when he came she was in a drug reaction and he needed to call for help. She went to the hospital after being narcaned. Not jail in fact the policemen said she will be released to get her fix again. I on the other hand suffered whiplash. Damaged vehicle and because of car fax have an undervalued car. I have neck pain daily. Still work as a nurse because I have bills and need medical insurance to pay for this chronic pain! I watch him to understand why affects do this to themselves. He is straightforward with them. I wish more people especially in the medical profession were!

    • He a fake and a fraud !! He’s not even a licence Doctor his staff and show exploit people on nation wide TV for nothing more than drama and ratings. All you have to do is google him,his show and staff to find out how he and staff exploit people for nothing more than ratings. He and staff are enablers,,they come across on TV as wanting to help people while all the time wanting to exploit them for ratings !!

  • When Dr. Phil was first on TV, on Oprah, and then his own show, I think he was sincerely trying to help people. Over the years, his show seemed to deteriorate, in quality to something more like Jerry Springer. The people he chose, as guests, we’re total loosers. I could not understand why he was wasting his time on people who were, not only clueless, but had no desire to change their behavior, which proved to be the case when the show did follow-ups on them, or they would be on the show, again, having made no changes in their life or behavior. When Dr. Phil chose a parent, or parents who were trying to reconnect with their estranged children, but we’re obviously clueless about how to be good parents, like the parents who were using drugs, alcohol, or addicted to other stuff, like gambling, and either lost their, now adult children, to foster care, or the children found another way to escape, and we’re trying to make something of their lives, while the parents made no changes, but couldn’t figure out why their children wanted nothing to do with them, and were asking for Dr. Phil’s help, when it was obvious, even to the village idiot, that they would never have the incentive to make the sacrifices to change! I could only assume he chose these people for shock value and ratings. Surely, with all of his education and experience, he could tell that he was working with people who were lost causes! I had appealed to the show on several occasions, for his help to reconnect with my children, as an alienated parent, who was always a good parent, I just married the wrong person. When I had had enough of the abuse I left, and my ex proceeded to turn my children against me by brainwashing them with lies. I was the bread winner, and was always there, except when I was working. I’m not a drug addict, alcoholic, or gambler, just a hard working parent who wanted a continuing relationship with my children. I was granted primary placement. The poisoning occurred during visitation. I never heard anything from the show, I think, because I would not have garnered ratings because I wasn’t abnormal enough. As a matter of fact, I was probably a fair representation of most alienated parents. I’ve decided that, if you need Dr. Phil’s help, but don’t have bizarre behavior that would get high ratings, you won’t get help from him. I, occasionally, tune in, and have noticed that, recently, he has people on who genuinely want his help and advice, but mostly, it’s evident that most of his guests are recidivous, and will go back to their same behavior! As far as the issue of supervision of at risk guests, prior to the show, I find it difficult to believe that, given the knowledge anyone dealing with addicts should have regarding the possibility of withdrawal complications, that appropriate medical support would not be available, if necessary!

    • look at all the teens that have chosen to be on Dr. Phil and now have become famous. Danielle Bregoli, and others. It’s disgusting. They know what they are going on the show for. It’s like the media is giving them high fives for behaving badly. It’s time Dr. Phil stopped giving these teenagers the opportunity to be famous for bad behavior. The money spent on Danielle Bregoli at the treatment center she attended could have gone to some child that really needed help. Danielle and other kids like her look at it as being famous. Dr. Phil should stop this type of fame for these teens. Ms. Bregoli and her ridiculous mom are only out for fame…its disgusting and even though Ms. Bregoli and her mom are making millions now, the father of Bregoli is being asked to continue making child support. Why? She doesn’t need his money,it could go to the other children he has. This is wrong.

    • The more famous you are the more haters you’ll have. Referring to the original comment:
      If you knew anything about the subject you’re preaching about, you’d know 95% or more of those cases you speak of, he ONLY takes because children are involved. Because innocent life’s are being destroyed or at risk. He’s said on many MANY occasions he wouldn’t be helping these people if it weren’t for their kids.
      To other reply’s: Meanwhile yes, there have been a couple teens who have become famous after being on the show. That’s obviously going to happen. But it’s not often, in fact, it’s LESS THAN 1% of ALL guests to be on the Dr. Phil show.
      It’s a HUGE show. Of course that’ll happen. Blame the internet, not Dr. Phil. That’s why the “Catch me outside” girl got famous. And because her and her family knew how to capitalize off it. Dr. Phil and his producers constantly try to avoid guests like that, but sometimes they skip through. It’s however rare, and you’re using the 1% of examples to call out a show that does 99% of good for so, so many people.
      Yes, It’s still a TV show though. They do stuff for ratings. Otherwise it’d wouldn’t be a TV show. That’s obvious. And If that’s your argument, it’s not a very good one.
      Just don’t watch TV then.
      Dr. Phil and his staff have helped so many people. People I’ve met in real life. He’s SAVED many, many people. Something I doubt most, if not all of you can say. You’re too busy talking crap online.
      This is the first time I’ve even spoken online in the comments section like this. But the amount of stupidity I’ve read lead me to doing so. You’re allowed to your opinion, sure. As am I. But I recommend you do some research first, REAL, UNBIASED research. This STAT article has been torn apart ever since being released by the very best of the best in the field. Even some of the accusers have sense admitted they were wrong and/or not in their right mind when they made these claims; that if it weren’t for Dr. Phil they may very well be dead.
      STAT is also a MEDIA corporation. It says it in the name. They care about ratings too! And guess what, this single article got them the most coverage I think they’ve ever received.
      So these people who’re using “ratings” and the like as a valid argument, make little to no logical sense when put into context.

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