I’ve had my Phil

I was sitting here eating my dinner waiting for the news to come on. Sadly for me, the show before the news is that disgustingly overdone Dr. Phil show. Not that I think that Dr. Phil isn’t good at what he does per se, although I find his television presence fake and insincere. he just doesn’t belong on TV. None of that counseling stuff does. Showing five minutes of work with someone and then clapping and saying, “next!” is the equivalent of those religious healer shows. Don’t expect a miracle there, Joe who’s screwing all the women in the neighbourhood because you went on Dr. Phil, he tapped you on the shoulder and said that ya have to stop. It’s going to take a lot more than that.

I don’t think the vast majority of the Dr. Phil worshippers, and I do mean worshippers, realize that it doesn’t all happen in five minutes, and if it is made to appear that it does, it’s a fake. I would hope that Dr. Phil does spend time with these people for more than just a brief interview before the show, and actually works with them…then maybe there is a shred of realism. But still, a bit of talking before the show is not going to cure a life-long or few year’s-long problem.

Then I see the people who come to Dr. Phil. They all say similar things. “Oh Dr. Phil, put my family back together.” or, “Oh I hope Dr. Phil can open my son up, find what’s hurting him, and remove it.” This is not a fucking carpentry show, or a surgery! You guys are going to have to take an active part in this and Phil can’t, and won’t do all the work. Thank god he sets them straight about that. But I swear, they come to him as if he’s the saviour. It’s disgusting.

And finally, it pisses me off. I want to go into the profession of Counseling. He makes it seem like what they do is a walk in the park, so easy, so quick. Bing bang bong your patient’s cured, next please. I don’t think so! I mean, I don’t believe what the psychoanalaysts say, that any problem will require years of therapy, years and years once a week, but I certainly don’t think any problem is fixed in a day. Or a couple. Oh they may think it’s fixed, but there’s bound to be backslides, and Dr. Phil just doesn’t make that seem like it exists.

And then there’s all the worshipping. They seem to think Dr. Phil is the temple. “Dr. Phil says…” “Dr. Phil thinks…” “You’re in psychology, you should read the Dr. Phil books.” No I shouldn’t! Why? Cause he’s full of shit. AT best, he’s another psychologist. he! Is! not! God! I don’t know how people can stand listening to him condescend to them. If my counselor told me I was thinking wrong, I don’t think I could hear the rest of what he was saying. At that point I have been belittled, and it’s natural for the defenses to rise. It’s one thing to point out things, it’s another to tell me that I’m basically stupid. And how so many people can respond to that kind of condescension is beyond me. Do they need to be told what to do?

And then, there are the psychiatrists that show up on shows and get five minute segments to talk about some disorder they think society is developing. There was one that came on and said that people were getting stressed about how many choices they had to deal with and it was bad. He talked about types of people. The “satisficers” that just took the first thing that came along, and the “maximizers” who tried to make the best possible choice and were being ripped apart. Suddenly my mom was trying to decide what kind of person she was, and started talking about how maybe she was depressed because of too many choices. I snapped right there. It’s a load of crap, and I told her as much.

I’m not trying to mystify the mind. I just know that if there was a new disease, first of all, they wouldn’t say anything about it for a while until they could have multiple reports from multiple doctors, unles it was SARS, but even that they were careful about how much they said. Second, no doctor would say that people had this stuff without lots of caveats. It could be caused by this or that. Why should our minds be any simpler? It’s as if anything of the mind is reduced to some light entertainment material. It just trivializes the whole thing, and at the same time, turns a whole bunch of people into self-diagnosers. Hey, I’m all about letting people figure out what’s wrong, but these psychiatrists spew a few random facts, and then act like they’ve told the whole story, and people believe them!

Woe, I think this is the longest post ever. All I’m trying to say is between Dr. Phil and these pop psychiatrists who try to make it seem so simple, it makes the whole thing so trivial and does more damage than good!

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