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Friday, 02 January 2009 11:28

The 8 Minute Cure - Page 4

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An Internet Phenom

Dr. Phil's "get real" is based on an appealing assumption: that well-informed common sense can be successfully applied to any dilemma. Here's the dilemma; here are your options; choose and enact the wisest option, and the dilemma will be fruitfully resolved.

It sounds like it should work. Certainly, for everyday situations, there's no arguing with it. There's not much to argue about for complex situations either, at first glance anyway. For instance, here, on his website, is Dr. Phil answering a mother who can't believe her daughter is gay--the "get real" approach:

"Homosexuality is not a learned behavior. A sexual orientation is inherited; you are wired that way. Certainly some people will experiment with a gay lifestyle, and a gay person might experiment with a heterosexual one. If she is really gay, she will find a place in that life and in that community. The important thing is that you just love her through that. What difference does it make if she is gay? Accept her, support her and do not be judgmental. It is difficult enough for her to live openly and honestly in this society; don't put your judgment on top of that."

Is this sound advice? In most cases yes, though if you're a fundamentalist convinced your gay daughter is doomed to Hell, "What difference does it make?" brings up major issues that can't be solved by love alone. Is Dr. Phil's statement a brave thing for a public figure to say? In today's cultural climate, his stance probably angers a hefty chunk of his audience. He's clearly not pandering. He's taking a stand that the vast majority of therapists would support and that gay activists must welcome.

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Last modified on Sunday, 11 January 2009 16:40

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