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          Ask Dr. Phil

          December 24, 2002

          Paula Abdul has a “strictly hypothetical” question for Dr. Phil: “Let’s say there’s a guy from another country, maybe England … and he has a crush on me … I mean, my friend Pauline … but he shows his interest by being incredibly mean. How should I, I mean she, handle him?”
          Dr. Phil says that Paula, or Pauline, that it “seems like she can hold her own. Besides, he jokes, “the last time England came over here and messed with America, they got a whoopin!”

          Kristin Davis of Sex and the City wants to know if Dr. Phil worries about how his guests might handle what he says.
          “No, I don’t worry about what I say to people on television, but I do take it very seriously,” says Dr. Phil. “I don’t think we’re doing eight-minute cures up here. We’re giving people wake-up calls … I weigh very carefully everything I say because there are millions of people watching, and some of them are going to act on some of the things I say.”

          What’s it like to live with Dr. Phil? Robin McGraw, Dr. Phil’s wife, seems to also tell it like it is!

          “As a husband, he’s the sweetest man in the world. On the show, I think he’s brilliant. I’ve known this man for 30 years and I still am amazed at what he does up here,” she says. “But when he comes home, when he walks in the door, he is totally helpless. It’s like, ‘Where do we keep the ice?'”

          Christine called in and can’t believe her “perfect child” is a lesbian. She believes having a relationship with a woman is her daughter’s way of being rebellious. She asks, “Is homosexuality a learned behavior?

          "Jackpot Judy" goes to the casino once a week and spends $60 on the slot machines. "It's my escape," she says. She doesn't drink or smoke, so this is her one indulgence. She's crabby if she doesn't get to go. "Do I have a gambling problem?" she asks Dr. Phil.
          "You're just giving money away!" says Dr. Phil. The casinos are raking it in while she squanders cash she can't afford to lose. "The thing that really concerns me is that you feel really drawn to it," he adds. "Don't go." Explaining that he diagnoses her situation as a problem, he suggests that she try not going for six months to see how it feels.

          Leslie is 24 years old and can't let go of her baby blanket. She even took it on her honeymoon! Before she and her husband have a baby, she wants to be over her blankie.
          If you want to break this habit, says Dr. Phil, you must behave your way out of it. Identify the payoff you get and replace the blankie with something that can give you the same thing. If the blanket gives you comfort and security, for example, try getting this from your husband. Replace the child stimulus with an adult one, and remember that habits are broken when they're replaced with new behaviors.

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