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on November 2, 2005
I just finished reading this book, "The Making Of Dr. Phil" which is an excellent book, and I recommend it to everyone who wants to see what the Wizard Of Oz looks like behind curtain.

It paints a clear picture of the kind of person Dr. Phil really is, a hypocrite! What is interesting is that this book did not receive much publicity, as there is an alleged campaign against the book by Phil, and most media outlets refused to interview the writers for fear of retaliation from Phil. It also shows that Phil is really just an expert psychological manipulator and a very aggressive entrepreneur. Here are some random bullet points I picked out of the book, it's a worthwhile read...pick it up now!

· Phil is not a therapist, and never really was. He hated doing therapy. He went into psychology as a way to make money. He is an expert negotiator, businessman. He is no longer even a licensed psychologist. Phil just uses psychology as a way to make money. He quit practice and went into the Court business, as that was a way he could use psychology as a weapon, and as a way to make a lot of money, and not have to deal with all these dumb people with their problems!

· Phil has quite a sordid past. His first Gym business went bankrupt, and there is lots of evidence that he was still selling to people, when they knew it was going under. They were just spending all the money that came in, and were not putting the money into the health club. They had people buy long-term contracts, and then sold these contracts to 3rd parties, and even after the gym went under, those folks STILL has to keep paying for it! This was based on a tricky contract Phil designed. After that company went under, Phil left in the middle of the night, and to this day the people who got shafted are still bitter about what happened.

· His first marriage was a disaster, he was controlling, abusive, and there were all sorts of charges of endless womanizing. His first wife speaks out very clearly on all of this.

· "You Seminars" which became Pathways, with Thelma Box, was pure sleazy "charismatic" seminar stuff. This is where Phil started to apply all of his salesmanship and psychological seminar tricks, and started to make some money. Thelma Box spills the beans on how Phil takes credit for other people work, and even tried to scam her near the end. Phil would also abuse the "volunteers" that worked for Pathways.

· Phil is NOT a registered psychologist anymore. He ran into trouble years ago, when a 19 year old woman lodged a complaint against Dr. Phil, she said he sexually abused her, pulling her into his lap, reaching into her blouse, etc. He was severely disciplined by his licensing board in a number of different ways.

· His new company, Courtroom Sciences, CSI, tested the loyalty of his employees by staging calls from people pretending to be from the media. His demands, perfectionism, impatience, infuriated outbursts created an atmosphere of fear, resentment, and anxiety. CSI was a 24/7 job for all his employees, they "own you". Dr. Phil behaved in a sexist manner towards his female staff, calling some of their work "an abortion". He was verbally abusive, swearing, calling a woman a stupid b*tch, etc. Former employees describe CSI as being like a "cult" in the demands it would place on them.

· Dr. Phil Show: Phil got a lavish office, but were very cheap with the crew, no food on-set, 16 hr days, he made the job a "living hell" for the crew, making it "the worst show they had ever worked on". He would yell profanities at his crew, making last minute changes and keeping people up all night. Even his wife Robin was interfering with the lighting, and caused the Emmy award lighting director to be fired! The staff all has to sign non-disclosure agreements, so they could only leak info out. Phil did not bother to learn the names of his crew.

· Phil's ego is so big, he refuses to have any other experts in psychology on other than himself.

· All guests on the show sign massive releases that release them from everything.

· He gets $125,000 per speech.

· He launched products called "Shape Up", in a deal with Alticor, the parent company of Amway.

· Phil presents himself as though he thought up all the valid psychological ideas he uses, he makes it seem they are all his own ideas. McGraw also doesn't seem to follow the APA guidelines or ethics, in how he deals with the people on the show.

· He tries to erase his ugly past from the record, and pretends it never happened. He filed for bankruptcy after his health club went out of business, then left town in the middle of the night, and didn't mention it again. The same with his first marriage, which was a disaster, with allegations of Dr. Phil cheating on his wife many times. He tries to pretend things in his life never happened.

· People are so afraid of Phil, that they will not talk about him, won't return calls, and expressed fear of retaliation from Phil.
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on November 5, 2003
All right: No, I'm not a huge Dr. Phil fan. My wife can't get enough of him though. But as a businessman, I'm amazed at all he has been able to accomplish in such a short time. I really read this book hoping to learn how he was able to build such an incredible empire of books, self-help tapes, seminars, TV show, diet products, and so forth. After reading this book, which was very entertaining, it's clear his success is a mix of intelligence, persistence, and luck. He apparently has been an entrepreneur since childhood, always looking for ways to make money. But he has failed at these endeavours as much as he has succeeded. Although it seems like everything he touches these days turns to gold, that wasn't always the case. So, while I still won't be watching his show, I have come to admire him more as a businessman from reading this book and hope to start using some of his success strategies to grow my own business. It's quite an inspirational read.
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on January 31, 2005
I would rate this book as only four stars but I gave it five to make up for some of the ridiculous negative reviews that have been posted about it!

If you can't believe that Dr Phil is human and can make mistakes, then DON'T read this book!

If you are truly interested in all aspects of his life and can handle reading the truth, then by all means go ahead and buy it.

Some reviewers must have been reading a different book to me because I didn't get an anti Dr Phil bias from this book at all.

When talking to past patients, only one patient claimed disatisfaction with their therapy, compared to several who claimed that he made a huge difference to their lives. How can that be seen as anti Dr Phil?

After finishing this book I still couldn't tell you whether the authors liked or disliked Dr Phil - and that is how a biography should be.

I haven't read tabloid reports about Dr Phil so I couldn't tell you how much of this information is new, but overall this is a really readable book and very enjoyable.

The criticism that McGraws' previous marriage shouldn't have been included is just pathetic! His first wife was part of his life, part of his past, so why shouldn't she be mentioned?

This is a story of Dr Phil from childhood to present day and if you have an interest in Dr Phil or in psychotherapy then I would definitely recommend it.
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on February 3, 2004
This is a compelling read about how Dr. Phil went from literally nowhere to becoming a world famous shrink with his own TV show. While it does offer some of his self-help advice, it's really his life story, from boyhood to present. The authors offer a very objective look at his eventful life. They also provide a glimpse into how he talked his way into the fame and fortune he enjoys today. I'm really convinced that some of the other reviewers haven't even read the book and are just guessing it's a negative look at Dr. Phil. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it's an overall positive picture of a man who is indeed a very shrewd businessperson. The writing is clear, concise, and quite entertaining. I believe it will be of interest to readers of all types, whether you're a Dr. Phil fan or not.
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on December 2, 2003
This is a very entertaining read on one of today's leading celebrities. It tells Dr. Phil's true life story, from his start as a poor boy in Oklahoma, to his first business ventures, on through his college years studying psychology. It then talks about how he transitioned from private practice with his father to the speaking circuit and trial consulting, before being touched by the magic of Oprah and shooting into super-stardom. I found the insights from Dr. Phil, his friends, and family to be most interesting. I had no idea he had accomplished so much and managed to rise from failure so many times. I really think everyone even remotely interested in Dr. Phil will enjoy reading this interesting book.
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on November 5, 2003
I just finished The Making of Dr. Phil by Sophia Dembling and Lisa Gutierrez and must say I very much enjoyed it. (...) the book points out some of the negative sides to Dr. Phil (such as how hard he is to work for and the fact that not all of his business ventures have succeeded). But the book overall is quite favorable to Phil. It traces his entire life. Indeed, his brush with Oprah doesn't appear until toward the end of the book and is a rather small part of the overall book. (If anything, I would have liked to have read more about their relationship.)
The authors clearly did a lot of research in writing this story, traveling to his hometowns in Oklahoma and Kansas City and talking to those who knew him best growing up. There are many fun stories about Dr. Phil's years in private therapy, when he practiced with his dad and began marketing seminars. They detail how his trial consulting business started and what led to Oprah hiring Phil for her cattle case.
Having gone to one of Dr. Phil's live Get Real seminars, I liked the chapter that talked about his live shows and what goes on behind the scenes. The chapter about his TV show, how it started, what it's like to be a guest and audience member, was also very interesting. And, because I'm a big fan of his book Life Strategies, I really liked how they ended the book by detailing how Dr. Phil lives by his own set of Life Strategies in his own life.
I'm not sure I came away from the book liking Dr. Phil any more or less than before. But I feel like I know him much better and really admire all that he's accomplished. I plan to give all of my Dr. Phil fan friends a copy of this book for Christmas, hoping they enjoy it as much as I did.
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This is a fascinating behind the scenes look at the life of Dr Phil - an unglossed version that includes his first marriage, failed business ventures and interactions with his staff. While it is not written as a character assassination, nor is it a totally balanced portrayal, given that there is no word from Dr Phil's friends or family. While you end up feeling that you know more about him before, you don't really get a sense of the entire man.

Dr Phil emerges from these pages as a highly intelligent man with a strong ego who thrives on change and gets bored easily. His biggest skill is his ability to assess and summarize a situation quickly, after which he loses interest. He's a savvy self-promoter who is very comfortable with who he is and not terribly interested in the opinions of others, bar a very select few.

The first half of this book is the most interesting as it covers Phil's early life. In the second part, it gets somewhat repetitive. I would have liked more in the chapters about his relationship with his wife and his sons. I also felt that the authors were out of their depth when discussing his psychological background and philosophies. This is a quick and interesting book to read, but it's not the ultimate answer to "who is Dr Phil"?
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on February 11, 2004
I really enjoyed this well-written, fascinating book that peels off the studio makeup and shows the real man behind the quick psych soundbites of TV. As an entrepreneur, I was very intrigued to learn about the man's stumbles as well as his successes. The anecdotes in the book make it very readable and fun but I was looking for more and found it. I can't understand the reviews here that think the book has a negative agenda. Maybe the man's diehard fans expect that so see it where it doesn't exist. Don't be put off. If you want to learn about Dr. Phil, the real man and business wunderkind, this is your book.
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on November 4, 2003
I'm actually not a big fan of Dr. Phil's, but I do admire the man and what he's been able to accomplish. This book offers an interesting overview of his life and all that he has been able to achieve. I also liked how the authors ended the book by showing how Dr. Phil applies his Life Laws to his own life.
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on November 20, 2003
These women have done the impossible--think of how hard it must be to write a book without the subject's input or cooperation. The guy probably threatened to sue their butts off, but they still worked hard to find lots of info, people to talk to, etc. I am totally impressed. The book is well-written and interesting, and it's hard to tell whether the authors like or dislike Dr. Phil (which is how all biographies should be!). I thought it was great that someone finally came forward to expose the fact that the guy is not all that he's cracked up to be. My hat's off to you, ladies.
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