My very biased opinion of Dr. Phil v. 16 year old Kristi

Hi everyone!

Fun fact: a girl from my school was on Dr. Phil last night. Another fun fact: I don’t like Dr. Phil.  I did, rather grudgingly, bring myself to tune in last night so I could watch him dissect a 16-year-old girls home life. Needless to say, it quickly turned into quite the comedy special. It wasn’t the girl, Kristi, that was the source of my laughter though – it was how ridiculously unprofessional Dr. Phil sounded throughout the entire show.

He started with the parents; there were no questions asked about how they feel about their daughter or what their family was like before she began having anger issues. Rather, it began with immediate criticism of them as people. Granted, they both needed a bit of a reality check, but it seemed that Dr. Phil wasn’t even focused on shaping them to become better parents. He simply just ranted on about how horrible of people they both are. There were no suggestions to help them deal with Kristi or fix their own marriage, he did not offer them any true solutions to put their family back together. This confused me because… isn’t that what psychologists are supposed to do? Find solutions? Help fix those who come to them? Be compassionate? No? Oh, okay.

Up next was Kristi. Here’s the deal: she has some serious anger problems, she’s disgustingly disrespectful, and does not seem to respect others or herself. I definitely think she needs some help. However, putting her on national TV with an audience waiting for something to make fun of her for and an asshole telling her every bad quality she has is NOT going to accomplish anything. Throughout the entire interview, he was in her face telling her how awful of a person she is. What made it even worse was that he did attempt to offer up a solution – he told the parents to ship her off to an isolated ranch in Utah, and to not allow her any say in the matter. This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.

I’d love to have a chat with Phil. I’d do anything just to explain to him that kids cannot be treated like animals. Kristi obviously has problems she is dealing with, and yes, getting help would probably be very beneficial. This is a mental health issue though, and when it comes to these types of problems, a person needs to have a support team – which is usually his or her family. And yet it seems that Dr. Phil, master psychologist and world renowned therapist, has decided that shipping off a girl lost her own head is the way to fix everything.

Maybe he should spend some time in Utah.

I wish the best for Kristi and her family – I do hope that they learn to use compassion in order to heal each other. Rage and despair seems to be the only two emotions in that household. A family needs a base, one created from sympathy and care, and hopefully they find a way to work together and find that.

Dr. Phil, however intelligent he may be, really needs to spend some more time with those who are internally broken. Maybe then he will realize how terrible separation is for a lost person, and maybe… just maybe… he will become compassionate himself.

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39 thoughts on “My very biased opinion of Dr. Phil v. 16 year old Kristi

  1. I stumbled across this because I was trying to find out more about this Kristi who goes to PCEP. Mostly because I’m just nosy. I graduated from Salem in 1986, (YES ALMOST THIRTY YEARS AGO) but have relatives who work and attend school in the district. I got my start in journalism working on the Perspective! Anyway I don’t usually comment but wanted to tell you how much I like your blog. Keep up the good work and good luck in college.

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      • dr phil was very bias
        i feel very sorry for this girl and searched for her and found this, if the girl truly was reckless she would not have any friends, finding that she did proves how bias dr phil is

        Liked by 2 people

      • Same as Luke!! I tried to find her to because that whole thing must have been such a nightmare for her. I never watch that show so maybe i’m not yet immune but she was rediculed. She held up insanly well for someone who is supposed to be so defiant. I feel there was probably a significant time laps between the footage and the girl on stage. How would you react if your child of a mother wanted to meet Dr Phil and thought he could fix this broken family,asked you to do the show, you refused, then the show came to your bedroom and forced you to do it?? Against your will? Terrifying.

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  2. So tonight was one of those nights where I’m just mindlessly watching videos on the Internet. I don’t remember how I came across this Phil episode but I watched it anyway. It really disgusted me in every sense. So I ended up searching up ‘Dr. Phil Kristi’ to see if I could find what people had to say. I’m glad I found someone who feels similarly to me on this subject.

    I’d like to say I feel strongly about this. First off Dr. Phil is a damn joke like Kristi was saying. Her intense feelings at least let her see what’s real in this case. It is completely wrong to FORCE this girl to go on National TV at the age of 16. It pisses me off SO much that our society is like this. It’s all about reality TV. And Phil’s all about his paycheck. If Phil was a good human being he’d do his job behind the scenes.

    Second, I’m a 19 year old male. It wasn’t that long ago I was her age.. and I’m very interested in Psychology. I dealt with depression at one point which basically fueled my interest.. so all that said I can relate to some of the things this girl feels to a degree and sort of put myself in her place, maybe analyze her feeling as well. Honestly, I blame a TON of this on her parents. They seem like the immature brats. You can even see it in her mom’s eyes that she’s the childish one. Don’t even get me started on the Dad.. He just seems lost at his current juncture in life. I also do believe Kristi has issues.. and she knows it, she’s even said it. But her parents greatly contribute to it. This girl wants a voice and needs to be loved by people.

    Third.. the decision to send her to the ranch is absurd. I felt terrible watching this. Kristi’s pleaing and Phil essential says screw your feelings. Phil lacks any empathy. Phil doesn’t realize this is a young girl with fragile feelings.. he was going to make this happen all along for the good of the show. At that age when something traumatic happens like that it can be damaging. I say traumatic because of the whole national TV thing.. I know if I was in that situation going on national TV to discuss it it would seem like the end of the world. She clearly wasn’t ready to take on the magnitude of all this.. and frankly it’s all absurd. I hope everything gets resolved. And hopefully she becomes and healthy and stronger person cause of all this. There is clearly a lot of work to do though still, and a lot that that has already been mishandled.

    Anyways, like I said at the beginning.. I’m glad I found this blog by you Katelyn. We both seem to have similar feelings on this issue. I should add that you are a talented writer. Very clear and concise on getting your opinion across. I thought you did a fantastic job!

    I’ll definitely follow your blog starting now! By the way apologies for my thoughts probably not being articulated well, and the sheer length of all this :/ very tired writing this. Just needed to put my thoughts somewhere.. was driving me crazy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your opinion is incredible – plus it takes a lot to really put your thoughts out there, so congrats on that! I do hope she grows up to be Independent and strong, because that’s really how she needs to be. I think the parents are nuts to be completely honest with you. Anyways, thank you very much for the follow, I really appreciate it! (:

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    • While I agree with you, really disliked how Dr Phil handled this, but it is good she gets away from her dysfuntional parents and family. I was in this sitation at 14, but nothing illegal, good marks, but I rebelled to the bias, bully, favoritism, being belittled, demeening dysfuntional environment. Getting away from it saved my life. Gave me time to stabalize. Later in life, phycology course, time, I understood it was not my fault at all and phycologically divorced my family. This is not Kristi’s fault. In fact, now that she is gone, which sister is going to be the next victim?

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  3. I think you sound like you’re probably about 16 years old yourself. Kristi is a spoiled brat, that frankly, needed her teeth knocked down her throat. I honestly wished the entire time I could round house kick her in the jaw. She sickened me. Yes, she has obviously severe emotional issues. But she was treating her entire family like dirt. And she deserves sympathy? No… She deserves a hard dose of reality, and hopefully she got it. Because in the real world, when you go around treating people like that, you actually pay for your consequences, rather they be going to jail, having someone punch you in the face, or having absolutely not one single person in this world who will have anything to do with you. That girl was twisted and needed inpatient treatment SEVERLY. Otherwise her pushover parents would’ve never been able to control her or make her get help in the home. She was out of control. Obviously you went to school with this little girl and know her and her family. So you feel sympathy for this animal. I’m not sure how your other writing is, because I could honestly care less to read it, I just happened to stumble across this, but your opinion sounds like that of a sheltered little girl with no sense of responsibility or real world experiences. Grow up first, and then try this article again!

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    • I am very sorry to hear that you are not able to read other people’s perspectives. I am not 16, nor have I been for a while. I have never had any contact with this girl. I am not as sheltered as you seem to think I am, and if you would take the time to read my writing, you would see that. It is my opinion that attempting to fix someone with violence is not a solution at all, nor is pushing someone into solitude. There are many reasons why a person could be acting out in the manner that Kristi was, and Dr. Phil was not attempting in the least bit to discover what those are. I am completely aware of how the “real world” would treat her behavior, but that doesn’t mean that her family or a psychiatrist have to treat her that way too. Again, if you are open minded enough to even read my reply, I do hope you take the time to read my other writing and also take the time to reflect on your own opinion and see it from a couple different perspectives. Attacking an author for their opinion is never a good way to start a discussion, and in the real world (as you seem to know very well), will most likely lead to a violent situation.

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      • They did not push her into solitude. They sent her to a beautiful treatment center where she will be surrounded by caring professionals, other children getting help and animals which she loves. Also they are not treating her with violence. Regardless of whether the parents have contributed, she is violent and out of control, destructive and will hurt someone if she doesn’t get help. She will,get help, go home and hopefully live a productive happy life. Without help, she will remain out of control, possibly hurt someone or herself and end up in jail.

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      • Your opinion is stupid and you should probably stop! This 16 year old girl is destroying her life and everyone around her! Isolating her away from all is perfect. She will have the tons of help and can learn to love herself. Then maybe the same will for her parents and they can return to each other with some hope.

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      • Katelyn, I watched this show online, a first for me. I share your sentiments, but not your conclusions, although given the circus like nature of the Dr.Phil show I could see how Dr. Phil’s preference for entertainment over treatment could cause one easily to conclude that he lacks empathy and is insensitive.

        My problem with the show is its very existence. This young woman Kristi is troubled, and worse yet, is in a toxic environment with parents with little humility or self-awareness. These problems will not be fairly solved by going on television in front of Dr. Phil. The problems are so acute even the most discrete and professional approaches may not work – certainly embarrassing this young woman on national TV is bound to harm. Her instincts in not wanting to go on the show in the first instance should have been honored (on the other hand, a directive to obtain real professional help should have been mandatory).

        As for the result, as much as I dislike the show, it was a correct decision to send Kristi away from the home. I am not certain this is a fair decision, because her parents are just as much a part of the problem, but Kristi could not stay in that home. There is an 11 year old sister, and she deserves peace (as much as one could get in that home). Moreover, it seems fairly obvious that the mother has both a drinking problem and a promiscuity problem, a negative thing in a household of girls trying to entrench their identity. The mother may or may not succeed in resolving her issues, but she stands no chance with Kristi around.

        One more thing, While being shipped off to Utah seems a dramatic thing, I did not see as much of a downside as you do. Despite a huge anger problem and immature and irresponsible parents, I saw a young woman who is bright, articulate, and full of talent. She is not that far “away” from being truly functioning, and working with animals for a while may give her own sense of trust she needs (animals respond to love and will not let her down like the adults in her life do). I understand that the editing on this show made this young woman appear awful, but really, I think she has a lot of promise, and would find an environment where people tell her exactly that would be helpful for her. Too bad the Dr Phil show induces so much shame and self absorption (this show was for the mother); this is a young person a decent, discrete professional could really assist – I hope it works out for her.

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      • I totally see your point. I can understand why it would be good for her to get away. I suppose I was just floored about the fact that there were no repercussions for the parents actions. Thank you so much for sharing your opinion!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kristi is a spoiled brat, but who spoiled her? She is the product of her useless parents. Had she been born into a normal family, she would not be like this. I have no doubt that had she been born into my family, she would be a well-adjusted 16 year-old honor roll student well on her way to a successful life.

      She didn’t just wake up one day like this, her parents created her, and it took them 16 years to groom her into what she is now.

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    • You don’t know nothing at all a tv show is a tv show more than 90% of it was fake, it’s pretty pathetic you believe everything you see on tv, I think you’re the one that needs to grow up, you’re way too ignorant to be commenting on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my God!!! I just watched this on Youtube and immediately googled her name to see if someone else shared my opinion!
    What’s wrong with these people??? It’s like they are all nuts and the girl is the only sane one! The whole thing was just infuriating to watch!! Who is Dr. Phil to judge this young girl when he is the one who is completely out of place!

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  5. Like everyone else, I have just watched this online, and at the 37 minute mark on, I was appalled. This poor, troubled girl is basically begging for someone to listen to her. I actually congratulate her on being so genuine during the whole process: an audience that laughs at her very mental state, claps for the parents agreeing to ship her away, and scoffs at her own comments about how she was basically manipulated into going there. The smiling faces of the audience at the 37 minute mark make you realize that anyone can sensationalize anything for “entertainment” purposes for the masses. Did anyone pick up on how Dr. Phil totally dismissed her comments on wanting to shed light on what happened before these incidents and what could be presumed as an underlying medical condition??? She mentions debilitating headaches that could MAYBE be attributed to her manic fits of anger. If my parents would have video taped some of MY outbursts at 16, I’m pretty sure I would have made a perfect “candidate” for the “Gorgeous, Violent, Raging Unsweet 16 year old,” too. I had chronic compound migraines that literally made every day a struggle PLUS put on top of that the hormones of an adolescent girl. I am NO WAY condoning or justifying how she talked to her family or becomes violent with her family members, but I just think there was a lot more to this story than what was covered. My cousin and aunt actually were on Dr. Phil a few years back (daughter hit her mom with a Harry Potter book would probably bring it up on Youtube) but he didn’t address ANYTHING that was really substantial in fixing their broken relationship. Overall, these shows make me feel sick that these are actual programs people watch and ENJOY but they also make me feel sad for those not wanting to be involved like this girl. There were other ways of getting her help other than dragging her onto National Television. I hope she’s recovering and her family is overall happier.

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  6. If this is totally an issue of the parents then can someone please explain to me why there is an 18yo and 11yo who don’t seem to have the same issues as the 16yo??? You say that Dr. Phil is supposed to help fix this family to put them back together but never did anything. Huh?!? Were you watching the same show I did?? He had an hour show to get everything into and it was very apparent to me that he had certainly done a LOT of his homework prior to what you saw on the show. As well, he sent Kristi off to intense inpatient therapy at a beautiful ranch……. would you rather have had her go to an Inpatient psych unit with white padded walls and not being able to see the outdoors???? He also offered psych counseling for the parents. Seems to me like these are EXCELLENT starts to helping this family heal so they CAN get back together. As a parent and an RN who has worked with adolescents for 24 years, this girl is dangerously close to a violent act that may result in someone’s death and a mental hygiene arrest was certainly warranted but thankfully a caring Dr Phil, with the help of Kristi’s uncle and aunt, knew she needed and deserved better and gave that to her.

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  7. It was kinda hard to watch… Like, I know she did scary things, but when someone needs help, you can’t just laugh in her face. I felt so embarrassed for her…. 😦

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  8. Hi Katelyn, if you watch the end of the show Dr. Phil states that the parents are not without blame and shows the audience what a bad role model they both are arguing back with Kristi like children themselves. Also, he offers them free counseling services as well. He stated that to the parents at the end of the show. Also, this farm in Utah is a counseling and rehab center which is run by and over seed by medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. It is not just a farm with horses. They give you medical help but in a serene environment where you work together to take care of the horses and meet and talk with other kids who are going through the same emotional turmoil as Kristi is. Plus Kristi loves animals, and she may do wonderfully in this type of environment away from all the craziness of her current life circumstances.

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    • That place was hell, I would watch 13 year olds cut them selfs at night, I was forced to abuse animals, half the staff were alcoholics and cried to me about there life issues, that place was worst then boot camp, if you say the word “like” you could be walking laps until your feet bleed with nothing to eat but a piece of bread with peanut butter, luckily I never got it trouble. That place is hell and more then half the girls I met and who are out are clinically depressed now. Wonderful place to relax tho!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I just watched this online, and I couldn’t believe how awful Dr. Phil treated Kristi. He obviously manipulated all of his evidence, Kristi was forced to be on National television while she was laughed at just for trying to show her own opinion, which she was not able to do, most likely because they planned the entire show so that it could end with her being forced to go to a ranch that, frankly, sounded like the place from “Holes” (The movie). He did nothing to solve anything because the only way he got his own show is to manipulate people into doing the episode exactly as he plans to make it “interesting.” I had never seen Dr. Phil before, and I think it should be banned from playing… that just looked so humiliating and awful. Also, like someone said before in the comments, they completely ignored that Kristi was throwing up blood and getting powerful headaches, which seems not only linked to her behavior (Which was probably twisted to make more “interesting”), but an issue that deserves immediate medical attention. I had a friend who lived in my building who had mood swings, and because her parents were good parents they took her to doctors and it turned out she was bipolar, so the mood swings were not only treatable, but not really her fault. I’m so sorry for ranting, but I am just shocked that this disgusting show is allowed to continue. Kristi, if you read this, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. And also-on a random note-I’m a vegetarian too, and I think it’s awful that you were forced to be in a place that abused animals, something which, from the sound of it, is completely against your beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I just watched the entire Dr. Phil episode and, frankly, I wasn’t convinced that Kristi was/is as dangerous or as volatile as the audience is led to believe throughout. So, naturally, I decided to do a little digging (Preface: I’m a 24-year old HR Consultant for a private military contractor, with a focus on moral and psychological integrity — basically, interview people before they’re hired and/or after contracted operations to determine if their mental state is in compliance with the company standards.). It took me about three or four minutes to find pretty much all of her social media, at least the outdated ones that she’s probably just abandoned in favor of new, privatized accounts.

    Anyways… I followed my gut feeling through a couple dozen outdated vines, web-archives of Instagram and Facebook posts/images/videos and still haven’t really found anything to suggest this “monster” or “soon-to-be violent offender”. It’s is evident, based on her demeanor and the behavior that is tolerated in the household (and not just Kristi’s, there are actually clips of what looked to be an 8-9 year old sibling brandishing enormous knives at one point, pyromania, drug use and other behaviors not to mention the very evident hands-off, carefree, drunken mannerisms of both parents…), that the family lives way too close to a population of urbanized, inner-city types to be expected to adhere to what might be described as a wholesome lifestyle and this doesn’t really help to create a foundation of focus or discipline in teenagers.

    So with all this in mind, it’s not really unexpected that the family has some dysfunctional aspects; in many ways my own parents behaved similarly to hers when I was growing up, and sometimes when I see videos that touch on familial functionality it piques my interest.

    I’m sort of curious how she’s doing after the rehabilitation center? They aren’t typically very useful, as far as I understand it, with “success” usually being more closely associated with the break from the day-in, day-out routine than the actual tasks provided within.

    To Katelyn:
    I probably won’t frequent you blog, but I enjoyed reading what little was here on this segment along with the comments. I wish you the best.

    To Kristi:
    Any regrets about the past?
    Is the household environment more positive now?
    Any plans for the future?

    With Hope,
    Spencer W.

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  11. I just saw this episode on a summer repeat. I do think both Kristi and her parents have some clear anger and maturity/responsibility issues to work on. What I will never really understand is why people air their dirty laundry in tv shows like this. Help is clearly needed in this family, but to put it out on national tv is something I would never do. Even if Kristi did well at the camp and if she had to go I hope she did, she will always have to deal with this having been on national tv. Same for the parents why put private family issues out for the rest of us to see? I wish the best for the family, but I think this should have been handled privately.

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  12. I also believe that show had a certain “circus” atmosphere. The family dynamic situation as it stood was definately not working. Especially for the other minor children in the family. This girl must be removed from this environment. The only way to correct it is to change it. The parents need as much counseling and psychiatric help as the child does. Hopefully one day she will realize that her behavior is unacceptable, realize she has issues,except help and grow into the beautiful, intelligent contributor to society that is obviously achievable. I wish her well.

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  13. I cringe at Kristi’s behavior. As a teen, I could have been on that same show, in her same spot.

    If Kristi reads this: please know, you owe it to yourself to let go of your anger. Your parents are a mess. When your older, you’ll realize that we are all a mess. Please know that you have the potential to lead a successful, happy life. Just embrace a peaceful, forgiving attitude and life will be so much easier. Just graduate high school and go to college. The drugs are going to slow you down and get in your way. Your anger, no matter whose fault that anger is, is going to follow you & control you for the rest of your life.

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    • I should clarify–but the anger doesn’t have to ruin you or follow. It takes practice, but you can learn to let go of that anger. Then, you’ll be free.

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  14. I stumble across this article because I’m watching this episode right now, and honestly something was deeply disturbing… I mean, Dr Phil’s vision of psychology is ridiculous, it is so in your face that I don’t see how it can work. Gradually I started to feel that the poor girl was really under the grill. Yes she is violent and out of control, but my first impression was that there is absolutely no communication in this family. They just show video where she is screaming, we don’t know what happened before, and the parents are always like miles away from her, so much for being close to your children…

    I thought that she CAN’T express, and that’s why this anger erupted everytime. I don’t know, it seemed obvious, right ? Well not for the bald dr apparently. And again, it feels like the only way to solve problems in that show is to send people to some isolated place in the middle of the mountain somehow… Ridiculous. Well, at least this time we didn’t have (yet ? The sohw is not over yet…) his wife doing her speech about violence and promoting her own business…

    This guy is a disgrace for psychology, all that matters to him is his show.

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