Spotlight on Psychology – Dr Phil McGraw

Dr. Phil McGraw is a well known television personality. He has also gained a lot of fame as an author, a psychologist and also a dietician. Lets have a look at the life and career of Dr. Phil – one of the leading idols in the world of celebrity psychologists.

Phillip Calvin McGraw, also known as Dr. Phil, was born on September 1, 1950. Dr. Phil has gained popularity from his famous television show. He is an author, a psychologist as well as a dietitian who currently hosts the famous show ‘Dr. Phil’ on television. Many of us who are thinking of becoming a psychologist or establishing a career in psychology admire Dr. Phil as our idol. He is among the top psychologists who has made their way to the top. He was first able to gain celebrity status after appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show in the late 19th century. After that there has been no looking back for Dr. Phil. He has been regarded by various people as their role model.

There is no doubt that he has been covered with variety of controversies and criticism throughout his life but the respect that he had gained in the eyes of millions of people speaks for itself. He was just an ordinary man who was born in Vinita, Oklahoma. He has two older sisters and one younger sister.

Dr. Phil has graduated from the Midwestern State University after completing his bachelor’s degree with psychology as his major subject. He then studied further to earn a master’s degree in the experimental psychology in the year 1976 and also completed his PhD in the clinical psychology in year 1979 from the University of North Texas. In the University of North Texas, Dr. Phil wrote his thesis on the subject of Rheumatoid Arthritis. He also had his own construction business that he used to manage with the help of his brother-in-law.

After completing his internship in PhD, he joined his father and his elder brother and started practicing as a private psychologist.

In 1983, Dr. Phil and his father joined Thelma Box, a successful businesswoman from Texas in presenting the ‘Pathways’ seminars. These seminars are described as ‘an experience-based training which allows individuals to achieve and create their own results’. Their partnership ended when Dr. Phil apparently went behind their backs and sold off his stock in the seminar company without informing either his father or Ms. Box.

In the year 1989, The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists imposed disciplinary sanctions against Dr. Phil for conducting an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a female client, whom he had also employed in his office, contrary to the code of ethics prescribed by the licensing board. Dr. Phil was then asked to take an ethics class, clear a jurisprudence exam, complete a physical evaluation, undergo a psychological evaluation and have his practice supervised for one year so as to get his license back. However, Dr. Phil refused to comply and so he is not allowed to practice psychology anywhere.

In 1990, Dr. Phil joined up with the lawyer Gary Dobbs and founded Courtroom Sciences Inc. This is a trial consulting firm which went on to become quite a profitable enterprise. The company advises Fortune 500 companies and injured plaintiffs in different ways to go about obtaining a settlement.

In 1995, Dr. Phil’s company advised Oprah Winfrey to prepare for her Amarillo Texas Beef trial. Oprah was so impressed by his work, that she invited him on her show. His appearance became a huge success, and Dr. Phil became a regular weekly figure on Oprah. In 2002, Dr. Phil formed Peteski Productions and launched his own daily show titled ‘Dr. Phil’ where he tackles a variety of issues and gives advice.

In 2003, Dr. Phil entered the weight loss business – launching a variety of shakes, energy bars, and diet supplements to aid weight loss. However, this venture met with a lot of criticism and the company was also sued by several customers.

Dr. Phil’s show however, has its share of fans. This show has also led to several spin-off shows which only add to the glory of the original Dr. Phil show.

It is no doubt that Dr. Phil has had a very checkered career, but he continues to entertain and help people with his homely and well rounded advice on his show. Perhaps, that is why he still has such a fan following and why he is considered to be an idol by many.

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