Dr. Phil has been giving mental health advice to troubled people for over 20 years on his show, Dr. Phil.
It all started in 2002 when Phil got his own show after appearing several times on Oprah Winfrey’s show.
The doctor, who is no longer a licensed psychologist, found popularity in interviewing both celebrities and regular people about the mental health problems that plagued them.
There have been a few scandals surrounding the show.
Some guests have claimed that the staff gave them alcohol and drugs before the show to help calm them down.
Others have claimed that the staff paid normal people on the street to react a certain way to them for footage.
Because of these scandals, many end up wondering whether the producers stage Dr. Phil’s show or not.
Is The Dr. Phil Show Staged?
No, Dr. Phil is not staged in the same way as fictional TV or other reality TV shows are.
The executives have argued several times that they do not coerce their guests to act in certain ways for drama’s sake.
That said, the executive producers do likely try to find individuals who will cause a stir among the public.
That might mean their particular mental issue is something the general public may consider shocking.
It might mean that they have an aggressive or unique personality.
Once the producers find people that they believe will make for great television, they bring them onto the show.
Another thing that some might consider as staging the Dr. Phil show is Dr. Phil’s talking points.
Dr. Phil does likely read off of a script for some parts of the show.
These parts usually include introducing his guests, certain transitionary parts of the show, or to lead into commercial breaks.
He also may use a script or have a notebook that he uses to remind himself of questions that he wants to ask the individual he’s trying to advise.
That isn’t because the show uses a script per se but because Dr. Phil does his research on the case and wants to give the individual the best possible mental health advice that he can.
Dr. Phil’s show isn’t staged, but the producers do try to find people that they believe might become aggressive or give them good television.
Is Dr. Phil A Real Doctor?
One of the reasons that people think the Dr. Phil show is fake is the man at the center of the show.
There’s a lot of confusion over whether Dr. Phil is a real doctor or not.
He was a licensed and practicing psychologist in Texas where he studied and earned his license.
However, there was a bit of scandal in which a former employee and patient accused him of sexual misconduct.
The advisory board trying the case didn’t find any evidence of the sexual relationship, but they did reprimand him for employing a patient of his while she was still his patient.
Dr. Phil would eventually leave Texas to live in California.
As a psychologist, you have to receive your license in each state before you can start practicing.
To practice any type of medicine without a license, especially in California, is illegal.
Dr. Phil didn’t renew his license once he moved to California.
However, because he earned a Ph.D. in Texas, he still has the “Dr.” moniker.
Dr. Phil has argued that he isn’t practicing on his show.
Instead, he’s giving his guests advice on how to find a treatment or begin treatment.
He doesn’t prescribe them anything.
Instead, he connects them with someone who is a licensed practitioner who can help them further.
In this way, he isn’t breaking the law, but he can still interview guests and suggest various treatments to his guests.
Dr. Phil isn’t a licensed psychologist, but he is technically a doctor.
Do People On Dr. Phil Get Better?
People go on the Dr. Phil show to get better.
They come because they know they’re suffering from something and need guidance on how to overcome it.
While some might also come for the fame, most have a genuine interest in learning how to get better or to find healthy ways to cope with their particular issue.
Because of that, you may wonder if anyone ever does get better after visiting with Dr. Phil.
The man himself knows that he can’t cure a mental illness during an eight-minute block of time or even in a 45-minute show.
That sort of thing requires months, if not years, of therapy.
Instead, he tries to make them aware of some of the behaviors and other factors that may be influencing how they feel or think.
With this awareness, they can start to make better decisions about how to cope when they’re feeling a certain way.
Dr. Phil then gives them the connections or tools that they need to set themselves up for treatment.
Through consistent treatment, they can finally start to work on their mental health and live healthier lives.
As such, no one ever comes away from the show cured.
That isn’t the point or the goal of the show.
Instead, the goal is to shed a light on mental illness, the reasons behind it, and some of the ways someone might be able to find treatment for it.
Those who come looking for fame and not treatment, however, tend to receive gruff remarks from Dr. Phil.
He isn’t interested in interviewing individuals who are just there for the fans and air time.
As such, these individuals likely don’t receive a lot of guidance on where to go next to find help with their particular problems.
On his show, Dr. Phil suggests possible treatments for his guests and isn’t able to cure someone’s mental illness in a single TV episode.
Whether the individual becomes better after leaving the show is up to their ability to keep up with their treatments and therapy sessions.
Do Guests On Dr. Phil Get Paid?
Another reason some people think the show is fake is that they believe the guests receive payment to be there.
Some guests do receive payment to be on Dr. Phil.
These individuals are celebrities.
Since celebrities are always in high demand for talk shows, the show usually has to either partner with their publicity coordinator or pay them to appear.
For example, if the celebrity is an actor, then they might have a new movie or TV show coming out.
Part of the press tour to generate interest in the movie and get people to go see it is to stop off at talk shows.
Now and then, Dr. Phil can snag a few celebrities to appear on his show, too.
Since Dr. Phil isn’t a standard talk show host but rather one that talks about mental illness, press tours don’t exactly qualify.
Instead, the celebrity has to be willing to discuss some of the mental illnesses that they struggle with.
Some of the most famous celebrities to get on his stage were Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan’s mom.
Some fans of the celebrities found the interviews problematic and exploitive.
Each received payment for her participation in the show.
Despite receiving payment, however, the individuals likely weren’t given a script.
Instead, they had to answer questions and respond genuinely to Dr. Phil’s questions.
This is different for those who aren’t celebrities.
Regular people who show up on the show as guests aren’t paid.
There are a few exceptions here and there for people with particularly historic pasts or who are famous in their own right.
Relatives of famously murdered victims, for example, tend to fall into this category.
In most cases, however, the guests do not get paid for appearing on the show.
The show has provided its guests with substantial resources over the years to help them find the treatment they need after their appearances.
They’re not paid actors.
They’re real people coming to Dr. Phil for advice about their mental health.
What Disease Does Dr. Phil Have?
Some people may not be aware that Dr. Phil suffers from an incurable disease.
When Dr. Phil was in his late 30s, he was experiencing bouts of sluggish energy and lightheadedness.
He was athletic for his age and quite fit.
However, there would be times when he hit a wall and couldn’t overcome it with his energy.
He went to a doctor who told him that he had Type II diabetes.
It came as a slight surprise as Dr. Phil was fit and healthy for his age.
However, it was genetics that predisposed him to it.
Both his parents suffered from Type II diabetes and were morbidly obese.
The good news is that he’s learned how to manage it.
Part of that was putting an end to his long hours of working or performing other activities without eating.
He ensures that he eats regular meals throughout the day to give his body the best ability to break down the food and store it as energy.
He also implemented a new workout regime.
He plays tennis six times a week.
Through these changes, he’s been able to live a healthy and fulfilling life with Type II diabetes.
That said, he has been an active part of research for finding a cure.
In particular, he’s concerned that his sons will one day develop the disease since they’re predisposed to it, too, through him.
Dr. Phil believes that because he suffers from the disease, he’s able to relate to people who are suffering.
They’re all in the same boat.
Are The People On Dr. Phil Real People?
Yes, the guests on the Dr. Phil show are real people.
There’s some confusion over whether the guests are real or not because of some of the drama that occurs.
It can sometimes seem outlandish that some people may act in a certain way or say a certain thing.
However, it’s also important to keep in mind that the producers likely picked those people to put on the show because they have those personality traits.
Technically, the Dr. Phil show welcomes almost anyone on its stage.
You can apply to be on the show through the website.
There are a few steps involved, however, and your acceptance isn’t guaranteed.
One of the reasons that they may deny your application is that you don’t fit with the particular theme or story that they want to tell for that episode.
For example, one of their episodes may be something heartfelt or emotional.
As such, they’re going to look for guests who have an emotional story to tell.
In another episode, the producers may be looking to stir up some drama.
They’ll look for guests who display certain personality traits or have a particular mental illness that they believe may create some drama on the show.
While all the guests who appear on the show are real, they are carefully chosen by the executive producers.
Besides being real, the guests also really suffer from mental illness.
The entire show is about discussing mental illness.
Other than a few special guests, those who make up the bulk of the show are ones suffering from some form of mental illness.
As such, the guests on Dr. Phil’s show are real and suffer from real mental illnesses.
Is Dr. Phil A Fraud?
Because Dr. Phil isn’t able to treat his guests on his show, some wonder if he’s a fraud.
The truth is a bit murkier.
Dr. Phil isn’t a fraud in that he isn’t selling them anything.
He also doesn’t promise anything.
He doesn’t state that by going to therapy for 20 sessions, the individual will no longer suffer from their mental illness.
Instead, he tells them that the treatment can help, but it will be a lot of hard work.
The hard work might not even pay off, in which case another treatment might be a better option.
Another aspect that some viewers may take problems with is his title.
Calling himself a doctor makes Dr. Phil look as though he’s an authority on the subject of mental health.
Phil did go to school and received his Ph.D. in psychology.
As such, he does have the qualifications in that sense to talk about mental health.
Because of this, he isn’t a fraud.
However, he isn’t a licensed psychologist.
That means he isn’t necessarily up to date on the latest information or treatments available for certain mental illnesses.
While the guests likely hope that he does his research, there’s no guarantee that he isn’t just working off of information that’s outdated by 20 years or more.
Dr. Phil isn’t a fraud in the traditional sense.
However, that he gives mental health advice without being a licensed psychiatrist can be problematic.
Did Dr. Phil Lose His License?
One of the reasons some people are wary of Dr. Phil’s advice is that he’s not a licensed psychologist.
That makes some people wonder if Dr. Phil lost his license and became a TV talk show host instead.
Dr. Phil did not lose his license in that it was not taken from him.
He let his license in Texas expire on its own.
When he moved to California, he did not obtain a license there.
Instead, he started showing up on Oprah Winfrey’s show to give his advice on certain cases.
That’s because he was working in a consulting business that covered mental health and crime.
Although he doesn’t have a license, Dr. Phil still advises his guests on methods they can use to bolster their mental health.
What Are Dr. Phil’s Qualifications?
Since Dr. Phil doesn’t have a license, you may wonder what makes him qualified to give mental health advice to his guests.
Dr. Phil worked as a licensed psychologist for several years in Texas.
He treated patients and also ran a consulting business in California to help lawyers stage their prosecution or defense around mental health.
The only qualification he has to fall on to explain why he’s advising his guests on his show is his degree.
Phil earned a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in psychology in Texas.
Because of the doctorate, he’s able to include “Dr.” at the front of his name.
The show refers to his degree and not whether he has a license to practice or not.
This makes some people view Dr. Phil as an actor since he isn’t a medical doctor or a licensed one.
He’s playing a doctor on TV.
His qualifications stem from his studies at university several decades ago.
While the Dr. Phil show isn’t fake or staged, it has had its share of scandals.
Guests, aside from celebrities, aren’t paid and they come to Dr. Phil to receive advice about real mental illnesses from which they suffer.
Unfortunately, Dr. Phil’s only qualification left to him is his experience and his degree in psychology from the University of North Texas.NEXT: Is Consumer Reports Worth It? (10 Reasons It Is)