maandag 2 februari 2015

Dr. Phill-Shock

People in psychological trouble fascinate me. I remember the first time I saw an Oprah Winfrey-show, about a young woman who had been abused. I was relieved about the openness in which she spoke, the tears that were allowed to flood. Finally this beautiful world under the surface was taken out in the open. Let it be there, no shame, no blame!
I am even more fascinated when people are in psychological trouble with each other. Sometimes, for these reasons, I watch a Dr. Phill-show, but there’s something about him I don’t trust. Maybe it’s the moustache, it’s so big…

Lately I watched his show about a couple in serious marriage problems. They were caught in a tragic pattern and unfortunately had a baby of eight months. He blamed her of being aggressive and had called the police many times during small domestic fights, he even called her a ‘sociopath’. She was very occupied with the baby and once, when he had left for a walk with the kid, she sent him texts telling him to come home, or else she would indicate her kid as missing.
These caricatural behaviors were told in the beginning of the show and I was very curious how Dr. Phill would get through to them, to their feelings and needs, to the real tragic that was going on.
But he didn’t. He kept repeating these facts, and asked them whether this was true, which they confirmed. Break. He told the man that the police has more important work to do than going to small domestic fights. The audience applauded. Break. He told the woman that a father has a right to make a walk with his son through the park, even though she was still breastfeeding. The audience applauded even louder. Break. He asked the mother of the woman to get on stage, who said that not her daughter was a sociopath, but the husband was. Break. I still waited for something to happen, the unhappy couple too.
The man told he wanted to get in counseling so that he could tell his wife what was wrong with her. The woman shook her head, she obviously thought there was nothing wrong with her. Finally, after half an hour, Dr. Phill promised he would get them adequate help, but what this would consist of, he didn’t tell. The end.
I was shocked! The whole show was one open condemnation of the two, who had the courage (or were so desperate) to tell about their very destructive relationship in which they got trapped. Dr. Phill did not stop accusations, didn’t make them speak for themselves, didn’t make them look inside: no feelings were shared, no needs were discovered.
Dr. Phill used these people to show how morally superior he his. And the audience applauded and loved themselves too. No compassion, no empathy. It hurt me, because I know we can all get trapped in a relationship in which we get desperately blind.

I wonder what his unmet needs are… Recognition? Being of any importance? To be seen and heard?
I should feel sorry for Dr. Phill, but I dislike big moustaches even more now…


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