January 15, 2007
A desperate family turns to Dr. Phil to save a young teen. Alex, barely 14 years old, is running away, stealing, doing drugs and prostituting herself to men nearly twice her age. Her mother, Kim, says she can no longer control her own daughter. Kim’s sister-in-law, Enza, says Kim is a “poor excuse for a mother” and Alex is only modeling what she learned from her. Can these women come together for the sake of Alex?
Part 1 summary:
After speaking with Kim on the phone, Dr. Phil arranges for the family to move into The Dr. Phil House, where cameras monitor their every move and Dr. Phil can intervene whenever he chooses. Joining Kim and Alex are two other important family members: Enza, Alex’s aunt, and Jeanette, Alex’s grandmother. Kim and Enza are sisters-in-law who cannot be in the same room together without fighting. Enza has some strong opinions about Kim’s parenting skills, and think Alex’s behavior is Kim’s fault. Jeanette admits she has “checked out” when it comes to Alex and no longer intervenes. Within minutes of moving in the house, Alex goes trolling for older men on the Internet. Dr. Phil sits down with Kim to find out how the family declined into chaos. Kim denies being an alcoholic, though she does admit she partied too much in front of her daughter. Enza watches from another room, frustrated by the lies she claims Kim is telling. When she joins the conversation, sparks fly as the two women immediately launch into an argument.
Part 2 summary:
Alex tells Dr. Phil she wants help to stop her destructive behavior. As he monitors the House from his computer, Dr. Phil is struck speechless after watching Enza have an inappropriate conversation with her niece, bad-mouthing Alex’s mother. Then Enza starts a fight with Kim, in front of the teen. Alex heads to a health clinic to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and another heated argument breaks out between Enza and Kim. Dr. Phil sits down with Alex to talk about her future. When a doctor reveals her much-anticipated test results, Alex is relieved to learn that she’s HIV-negative. Dr. Phil reminds her that she’s getting a second chance to start over. Dr. Phil meets with the two fighting women and shows a video clip that leaves Kim shocked and looking to her sister-in-law for an explanation.
Part 3 summary:
Dr. Phil confronts Alex’s aunt, Enza, and her mother, Kim, about how their venomous relationship is affecting Alex and leading her to turn to men for comfort. Enza apologizes for her inappropriate conversations with Alex. Jeanette overhears a discussion between Kim and Enza and, upset, informs Kim that she will find a new place to live. After confiscating Alex’s cell phone, Kim is disgusted to hear a voicemail from an older man, trying to contact Alex for sex. Private investigator Harold Copus meets with Alex and gets information on the men she says she’s been with. On their last day in the House, Dr. Phil breaks the news to Alex that she won’t be returning home with her family, but will be headed to a therapeutic academy, to be in a healthy learning environment and learn how to take responsibility for herself. Alex breaks down in tears when she learns she’s leaving immediately.