Dr. Phil McGraw is under fire yet again, and this time Paris Hilton is lending her clout to exposing some very problematic actions being made by the T.V. psychologist.
Dr. Phil, on television for over two decades with his own show running for 19 years, is well known for his no nonsense, tough love style. But it’s the tougher conditions of the unregulated ‘reform schools’ he has been sending troubled teens to for years that are seeing the television personality being sued. Again.
This time Gloria Allred, arguably the most famous female attorney practicing law in the nation today is not advocating with Dr. Phil (like she did the Bill Cosby case) but against him, suing on behalf of guest, Hannah Archuleta.
Paris Hilton vs. Dr. Phil McGraw!
Hannah was a “tearaway” teenaged guest on Dr. Phil’s show remembered for having a terminally ill mother who she treated in pretty shocking ways. Dr. Phil sent Hannah to Utah’s Turn-About Ranch where she was promised a chance to turn her life around and get the help she needed/ However, in the suit filed by Allred’s office, it seems the ranch provided anything but help for this, or any other teen in their care.
The lawsuit claims that Hannah was repeatedly sexually abused at Turn-About and not only did the school not make a report or fire the accused staff member, but Hannah was punished for making the claim, being forced to sleep outside, walk in circles or stare at walls.
Hannah is not the only teen to complain about the facilities Dr. Phil sends his teenaged guests, who, in the case of Turn- About Ranch, instead of providing any sort of counselling make the teens muck out horse stables and provides “chemical sedation”, i.e. behavior modifying drugs.
Bhad Bhabie, a.k.a. “Catch me outside, how ‘bout dat?” girl, a.k.a. Danielle Bregoli, has also shared her experiences at Turn-About. Taking to Instagram Live, Danielle spoke about being stuck outside in the elements for weeks on end, becoming sick and being denied access to a doctor and witnessing a fellow student commit murder, with no counselling provided to any of the teens afterwards.
Both Danielle, and Hannah’s lawsuit with Gloria Allred accuse Dr. Phil of putting children in danger by sending them to these facilities. They want Dr. Phil to be held accountable for his actions.
Breaking Code Silence, a non-profit group who works on changing legislation in and educating on the “troubled teen” industry are also wanting to shed a spotlight on Dr. Phil and his exploiting and profiting from the trauma of children on his television show.
Breaking Code Silence’s work has gained momentum after pairing with Paris Hilton for her documentary “This Is Paris” where the heiress spoke out about the abuse she endured at Provo Canyon School. Some of Hilton’s claims include being beaten by staff members, being forced to take unknown pills and being subjected to solitary confinement for up to 20 hours at a time.
Like Turn-About Ranch, Provo Canyon is part of the Aspen Education Group who sponsor Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil promotes and does commercials for the cult-ish group of schools who have zero regulations attached to them.
Change is in the air.
Currently Break Code Silence is attempting to pass a law in Utah to regulate the school, making it illegal to abuse the children in their care. As it stands today, they are perfectly within their rights to beat children, perform painful cavity searches, force the teens to sleep on wooden boards, lock them outside and alter their personalities with unknown prescriptions. Several children have died while under the ‘care’ of these schools while others, as a result of being denied medical aid have allegedly required plastic surgery to due to a mouth abscess and in one case, an alleged limb amputation.
There is 6% success rate of children being ‘rehabilitated’ from these schools, a fact Dr. Phil well knows, yet he continues to promote these schools on his show. Not only does the ‘psychologist’ send guests from his show to the schools, but his celebrity endorsement creates the ripple effect that makes parents watching the show believe their children will be safe and well cared for at a similar facility. Little do these parents know, Dr. Phil is receiving kickbacks or being paid to advertise the schools.
One episode of Dr. Phil, where he ‘sentenced’ a troubled teen to Sagewalk Wilderness Therapy Camp was removed from the network line up after a 16 year old died due to neglect while at the camp.
Another part of the lawsuit being filed against Dr. Phil is in regards to his support of children being “abducted for transport”, a scare tactic used in order to make children comply.
This is certainly not the first time Dr. Phil has been sued for damages from previous guests claiming their tenure on the show resulted in their lives being ruined, or at the least, worse than before their appearance on television. Most of his lawsuits have ended up being settled out of court.
I’m not a psychologist, but I play one on T.V.
Dr. Phil, or should we be calling him, Mr. McGraw has not been a licensed psychologist since 2006. He hasn’t been a practicing psychologist since the 1980’s when his legal woes began. It wasn’t his tenure on television that first resulted in Dr. Phil facing the courts, it was an ethics violation.
It has been said that Dr. Phil was found to be engaged in an intimate relationship with a patient, a claim Dr. phil denied. In Dr. Phil’s words, he “never so much as patted this woman on the back. It was absolutely and totally false and it was fully investigated and dismissed.”
Charges were filed with the Texas State Board of Examiners and Psychologists and the board reprimanded Dr. Phil in 1989 “for hiring the woman too soon after she was a patient” and calling their relationship “an inappropriate dual relationship.”
Dr. Phil closed his private practice shortly after and went into legal consulting where he met Oprah Winfrey who brought him onto her show. This then led to the Dr. Phil show premiering in September 2002.
Breaking Code Silence is looking for survivors who were sent to a reform school by Dr. Phil. If you have a story to share go to @breakcodesilence on Instagram for details.
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