A Family Divided: Erin Explodes at Alex: Marty and Katherine

Katherine Sounds Off
Dr. Phil talks to Marty and Katherine about their relationship.
On the last show, Marty and 13-year-old Katherine were at odds, and Katherine said she didn't think she could forgive her father after his confession. When Dr. Phil asks Marty if he's been making progress in his relationship with Katherine, Marty says yes, but Katherine disagrees.

"I think every time we make progress, we go straight down the tubes again," she says. "I don't see why I have to keep getting hurt over and over. I made the decision to just shut him out kind of halfway and just let him in a little bit."

Dr. Phil tells Marty that while his family loves him, they didn't miss his temper while they were on their trip. They said that Marty blows up and then forgets about his outburst, while it still

lingers with them. Marty acknowledges his short temper, but says that he doesn't get over his anger as quickly as his family thinks he does.

Katherine doesn't see it Marty's way. "He'll start yelling and I'm not the type of person who will sit there and let somebody yell in my face," she says.

Dr. Phil tells Katherine, "You have a responsibility here. It's your job to get along with your father."

He tells Marty, "When you yell and scream and call names, you are climbing down from the parent position and you are getting into a child/child relationship ... You cannot parent from a child position. Do you get that?"

"Yes," Marty says.

Turning to Erin in the audience, Dr. Phil says, "Because what happens, even if what [Alex] has done is unacceptable, your behavior is so inappropriate, it totally overshadows what she did or didn't do, and she just gets away with it and doesn't learn anything from it."

Dr. Phil addresses Marty. "If you want to be the head of this family, then you need to be a good steward of that responsibility and authority," he says. "And behaving in a child-to-child way with yelling and screaming or name-calling is not OK."

Dr. Phil tells Katherine, "You have had a mouth on you since the day I met you ... That's not OK. You have to understand that you are the child here. You are very young. There's so much you don't know that you don't even know you don't know ... You need to get the chip off your shoulder. This is your father. You don't like everything that he does and that's OK. You're never going to like everything that he does. But he's your father, and you need to work on healing this relationship from your side. It's not your responsibility to fix it, but it is your responsibility to handle your side of it."

Katherine tells Dr. Phil that she has been trying to approach her father. "Each time I open up to him, and say, 'Dad, it hurts me when you do that,' he says, 'I don't care. I don't have control over your feelings.' So I think in my mind, 'Why should I open up to him?'" she asks.

"That is an absolutely appropriate thing for you to say," Dr. Phil observes. "It's appropriate for you guys to discuss that. It's OK to have that conversation, but you need to have the conversation, and you need to be committed to moving this ahead."

Dr. Phil tells Marty that he needs to stop being defensive when Katherine shares her feelings with him. "What do you hear me saying about you being defensive and blowing up?" he asks.

"I do that a lot," Marty admits. "It's not right."

Katherine chimes in, "What are you going to do about it?"

"Stop doing it," Marty answers.

When Katherine asks how, Dr. Phil says, "You're doing good, girl." He gets up and switches seats with Katherine as the audience applauds. "Answer the girl's

question," he says to Marty.

"How are you going to stop blowing up?" Katherine reiterates.

"By listening to you more and trying to understand," Marty says.

When Katherine asks Marty how he'll respond when she wants to discuss boys, he jokes, "That's when we fly to California."

Dr. Phil interjects. "Let me tell you, when they want to talk about boys, I'd pull up a chair if I were you," he tells Marty.