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Old 05-01-2006, 07:01 AM   #23
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Location: Wausau, WI
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I think it's important to remember that the primary point of Dr. Phil's show is entertainment. Many therapists would consider what he is doing unethical, because the needs of the person cannot be taken into account in such a short time. But it's on the air, because the American public eats it up, and people are willing to expose themselves (more intimately than taking their clothes off) for the chance to be on television.

If the people really wanted help, they would have had an easier time finding it in their home communities than on the chance of getting on Dr. Phil.

As pointed out, some people need a kick in the pants, and others need a compassionate listener, in order to help them get their lives together. But it is a big assumption to think that Dr. Phil can determine what the person needs within a few minutes, or even hours of meeting them. Also, these people sign releases, so that Dr. Phil and the show are not held responsible for any negative consequences of the show. I'm not sure that people going on the show realize how exposing their lives on television will affect their lives. Can you imagine the reactions of friends and neighbors after seeing the show? The mail and phone calls the family will get because of their appearance? I understand they're willing participants, but what about their family members who didn't ask to be put in the spotlight, but nevertheless will be affected by it.

Although I do sometimes watch these shows too, it is kind of sick that we have such morbid curiosity about other people's lives.
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