As his talk show nears the end of its second successful season, Dr. Phil McGraw continues to help people change their lives for the better with his trademark "tell it like it is" advice.
On Monday, Dr. Phil will return to The Early Show to discuss his "Ultimate Weight-Loss Challenge."
On Friday, he focused on a different subject. Lately, on his program, he has been working with six couples who are struggling to put their marriages back together. "We bring with us into our relationships all of our learning history, all the legacy from our parents."
In a clip from his show, Dr. Phil on Friday showed a "wonderful guy (who) had just grown up with a mother that clearly was unstable, clearly unhappy, and clearly abusive of him. And so you bring all of that experience with you and it contaminates your relationship. Even though it wasn't his fault, he still is responsible for dealing with it now so it doesn't poison the relationship he's in."
He explains, "We are products of our learning history, as I say. Everybody writes on the slate of who we are. And so you carry that baggage with you. And so if you grew up in a loving, wonderful, supportive home, you bring that with you in the relationship. I've often said we're either contributing to or contaminating our relationships 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"So," he continued, "you've got to ask yourself, if you grew up with bad models, if you grew up with tough stuff, you have to say, 'Are there things I need to leave behind and make different choices as an adult?' That's what this is about."
As The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler points out, Dr. Phil often tells his audiences that the problems highlighted on his show will not be solved in an hour. For his series on relationship rescue, Dr. Phil says, "We chose couples, and choose all of the guests on our show, based on a cross-section of America, things we think are relatable, something we think people can take something away from. We're not doing eight-minute cures up there. We know that. But what we are trying to do is be an emotional compass. Can we point people in a certain direction and raise awareness where they realize it's not OK to live this way, it's not right?"
He also says, "We're very proud of the fact that we have a 100 percent aftercare program. Anybody that's on our show, we offer them follow-up support in their community after the fact."
Also, acknowledging that there is a divorce rate in America of 57.7 percent and observing that "marriages are absolutely falling apart," Dr. Phil is presenting a segment next Wednesday called "Anatomy of a Divorce."
He explains, "I started this by saying, 'Look. I want people to see what goes on in a typical divorce in America.'"
So he lets the cameras roll as a couple talks to the lawyers, the judge, the court – everyone involved. "so people could see inside of divorce and say, 'If that's where I'm headed, what am I going to get when I get there?'"
According to Dr. Phil, "The most important thing to realize is, when you get a divorce, you don't end a relationship. You just change it, if there are children involved. (A couple) may be ending their romantic relationship, their husband-wife relationship, but they will forever be the co-parents of those children, and they have to start a new relationship to do that."