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'Mothers On The Verge'

Since its debut in September, millions of Americans have tuned into the "Dr. Phil" show for its straight-talking advice on a wide range of issues.

Thursday's topic is "Mothers On The Verge," and Dr. Phil gave The Early Show a preview of his look at women who are afraid of lashing out at their children.

"I think we are so stressed in our lives in this day and time that there are, what I call, silent epidemics, those things in America that are happening behind closed doors. They're not in the floodlight of attention," Dr. Phil said.

And when two or three children are added to the stresses of daily life, mothers may find themselves full of rage. "We've got to do something about that, to give these children a chance," he said.

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Whether a mother has been aggressive in an extremely dramatic fashion as was Madeline Toogood, the mother who was captured on security camera hitting her daughter, or in less violent and more ordinary ways, Dr. Phil commended those who are reaching out for help.

"I think it's amazingly courageous. I think these women are saying, 'I am so scared of myself and what I'm going to do, I will come and get the help.' You think, 'My gosh, why would you do that on national television?' The answer is, they don't know where to turn," Dr. Phil said.

He reiterated his commitment to bring "good solid information" to people's homes, so those who would not get therapy or would not know what to read would identify with the people in his show and be encouraged to make a change in their lives.

Some may say Dr. Phil's approach is too harsh, but he said his aim is to do what works.

"I never confront just to be confronting. I never support just to be supporting. I try to watch the people. I listen to their stories and most people don't know, by the time a guest sits in front of me number one, they've written and asked for the help. They know me, who I am and they know how I work," he said.

Prior to being on the show, Dr. Phil said, he gets extensive background information from his guests. "I'm given a notebook that may have anywhere from 50 to 100 pages typewritten on that individual. It gives us their longitudinal history; we talk to family members; we get everything up to date. I have a shoot-from-the-hip style, but there's a lot of homework by good, caring people. Before you sit down in front of me, we're ready to talk," he explained.

It is also quite unlikely, he said, that he will diminish his intensity.

"As long as this world is going to spin out of control, I'm going to try to slow the merry-go-round down," he said.