|Community of Excellence Challenging Cases Clinical Mastery Mindfulness Mind/Body CE Comments Anxiety Brain Science Couples Therapy Great Attachment Debate Men in Therapy Couples Etienne Wenger Clinical Excellence Attachment Narcissistic Clients Trauma Diets Wendy Behary Alan Sroufe David Schnarch Future of Psychotherapy Mary Jo Barrett Linda Bacon The Future of Psychotherapy William Doherty Ethics Symposium 2012 Attachment Theory Gender Issues|
|The 8 Minute Cure - Page 13|
The quips of the movie star and the star therapist get immediate audience applause, while the kid stares into the TV monitors on the soundstage with a fixed look. Of course he agrees to anything they say to him. What choice has he? How many frightened high school kids could stand up against all that star-power?
And Dr. Phil's solution to the boy's problem? A video is shown of a player on the same team as the boy's hero, telling him how important school is. Then he's told that if he gets his marks up, he can go to an NBA play-off game and meet his hero. Nobody displays the least interest in what the kid actually feels, or recognizes that he's feeling anything at all. Everybody tells him what to do, and he just nods agreement.
In the next segment, the football-obsessed kid, who thinks he'll be drafted into the NFL directly upon graduation, gets the same treatment. Then both boys are given jerseys identical to those of their heroes and assured that, if their marks go up, they'll get to meet their heroes. The problem is being addressed on the same level as the problem (and isn't that the essence of "self-help"?). But in reality, the problems of those boys aren't being addressed at all. They may be coerced into getting better grades, but how will intense exposure to the object of their delusions do anything but deepen their delusional desires? How does this "treatment" address their fears?
They sit there, beside their mothers, with the jerseys on their laps and their problems "solved" by superexposure to celebrity of every conceivable variety. How this might help families watching who have the same problem isn't addressed, and with good reason. And what's actually happened? Two terrified children have been exploited for the promotion of a movie.
One might well ask why the studio audience doesn't rise up in arms about such exploitation. But like the "guests," the studio audience has a great deal invested in Dr. Phil. They're invested in seeing the show they expected to see--the ritual they're accustomed to, enacted for their benefit, in their presence. If they didn't believe in the efficacy of Dr. Phil, they wouldn't be there. It would take an exceptionally self-possessed person to get disgusted and walk out, and the camera--the all-seeing eye of the program--wouldn't record their exit.