Dr Phil

Dr. Phil Can Suck It

[note: this article is reprinted with permission from Dr. Palmatier exactly as it appears on her blog. The title, however, was subject to editorial license – :) – PE]

Oh, Dr Phil. . . From time to time, Shrink4Men community members email to let me know that they’ve sent links of my articles to the Dr Phil and Oprah shows because they believe the material here is important and should be seen by a wider audience. I thank them, but tell them not to be surprised if the topic of female perpetrated domestic violence and parental alienation continues to be ignored by these two talk show titans. Oprah is unlikely to ever go there, for obvious reasons, and Dr Phil. . . well, who knows what reasoning lurks behind that moustache.

Dr Phil describes the January 10, 2011 episode, Afraid of My Husband, as a case of he said-she said. The wife, Sonja, says her husband, Lawrence, is abusive while he says he’s just reacting to her abuse. Fair enough, most high-conflict domestic cases are one partner’s word against the other’s, which is why I encourage men and women in these situations to document, document, document. In the digital age, it needn’t be a case of he said-she said.

The show begins with a request for help from Lawrence’s sister, Krishina:

Dear Dr Phil,

I’m reaching out to you to appeal for your guidance, assistance and intervention. My brother and sister-in-law are in a marriage that is in unimaginable shambles.

Both of them are so angry about so many things.

They are immensely disrespectful to one another and allow their children to consistently hear their horrific exchange of words. I am beyond hope sometimes in thinking that this monstrous situation can ever be changed.

Please note, Krishina is describing bi-directional abuse; she describes bad behavior from bothparties. She denies knowing about any physical violence in the relationship. Dr Phil then plays some audio of the couple. Here’s the first thing the audience hears:

Sonja: I’m afraid of my husband. Lawrence isn’t the man I married. We fight all the time. Sonja: I’m afraid of my husband. Lawrence isn’t the man I married. We fight all the time.

Lawrence: Sonja can argue 24/7.

Sonja: My husband will always start the fight.

Lawrence: She’s very combative and she instigates a lot of fights. She’ll push my buttons.

Sonja: Lawrence calls me every name in the book. Idiot. Bitch, Fat ass. He’s yelled F— you to me in front of the kids. I’ve been called a c—. A f—ing c—.

Lawrence: Sonja’s called me a loser. A f—ing a–hole.

Sonja: Lawrence is violent. Lawrence has punched holes in our armoire, doors. He has broken skateboards.

Lawrence: Sonja’s broken two laptops, a big TV. She gets very violent. She’s hit me multiple times.

Sonja: When I’m violent towards Lawrence, I’m trying to protect myself and the children. I explode and I’m violent towards him.

Lawrence: I’m not violent. I’m just responding to what Sonja’s actually doing.

Sonja: When I was pregnant, he twisted my arm and forced me to the ground and I just sat there and I’m like, ‘Do you realize what you just did? You just threw me down and I have a child in my stomach,’ and no response. Nothing.

Lawrence: A total fabrication. I didn’t throw her down when she was pregnant. She gets in my face and pokes me. She’ll knock your head off. She’ll spit in my face. I’ve had to run away and lock myself in a closet just so I can get away from her.

Sonja: Once when we were at a hotel…

Lawrence: She grabbed a laptop and threw the laptop against the wall…

The two of them have different descriptions of the altercation that ensued. Sonja insists that Lawrence kicked her in the stomach and pushed her to the bed. Lawrence states that Sonja got in his face because she wanted his attention while he was on the computer. He tried to leave the room after she broke his laptop, but she blocked his egress and he pushed her to the bed in order to get away from her. The police report states that Sonja had red marks on her chest and that her shirt appeared “pulled and stretched” and that Lawrence had red marks on his chest as well and a cut upper lip.

Dr Phil questions Lawrence and he admits pushing Sonja was wrong and that kicking her would’ve been wrong, but maintains that he did not kick her. Dr Phil does not ask Sonja if it was wrong to throw the laptop against the wall. He does not call her on her behavior throughout the entire episode.

Dr Phil asks the couple to stand up and points out their size difference because, of course, someone who’s smaller in stature couldn’t possibly abuse someone who’s bigger despite ampleresearch that proves otherwise. Gotta love that reasoning—never mind the fact that Lawrence had a cut lip and that Sonja admits she instigated the altercation by destroying his property and blocking the doorway when he tried to exit.

Sonja accuses Lawrence of being a control freak and of “pestering [her] for sex.” She states sex with her husband feels like “a job” and that she thinks he “isn’t appreciative enough” when shedoes agree to have sex with him. She even claims that he raped her one night as she slept. Dr Phil does not challenge her on this. I’m a sound sleeper, but I’m pretty sure I’d wake up during the act unless I was passed out cold on sleeping meds. In other words, I don’t believe her rape claim. Lawrence denies this calmly and  matter of fact-ly as opposed to Sonja who becomes indignant on more than one occasion. An example of DARVO, perhaps?

Sonja admits to her abusive behaviors; Dr Phil says nothing.

If you don’t want to watch the entire episode, click and drag the YouTube embed below to 17:01 on the counter. Sonja openly admits that she has spit in her husband’s face, kicked a hole through their big screen TV (she smirks and suppresses a laugh when Dr Phil mentions this particular incident), has broken Lawrence’s laptop computer not once, but twice and that she gets in his face to make him listen, so much so that Lawrence has shut himself in a closet with his feet bracing the door to get away from her.

Sonja admits to hitting, kicking and punching her husband in the chest, arms and stomach. She claims she is violent towards Lawrence because he is violent towards their children and still Dr Phil says nothing. Yeah, because you teach children that violence is wrong by engaging in more violence. It wobbles the mind.

Question: If you were living in fear of your partner, would you strike him, spit in his face, get in his face, chase him into closets and break his property or would you be tiptoeing around him so as not to set him off? Something doesn’t add up here. When I’m afraid of someone, I try not to provoke or deliberately antagonize the person, but that’s just me. How about you?

The couples’ son holds both of his parents accountable; Dr Phil says nothing.

Lawrence describes how Sonja undermines his parenting. When he tries to set limits with the kids, she tells the kids they don’t have to listen to their father. Essentially, Lawrence is frustrated by his wife continuously undermining his parenting and he expresses his frustration by being hard on and physically rough with the kids. For example, he tells his son to leave the kitchen because he’s not doing his homework after being asked several times to do so. Lawrence becomes frustrated and physically propels his son out of his chair by his shoulder.

Lawrence says he feels bad about this and owns that his behavior is wrong. Sonja is never asked if it’s wrong for her to undermine her husband when he tries to set reasonable limits and consequences for the kids. Given Sonja’s behavior toward Lawrence, I’d be willing to bet she behaves in a similar fashion towards the kids when they don’t listen to her, that is, if they dare to disobey her. Dr Phil never asks these questions, however.

Go to 22:29 to hear the couple’s son describe what goes on at home. Notice the boy attributes abusive behaviors to both parents equally, states he wishes his parents wouldn’t put him in the middle and that his mom talks to him a lot about why she and his father fight. This is most likely an indication that Sonja is parentifying her son and possibly attempting parental alienation—at least their son’s words raise these potential red flags for me. Dr Phil doesn’t explore this, however.

Dr Phil tells the couple the potential consequences of exposing their children to their ongoing conflict and violence.

At 24:50, Dr Phil lists the possible consequences of exposing kids to abuse and violence. He makes some good points until he says the following: “These kids will be aggressive in their relationships. The girls will be aggressed against and he is likely to become an aggressor.” Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, Dr Phil, just you stop right there.

It’s a coin toss as to which child will become the aggressor and which ones will become the aggressed. The boy has seen his mother attack his father and his father defend himself against his mother. The girls have seen their mother physically assault their father. Why is the boy destined to become the aggressor and why are the girls destined to become the victims? Utter poppycock.

Granted, I think it’s a given that these kids are going to be screwed up for years to come because both of their parents are dysfunctional and engaging in a mutually abusive relationship, but Dr Phil’s prediction is biased. I think there’s a very strong likelihood the daughters will grow up to be aggressors who play the role of professional victim. Way to perpetuate a false stereotype that’s paints all men as potential abusers, Dr Phil.

Dr Phil tells the husband his behavior is abuse and, in the same breath, describes the wife’s violent behavior and provocations as a “relationship issue.”

Dr Phil, in no uncertain terms (26:03), calls Lawrence out for his abusive behavior, which I believe is largely a dysfunctional coping mechanism he employs when confronted with his wife’s own highly aggressive, confrontational, abusive and violent behavior. Then, in what I can only describe as one of my biggest “WTF, Dr Phil?!” moments ever, he minimizes and justifies Sonja’s reprehensible behavior as a relationship issue:

Now I didn’t put labels on this before. I just wanted to get the facts out [*the couple gave contradicting stories, but remember, Sonja admitted being physically violent on numerous occasions, so much so that Lawrence has hidden from her]. Let me put some labels on this now. [To Lawrence]: What you’re doing is abuse. It is domestic violence. It is physical abuse. Mentally, emotionally and physically, it is abuse. Just what you have admitted to is abuse. There is no question about it.

And you say, ‘Well, what about all of what she does?’ That’s a relationship issue. When we’re talkin’ here, we have abuse issues and then we have relationship issues. You say, ‘Well, why can she do it and it’s okay, but I can’t and it’s abuse? She does it—no problem. I do it and I’m an abuser. It doesn’t seem right.’ There is an imbalance of power here. You are bigger. You are stronger. [To Sonja]: What you’re doing, you should not be doing. That’s a relationship issue.

Wrong, Dr PhilSonja’s behavior is domestic violence, too. It is equally abusive and just as wrong. It doesn’t matter that she’s physically smaller than Lawrence.

Dr Phil then tries to put words in Lawrence’s sister’s mouth, Krishina, by saying, “Isn’t it true you’re afraid of your brother?” (27:33). She corrects him and Dr Phil is condescending toward her, which seems fitting, if not ironic, since the topics are power imbalances and abuse. Check out the look on Sonja’s face when Krishina describes both partners as “bullish.” Priceless. Dr Phil continues to beat the “power imbalance” drum by citing their difference in physique again. Um, that’s not a power imbalance, Dr Phil; it’s a body size difference. It’s not the same thing.

There is a struggle for power in Sonja’s and Lawrence’s relationship, but it’s not what Dr Phil thinks.

Sonja seems to want absolute control of her husband and the relationship. She uses verbal and physical violence and the kids to try to exert her power over her husband. Lawrence doesn’t want to be controlled and seems to fight back in unhealthy ways and, yet, Lawrence is portrayed as the abusive villain in this situation.

I think it’s healthy for a person to push back against behavior like Sonja’s. If she got in my face the way she does to Lawrence, I’d tell her to back off and knock it off. So, if I, as a woman, said, “Back off!” and shoved Sonja in retaliation to her shoving me, would it be abuse because we’re both women or would it be a “relationship issue” because we’re both women? Would I be the abuser if I’m a couple of inches taller than Sonja? What if she’s taller and heavier than me? How would Dr Phil define that?

Dr Phil tries to explain the difference between abuse issues and “relationship issues”(28:37):

Lawrence needs some help and Sonja needs some help. We are at two different levels here. Because of the imbalance of power, what a man does in a relationship to impose his will can be an abuse of power and control. What a woman does in a relationship is a relationship issue. It is not an abuse issue here.

[To Sonja]: You may be too controlling. You may be one of those people who likes to get in somebody’s face and get it to a point that may not be the best problem-solving skills that you could use. And I want to give you some different coping skills. [To Lawrence]: But she does not have the ability to isolate you and exercise power and control over you. And you do have that ability with her. Do you get the distinction? [Lawrence tries to respond, but Dr Phil talks over him.] We have to hold ourselves to a different standard, Lawrence. Do you agree or disagree, Lawrence?

In the above statement, Dr Phil unequivocally states there is a different set of rules for men and women when it comes to abuse. Dr Phil appears to believe that it’s not abuse when a woman tries to impose her will through physical force and verbal abuse, but it is when a man does the same exact thing. It wouldn’t be surprising if the average home viewer interpreted Dr Phil’s postion to mean that it’s acceptable for women to be violent and emotionally abusive toward men, that men cannot be the targets of abuse because they’re men and, therefore, physically stronger and that women cannot be guilty of abuse even when they admit to physically assaulting a man. The most Dr Phil seems willing to acknowledge is that Sonja’s behavior is inappropriate, which is a gross understatement and just plain wrong.

Lawrence tries to answer Dr Phil’s rhetorical question (29:35):

I do agree to a certain extent, but I think what happens is I tend to back down. Maybe I’m not going about it the right way, being the father figure in the house, but in reality, I find myself running away from Sonja 99% of the time. Running to the car, sleeping in the car, you know, just trying to get away from the arguments.

Sonja interjects:

The car is actually his tool to isolate me. He takes the car numerous times and leaves me with nothing.

No, Sonja. The car is where Lawrence goes to escape from you. If he were using the car to isolate you, he would lock you in it and throw away the key.

Dr Phil and Sonja then reveal that Lawrence has a gambling problem (scratch tickets and online poker). Lawrence admits that he has a problem, says he uses gambling as an escape from Sonja and as a cry for help that he wants her to hear. This is duly ignored by both Dr Phil and Sonja, lest we forget who the one and only victim is here.

Sue Else, President of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, chimes in.

In the next segment (32:21), Dr Phil brings on Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. She rattles off a list of Lawrence’s alleged abusive behaviors (remember, Lawrence flatly denies Sonja’s rape allegation and many of her other claims), observes that his violent behavior is escalating and becoming more severe and that it makes Sue fearful.

Ms Else then trots out the old chestnut, “Love does not equal fear.” Ms Else ignores the fact that Lawrence stated, more than once, that he is afraid of his wife and has hidden from her, which Sonja herself confirmed as true. Ms Else does not address this inconvenient fact nor does she address Sonja’s own other admitted extremely violent and abusive behavior. Else’s fear is exclusively for Sonja and herself.

Dr Phil jumps in (33:22) to remind us that, while Sonja’s behavior is “inappropriate,” it’s still just a relationship issue; not abuse:

[To Lawrence]: What’s happening with you is different because of the imbalance of power and I’m trying to convince you of that, but I’m getting nowhere. I can see that I’m getting nowhere. This situation needs a hero and you’re the best candidate here. I’m just trying to tell you, just man-to-man, that what you’re doing is not right.

Lawrence: I do need need a lot of help. That’s why I’m here.

Dr Phil: Are you acknowledging anything I’m saying? I mean you blame this on her. You even say your daughter is smart and knows how to push your button, but it can’t ber fault. It can’t be your son’s fault. It can’t be your wife’s fault. The only person you control is you. And you have power that you have to manage in a relationship. And if you abuse the power, you abuse the relationship and everybody in it. That’s what I’m trying to tell you, you have to be better.

[Lawrence asks Dr Phil what he needs to do.] You have to be willing to say, ‘I will never put my hands on my wife or children in anger again ever no matter what. That’s where you start, right there. You just don’t ever. Just say, ‘I will not accept that from myself, character-wise. I am a better man than that. I will not do that.’ [To Sonja]: Do you get that? And you should not settle for that for yourself or for your children. [Lawrence should not accept or tolerate that from Sonja either, but Dr Phil is selectively mute on this counterpoint.]

Dr Phil perpetuates a dangerous double-standard.

Dr Phil states that abuse in a relationship is an absolute deal-breaker (35:44). I agree. However, Sonja’s behavior is also abuse. It is not a relationship issue—whatever that is, although, from what I can tell, it appears to be double-speak for “abuse” when the woman is the perpetrator. He tells Lawrence he needs to be the “hero” by  deciding if “[he] wants to be happy or if [he] wants to be right” and that [he] needs to “rise above it.” Essentially, Dr Phil is advocating that Lawrence tolerate and not react to Sonja’s abuse. He advises Lawrence to not only accept her abuse, but to accept it unquestioningly and unflinchingly.

Now, imagine Dr Phil giving the same prescription to Sonja. It’s unthinkable and it’s unconscionable that he basically tells Lawrence it’s his job, his responsibility, to rise above Sonja’s abuse and take it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s Lawrence’s job to set healthy boundaries with Sonja for both himself and his children. If she continues to abuse him and drag the children into it, he needs to rise above it by removing himself and his children from an unhealthy situation instead of sinking into a mutual race to the bottom.

*Please note: Lawrence asks for help and guidance several times throughout the episode. He admits his behavior is wrong. Sonja never really admits her behavior is wrong. She says she wants help. What she really wants is help “fixing” Lawrence because, naturally, her “relationship” issues are Lawrence’s fault. She doesn’t need to change anything about her behavior.

Dr Phil enables Sonja’s scapegoating of Lawrence by telling her that she just needs some better “problem-solving skills” and “coping mechanisms.” It’s okay for her to blame Lawrence for her bad behavior, but not the other way around. Furthermore, while Lawrence states that Sonja provokes him and that he allows her to push his buttons, he acknowledges that it’s wrong when he responds physically. Sonja just makes excuses for her behavior and takes no responsibility for her own actions and Dr Phil enables her. The twisting of reality and propaganda that Dr Phil perpetrates in this 42-minute episode is staggering.

What Dr Phil should have said.

Abuse is wrong. Initiating abuse is wrong and responding to abuse with more abuse is wrong. You both have issues.

Sonja, you’re no innocent victim. I don’t care if Lawrence isn’t giving you his undivided attention or obeying all of your commands. You have no right to lay your hands on him in violence nor do you have the right to destroy his property.

Quit putting your kids in the middle. Quit undermining Lawrence’s mutual authority as a parent and take responsibility for your own abusive behavior. Just because Lawrence married you does not mean you own him or have the right to control him. That is an unreasonable expectation.

Lawrence, you may need to accept the fact that your wife has control issues and she may not be able to change. She won’t even admit she has a problem, which is the first step in the change process. You have a right to be an autonomous being. You have a right to equal input on how your children are raised. You have a right to respect, love and affection. You may need to realize that your wife just wants a submissive lackey even as she grows to resent you for being a submissive lackey.

You also have a right to defend yourself, but let’s face it, as a man, if you defend yourself from physical attacks by a woman, even to just push her away so you can escape, you might get arrested. Therefore, continuing to live with a violent woman increases your risk of being incarcerated, whether you retaliate with force or not.

Don’t take your frustation with your wife out on your kids. One of the parents needs to be a grown-up and act responsibly and, given Sonja’s apparent inability to do so, you’re going to have to be the grown-up. You may need to get a good divorce attorney who understands high-conflict cases and sign those divorce papers your wife uses to control you by playing on your fear of abandonment or some unfounded sense of obligation or commitment.

Jan Brown, founder of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women, posted an article about this Dr Phil episode on the DAHM Blog that includes responses from Dr Phil’s fans on his own forum, many of which express their disappointment in the way he dealt with this couple.

Lawrence, if you’re reading this, your wife’s behavior is also abuse and you deserve help and support; not one-sided condemnation. You ARE better than that and you do need to hold yourself to a higher standard because, clearly, no one is going to hold your wife to a higher standard and your kids need at least one healthy, functioning parent.

About Dr. Tara J. Palmatier

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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  • UncleRay

    Hopefully one day someone who is also a doctor will go on “Doctor” Phil’s show and publicly humiliate him by calling him out on his bullshit on national television, because if anyone else does he’ll just say “Well I’m a doctor and you’re not.” Dr. Tara should be the one.

    • scatmaster

      Not going to happen. The eunuch doesn’t have the balls to debate Dr. Tara. Oops redundant.

  • Kevin New York

    Dr. Phil needs to read this article, reflect on what he has said and done, recognize his bias, and go on the air and admit he blew it.

    • http://gynotheory.blogspot.com Adam Kostakis

      Except, his target audience is narcissistic and BPD women, so he wouldn’t do anything to alienate them.

      • Dusty

        Beautiful! Dead on!

    • Nancy

      yes, and then do 20 shows on female abusers to bring some balance to the 100 shows he has done that excuse those same female abusers.

  • Stu

    If someone who is a doctor goes on Dr Phil’s show and calls him out, the show won’t air.

    It does’t matter if Dr Phil reads this article or not. It won’t change anything. Dr Phil gets his money by sucking up to women. Who do you think his viewers are.

    Also, Dr Phils show is an offshoot of Oprah. He’s her bitch. He will grow richer and more powerful the more he supports misandry and that is exactly why he does. There is absolutely no down side to supporting misandry and he gains a lot of viewers by it. On the other hand, if he was to start being fair minded and treating men and women equally, his ratings would plumet and he would be the object of a feminist hate campaign instantly.

    Women don’t flock to watch his show to see fairness. They watch to have their own bigoted world view validated by a man, who is a professional shrink. As soon as he stops doing that, he’s toast. And the girls just find someone else.

    His wife would probably dump him also, and clean him out. Probably write a book telling of the horrors and nighmare of living with an abusive rapist and how he had her under complete control and she couldn’t escape.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for any prominent career manginas to change their tune.

    • Labella52_110

      “His wife would probably dump him… Probably write a book telling of the horrors and nighmare of living with an abusive rapist and how he had her under complete control and she couldn’t escape.”

      If she accused him of abuse, her every word would be taken as fact.

  • Stu

    Dr Phil is not merely extracting benefits from the radical feminist world view, he is actually breeding women that support that view.

    While a man is at work and his stay at home wife sits around all day watching Oprah and Dr Phil who all tell her that she is victim and you are her oppressor, that is how she will see it in the end.

    Dr Phil is a doctor, who actually promotes and encourages mental illness as a way of life.

  • http://www.versifier59.wordpress.com Capt. DaPoet

    Dr Phil is just your above average intellectually retarded ball less wonder who won’t lift a finger to defend one of his male brothers being abused by his wife but is quite willing to stomp his fellow brother if he dares to defend himself from his wife’s abuse. Lets be clear the only thing that makes dr phil above average is the dr before his name other wise he is just average as they come.

    • Quartermain

      Dr. Phil is no better than Jerry Springer.

  • AntZ

    Dr. Phil?!??!?

    Are you serious?

    You are surprised to observe sexism in the trivial banalities uttered by that bigoted lightweight?

    • http://avoiceformen.com Paul Elam

      Not surprised. Documenting.

  • John A

    That made me so ANGRY.

    Now I have calmed down, I’ve got to say it is pure gold. The DV industry has admitted how it operates. Now if someones denies reciprocal IPV, show them Dr Phil. The fact that Dr. Phil and Sue Else deny the DV by the woman not only strengthens our case, it destroys their credibility.

    This show is definitely an ‘own goal’ by the DV industry.

    • http://avoiceformen.com Paul Elam

      Ayup, and precisely why Dr. T’s piece is valuable to us.

  • Carlos

    This is beautiful.

    Thank you Dr. Palmatier for such a detailed analysis of this show.

    It is a superb illustration of the sexist way that domestic violence is framed by both the media and the domestic violence industry.

    The only thing missing from making this entire episode and analysis a perfect trifecta of media, industry and government would have been for “Dr” Phil to have a District Attorney on hand to announce that he was filing criminal charges and issuing a protection order against the husband at the end of the show.

  • rebtus

    I did see the show and Dr.Vagina Phil’s double standard was appalling.
    The picture at the top shows Omniscient Oprah shaving Phil’s mustache. One good deed deserves another.
    Vagina Phil should give a bikini shave to Oprah.

    • http://www.shrink4men.com Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      I saw the Oprah shaving Dr Phil photo as a depiction of symbolic ritual castration.

      What I found amazing as I wrote and did the transcript of this article is that this episode is basically a public indoctrination session of a man to the DV Industry agenda. I knew it was just ignorance the first time I watched it. However, it wasn’t until I listened to it more closely the second time and typed out the excerpts that I realized the degree of propaganda and indoctrination. They were going to get that man to submit, accept all the blame and say that he deserved to be abused by his wife. (Hi, Paul).

      • http://huntingforarchetypes.blogspot.com Factory

        Problem is, it’s so over-the-top it would barely have to be exaggerated to become a Saturday Night Live skit…

        Shit…I just got an idea.

        I wonder if Paul would like comedy stuff for his radio show…?

        • http://avoiceformen.com Paul Elam

          Moi? He he heeeee…

          • Adam

            You could definitely do more than a passing imitation of this schadenfreude doktor’s accent – you have the misfortune of sharing the rich Texan accent after all.

      • Nancy

        Thanks so much for this article. It is a clear representation of the lies that are told so often. By going through it like you did it makes the bigotry stand out in bold letters. I will be sending this link to every therapist I know. They need to see the hateful underbelly of the DV industry beast that is eating men and protecting the faults and pathologies of women. It is hard to believe that people are so bigoted and blind.

  • AntZ

    Between them, Oprah and “Dr.” Phil might add up to one head’s worth of hair and one head’s worth of brains.


  • scatmaster

    I read this on Dr. Palmatier’s site and it made me sick to my stomach.
    I have seen and read alot but this is one of the most disgusting things I have ever witnessed. Words escape.

  • B.R. Merrick

    Dr Phil unequivocally states there is a different set of rules for men and women when it comes to abuse.

    Well, at least one feminist expert has finally admitted that men and women are not equal.

  • keith

    I think this is less about DV and more about collecting evidence for child custody and divorce. I would venture to guess that neither participants signed a waiver not to use this material in court. All that “Phil” did was a slam dunk for the wife.

    In viewing the body language accompanied by the statements the husband felt he was incriminating himself that he also had the ability to assess his own behavior and was extremely uncomfortable with the exchange throughout. The wife on the other hand was very confident even with her “fears”. The power balance was skewed.

    I personally find that these power struggles are often based in implied and unexpressed expectations. Arguments become symptoms of unfulfilled expectations.

  • Promoman

    The thing about Dr. Phil is that it’s a wonder that people are only now questioning him. He fronts like he’s no nonsense but he panders and enables like few manginas can. He’s also inconsistent in non-abuse shows too. I can recall watching a two-parter he did regarding infidelity a few years ago where a wife was not just fucking around on the husband, she was bringing the other guy home and fucking him with the kids in the house! Phil started out getting on her case but then tried to blame the husband for being a cuckold while working his ass off with the old “not meeting needs” line.

  • keith

    The most telling point in this whole video occurs @ 23:00

    “Both my parents put me in the middle”

    “My mom talks to me about why they fight”

    Having one parent giving a play by play to children privately is I believe the worst kind of DV. It becomes an invisible coersion that can never be addressed and can lead to permanent alienation.

    It was something that “Phil” didn’t address at all and can result in irreparable damage to a family. Particularly to a father daughter bond.

    • http://www.shrink4men.com Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      I agree. I believe it is a red flag that emotional parentification of the child is probably taking place as well as parental alienation. Then again, I believe Dr Phil did a show in November about why PAS is bogus or was it just a relationship issue. Can’t remember. I didn’t see it. A client told me about it.

      • keith

        My last partner would often refer to her father maliciously, after awhile I noticed she was speaking in the first person and characterizing examples that could only take place in an intimate relationship. I couldn’t figure out whether there was physical incest between father and daughter or psychic incest between mother and daughter. What you call parentification I believe is really psychic incest. It wasn’t very long before the malice spilled on to me. I’m pretty sure her mother was in the background pushing buttons that she installed in her own daughter. Very surreal. In the video above the rebelliousness of the son to his father may well result from an underlying relational incestuous competition with his father. The son is destined to lose and acquire tremendous damage along the way. First he will defeat his father when his mother divorces, then he will lose his mother to his mothers new partner. That kid will be acting out in all kinds of ways to gain the same control his father never had.

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  • Stu

    The thing is that Dr Phil is encouraging women to be bigger and bigger bitches. He’s also encouraging men to be manginas because all the women that sit at home watching soaps and reality TV all day just love him. They think he’s the bees knees. Only a Y c hromosome beneath Oprah is Status. So there is a great deal of insentive for men, weak pathetic men, to emulate his level of manginerism to also be loved.

    Dr Phil often comes across like a big brave man. But I’d bet my balls in a one on one confrontation with practically any guy he’s had on his show and run down, he’d be a gutless prick, that’s if he even supports any of his own bullshit in private at all. I often think that some of his guests are just paid, playing parts. Think about it, would you as a guy go on his show when you see what happens to every man who trys to bang heads with a woman on his show. Why would you, no amount of being right, or facts is going to change the attitude and outcome of the king of manginas and his audience.

    • http://huntingforarchetypes.blogspot.com Factory

      I would give my right arm for five minutes of live air with Dr Phil.

      That pompous motherfucker would be crying in his perfectly groomed pussy…er, mustache….by minute three. That fucking White Knight is the perfect example of selling out your morals, fellow man, and anything else you can find for a shot at power with the females.

      AND, to top it all off, he’s a total fucking moron that reflexively spews platitudes rather than exercise the fat inside that huge dome of a head. He could be replaced by a Marketing Department somewhere and no one would ever notice.

  • Stu

    I like that scarie movie send up of Saw. He was in that. To bad he didn’t wind up in that machine that twists each limb in turn until it’s done about three full turns, saving the neck until last. That would have been really entertaining

  • Jabberwocky

    I believe we should possibly start harassing the talking heads of TV land with links, emails, letters, and phone calls pushing our message. We should maybe sit one day a month a side to post addresses and contact info on those we feel might be most useful to confront. It won’t pay off in obvious ways, but we have achieved a certain level, a certain size, that makes it ridiculous that we are still being completely ignored by mass media corporations. By getting in their face, we are planting seeds in their mind. By doing so, we increase the chance that they take a closer look at our movement, if not that day, perhaps one day sooner than it would have been otherwise. Bang your shields. I want them to know we’re coming. I want them to consider it inevitable. Let perception drive reality drive perception drive reality. Just spit balling, and nothing that hasn’t been said before really.

  • archmage_lo

    Is there anything we can do about this? Licensing wise. It seems to me that he is peddling a very dangerous violence propaganda. Shouldn’t Psychiatrists and Psychologists be held accountable for basically telling people it’s okay to commit violence? Can’t he be disbarred or something?

  • John A

    “What a piece of shit is man” – never good enough.

    That marriage resembles my 22 years of marital dysfunction. Not a carbon copy mind you, my wife never managed to be quite the bitch that is Sonja. I never hit or pushed her and we never went on Dr. Phil.

    Let me explain Lawrence’s problem: he is not good enough for Sonja. That’s what it all revolves around, it’s not about control at all. If he was good enough, Sonja would ease up.

    Actually, he has another problem: he thinks Sonja can and will help him to be a better man. Big mistake. Getting a wife like her to help you improve only proves to her that you are useless. What sort of man needs a woman to support him? Poor Sonja.

    Now he has another problem: Dr. Phil has told him to listen to Sonja. Dr. Phil has told them he is useless. Now he is truly fucked. She is only trying to control him because he is too bloody useless to be trusted to get it right himself. Now St. Sonja has been anointed with divine charter to control his every move. How successful can he be, now he is a hand-puppet for the bitch from hell?

    Dr. Phil should have said something like: Lawrence, everything you were told about women is wrong. If you choose to stay in the marriage rule #1 is: harden the fuck up. That’s the number one thing she wants, she doesn’t care less how you feel inside, she wants to see a rock on the outside. Rule #2 is don’t hit her, push her or use excessive force. This is not because she doesn’t deserve it, rather, because it won’t help you. Rule #3 never yell at her or the kids, if you raise your voice be calm and authoritative. You are the man. Rule #4 set the agenda, keep records. Correct her in a calm authoritative manner. Don’t get flustered or sucked into her emotional bullshit. Rule #5 do things for yourself, do things with your kids that you want to do. Rule #6 improve yourself, not for her, but for you and the kids. You are worth it. Rule #7 don’t do this to appease her, do it for yourself that will be enough to please her. Rule #8 control your gambling and alcohol, but this will follow from getting you life in line.

    Remember you are a big attractive man, that is why she didn’t dump you. If things don’t work out with her you will have no trouble finding another, but if you don’t change it will end badly again.

    Just my thoughts, of course I could be completely wrong here 😉 It sort of worked for me.

  • rebtus


    January 26th, 2011 – 04:34
    The thing about Dr. Phil is that it’s a wonder that people are only now questioning him. He fronts like he’s no nonsense but he panders and enables like few manginas can.

    Until AVFM printed Dr. Tara Palmatier’s authoritative article about Dr. Phil’s double standard, there was no forum where to express criticism. I tried on MND and got one reply that I must be unemployed or work odd shift to be able to watch his show.

    Also, there were constant remainder that comment must be consistent with the thread. Marc Rudow told me to get my own block if I didn’t stay with his topic.

    So while your observation is valid, what were the options for ordinary people who disagreed with Dr. Phil, until Dr. Tara Palmatier came along?

    • John A

      Dr. Phil has a forum that i found on Google. Not too many agreed with him.

    • Promoman

      Good points. I’ve been seeing that just that now, outside of the 1% minded rational people & comedians, Dr. Phil gets put on blast for his rationale, albeit in a neutered scenario in the mainstream. Even then, he usually only gets clowned on his credentials and very little on his inconsistency. I think another factor is a major con with the self-help movement. It’s valid in the sense that people have more power than they think over their lives, but no one has complete control. Circumstances and other people do have sway. Self-help neglects this, doesn’t address it, and projects blame for the incongruency on the individual, who may or may not be responsible for the issue(s) at hand in the first place.

  • Lovekraft

    ‘Dr Phil’ emerged on the scene as a straight-talking, no-nonsense Southener who called it like he saw it. Sort of an antidote to the metrosexual pansies.

    Now that he has shown his true colours, it is obvious why he was allowed a soapbox in the first place: to show a victory of the Oprah and her minions over a bastion of maleness. Another notch in her massive belt.

  • Bizzman662

    Nobody is mad about this either:

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – A former Massachusetts school teacher who ran off with a male student and pleaded guilty to statutory rape charges was given probation Wednesday by a judge who said he does not see her as a sexual predator.

    Lisa Lavoie, a former teacher at a Holyoke elementary school, was charged in 2009 after she and a 15-year-old boy were reported missing and found a week later in a motel in Morgantown, W.Va. The 25-year-old Lavoie pleaded guilty last month to three counts of statutory rape and one count of enticement of a child under the age of 16.

    Prosecutors asked Judge Cornelius Moriarty to sentence Lavoie to three to five years in state prison.

    But Moriarty, saying he does not think Lavoie will reoffend, spared her jail time and sentenced her instead to five years of probation.

    I wonder how that would have turned out if the “teacher” was a man?

    I guess that’s the EQUALITY those Feminist HAGS have been fighting for.

    • Nunya Bidness

      If it was a man, they would have charged him with felony kidnapping. He would have done 7+ years and had to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

    • Grant

      Is this the same moriarty who is the villain in the sherlock holmes stories?

  • mideonphish

    F***ing disgraceful! This really makes my blood boil.

    As long as nutless-less ball sacks like this so called “Dr. Phill” continue to be
    given free reign on the television, they’ll just keep perpetuating these vile
    acts and disgusting stereotypes.

    This my friends is exactly the kind of thing that made me stop watching
    television almost completely for the last 5 years.
    This shows can stick their feminist garbage where the sun don’t even
    think about shining.

    I have always refused to legitimize such trash by wasting my time watching it.

    Dr. Phill do yourself a favour if you are reading this,
    Get your folically challenged ass the hell off the T.V. and into therapy buddy.

  • artensoll

    I would very much like to see ‘Dr Paul’ go up against Dr Phil. In fact, I would PAY to see that.

  • rebtus

    Nobody is mad about this either.
    What do you think would have happened to Joe-Six-Pack in similar situations. Link;
    http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/state/maryland-state-panel-orders-judge-to-take-daily-breath-tests/article_180c9452-28bd-11e0-bde6-001cc4c002e0.html Quote

    HAGERSTOWN – A judge in Hagerstown says he accepts a state board’s requirement that he take daily breathalyzer tests before court.

    Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III said Tuesday that the conditions imposed by the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities in a private reprimand are “totally appropriate.”

    Boone also must attend at least five Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week and abstain from drinking.”

  • Elderswami

    This is going to be ammo for us to use once the MM gains power

  • rebtus

    @ Lovecraft

    January 26th, 2011 – 20:10
    ‘Dr Phil’ emerged on the scene as a straight-talking, no-nonsense Southener who called it like he saw it. ”

    That’s what impressed me initially also. But eventually he morphed into male opera Oprah (she had her name was due to the issue none knew how to spell Opera)

    Paul Elam long ago wrote a story about Paul being from Texan like Phil and how this dog don’t hunt.

  • John P

    Dr. Phil is a national health risk. That he actually framed what the woman was doing as a “relationship issue” and what the husband was doing as “abuse” is an unspeakable crime of ignorance. Blatantly condoning abuse towards men as a “relationship issue” should land him in a court of law for demonstrating flagrant stupidity.

  • Girl Stardust

    I’m female and am from a home where both of my parents abused one another. My mother always started the fights, pushing my dad’s buttons, and then if he pushed her or slapped her, she would respond by hitting him. I agree that it is definitely abuse by both parties. I found this site while looking for articles about what a carnival huckster Dr. Phil is. Like I said, I’m female and I never could stand him. He sensationalizes people’s problems and pain, trotting them out before his audience like a gladiatorial event, for his own aggrandizement and profit.

    • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

      For a man with his masculine appearance, he sure passes as a victim feminist woman with his irrational absurdities.

      He is a great customer, however.

      He betrays his own sex. No real man could do such a stupid thing.

  • ali

    First time I watched Dr. Phil it took me 5 minutes to change the channel and decide never to watch again. Same goes for Oprah. Although in this misandric culture a little bit later I learned I shouldn’t watch TV at all.
    I can’t believe after all these comments I am the first one to say:
    Fuck You Dr. Phil you cunty face piece of shit.

    • MrSonicAdvance

      Stopping watching broadcast TV was one of the easiest life-enhancing things I’ve done.

  • ali

    P.S. he (don’t like typing his name) is a bit taller than me. I guess if I beat the shit out of him that would be a relationship issue.

    • Mr. E

      Dunno, but it is for certain that you would get shit on your shoes.

  • John wilson

    I can tell you from first hand experience that women can be very abusive. I was married to one and it was so stressful and frightening.She became so controlling , verbally abusive and physically abusive that i had to fly to a different state and start a new life.She then called all my friends and family and told them I had left her with nothing and that i was the abuser.I left with only the money i had been stashing away for my escape and left her with our half million dollar condo and thousands of dollars in the bank.I feared for my life and knew I had better leave.

    The sad thing is my mother and several of my friends believed her and even sent her money that she did not need.She is such a good manipulator that my own mother took her side and broke my heart. I have not spoke to my mother since.

    Dr. Phil may be a doctor but he has never been in my shoes and does not understand that there are some very abusive women out there and they are not always the victim !

  • Guest

    Video appears to be down does anyone have a working link ?

  • Whothehell Cares

    Dr Phil …. for any occasion that you need an expert opinion pulled out of an experts arse.

  • scanspeak

    Dr Phil is a media whore and a female-violence apologist.

  • Nunya Bidness

    Look into Dr. Phil’s history. Prior to becoming Mr. Feminist Talk Show Host, he worked as a professional jury picker and was VERY successful in that line of work. He knows how to read people, to predict how they will react to different situations and frame an argument to exploit that.

    This is how Oprah met Dr. Phil. She had a court case and hired him to consult on the jury selection. After doing so successfully, she prepped him for a talk show.

    Don’t for one second be fooled by that, “Aw shucks, well, ya see how,” crap he spews. That man is a savvy operator who knows how to take something that is so obviously one way (domestic violence is, more often than not, a two way street) and twist it into something much different to satisfy and indoctrinate his audience.

    • T Skeelz

      Him and his staff attempted to manipulate my girlfriend’s sister years ago. She was going on to talk about Munchhausen Syndrome, and Phil kept trying to steer her away from the awareness message, towards a sensationalist angle of the story (I know surprise, surprise). My girlfriend’s sister stood her ground on why she went to do the show (to bring awareness). She says that he and his staff became increasingly ruder and pushier as it went on. The end result was them basically pulling the plug and sending her back home.

      I know Phil has a Ph.D but, obviously the Hippocratic Oath means absolutely nothing to him.

      • Mr. E

        “the Hippocratic Oath means absolutely nothing to him.”

        Because he’s a Hypocritical Oaf.

  • Chris

    This is why I almost never bother with the Marxstream media anymore, nothing but presstitutes and war whores on the news. Mainstream media is dying, viewership heading downward all the time, reduced to establishment propaganda.

    • Jack Strawb


      That’s a new one on me, especially given how media is wholly owned by large corporations. Did Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS and Netflix become Marxist when we weren’t looking?

  • feeriker

    Dr Phil continues to beat the “power imbalance” drum by citing their difference in physique again. Um, that’s not a power imbalance, Dr Phil; it’s a body size difference. It’s not the same thing.

    I just thought of a simple and surefire way to disabuse Dr. Phil (or any other manginal apologist of that ilk) of this ridiculous notion. I would introduce him to my 11-year-old grandson who is less than half Dr. Phil’s height and weight, but who also happens to be a TaeKwanDo brown belt. A quick pelvis-cracking kick to the nuts, followed by a disabling “hammer fist” to the forearm, all from a “little boy,” will have the good doctor establishing a whole new outlook on this subject in very short order.

  • http://batman-news.com MGTOW-man

    One of the most revealing things about indoctrinated Phil is when he had his “man farm” shows. He thinks it is fine and manly to teach men how to behave as women need (want), but he not dare have a woman farm to teach women about things most men find great.

    He is about the best poster child for male obedient oblivion puppet as one can find. Apparently his wife has him trained well. He could do quite well to sit in for Gray with his book “Men are from Mars; women are from Venus”…. Which was the viewpoint of his wife Bonnie. You know, like Askmen.com is really ask women, in which both Gray and Phil would fit right in.

  • wgone

    Why do people take this idiot seriously – DR PHIL = MANGINA

  • Cuivie

    Where’s the National Coalition against Relationship Issues?
    The millions in funding, the services for victims of Relationship Issues, the Ph D theses, experts in Relation Issues?

    Dr Phil is enabling violence.

  • Matt Berial

    My friend who is studying for Psychology likes Dr Phil. He thinks he’s some type of genius. I really don’t see it. Even some of the things he’s telling people i can tell aren’t right. (Dr Phil)

    I noticed when i watched him a couple of times he always seems to throw around
    “It’s a relationship issue” punchline.

  • Jack Strawb

    On his website this is how Dr. Phil presents the episode:

    “Afraid of My Husband”
    January 10, 2011

    Dr. Phil continues his mission to end the silence on domestic violence. More than 25 percent of battered women remain in a relationship with their abuser. Sonya fears that she is one of those women who stay. She says her husband’s rage is out of control, and she fears for her safety.

  • Jack Strawb

    You might want to rethink your link to DARVO.

    It gives credence to the views of Dr. Jennifer Freyd, whose most recent con was the University of Oregon “survey” calling attempted forcible kissing a “Rape Item” and claiming 1 female student of 10 would be raped during her time at U of O.

    This survey cost taxpayers $20,000.

  • Szebran

    Sounds like they were both violent to me. Its most unfortunate these 2 had kids.
    Dr Phil – the forever mangina. He is a complete joke. The title of this post says it all (and is pretty funny too)

    • Mr. E

      Looks like I’m not the only one with that opinion.

  • Karl Dawg

    I just woke up … going down the hall to the kitchen to make coffee ( ( ( WAIT ! ) ) ) I’m turning around *** FART *** *** FART AGAIN *** heading for the bathroom to take a “Oprah” and wipe my Dr. Phil.

  • Mr. E

    Dr. Phil is a douchebag of the first order (no offense to actual douchebags intended) who lives in Oprah’s pocket. He wouldn’t be an iota of who he is or where he is if he wasn’t living off of her coattails. He marches to her drumbeat and takes his orders from her. Dr. Phil is pretty much the quintessential, penultimate male mangina. Every time he opens his mouth, shit comes out. He is pretty much a joke, IMO, and he’d be funny if he wasn’t so terribly dangerous in that he’s being broadcast to literally millions of susceptible (read: gullible) people who think he’s the real deal and take him seriously.

  • none

    “He tells Lawrence he needs to be the “hero” by deciding if “[he] wants to be happy or if [he] wants to be right” and that [he] needs to “rise above it.””

    That statement takes Dr. Phil out of the mangina, sucking up to a predominantly female audience realm and puts him into the EVIL category.

    My mother and step-father were exactly the same way, though I think Lawrence is a little more passive. They would go at each other, throw boiling water and knives and glasses at each other, hit each other and of her three marriages, theirs was the longest. It was when my step-father stopped fighting back that she destroyed his life completely through the police and courts.

    What Dr. Phil has to know and is not saying is that SHE WANTS TO FIGHT. If she was protecting her kids, she would put them in a car and drive. There is some pathological conflict in her that needs an outlet so she gaslights and undermines him to get the fight started and finds a release through it. Once he stops fighting back, it will build and she will either take it out with direct violence and possibly kill him or figure out a way to destroy his life completely. I wouldn’t look past her filing a false rape accusation and getting him put in prison. Then every time that thing inside her needs let out for a walk, she’ll visit him to see how she has managed to destroy his life and torture him for eternity.