Dr. Phil's Get Real Retreat Update: Kathleen

A Life-Crippling Fear

Kathleen has been working with therapist Dr. Barbara Peavey from the PNP Center in Dallas. The PNP Center is a multi-disciplinary clinic, so patients see several specialists to get to the bottom of the problem. 

Dr. Phil asks Dr. Peavey, "This is something she's making progress on, true?"

"She's making tremendous progress. She's been working on learning different kinds of coping strategies. Kathleen, through her experience, just hasn't had the foundation, the good coping strategies, hasn't known how to deal with the stress or the anxiety. And so one of the things we did when she came to the PNP Center is we evaluated her biofeedback and found out that she would benefit to learn some skills on how to be able to work with that."

Dr. Phil explains that Kathleen's reactions to black men are so ingrained that it's an involuntary reaction now, but she can learn to stop that.

Kathleen says she thinks she's making progress. Recently, Kathleen had an incident with a black man. "Two weeks ago, there was a black guy. He approached me, and I stayed calm, and we talked for a little bit. I told Wade, ‘I didn't get mad. I didn't lose my cool, nothing. I never called him a name. It never got ugly.' The whole time I was talking to this guy, I kept seeing Wade. I kept saying, ‘This is Wade, you're talking to Wade, you're talking to Wade, stay calm,'" she says.

Part of Kathleen's work has been with biofeedback therapist Patrice Brumley and chairman of the Dr. Phil advisory board, Dr. Frank Lawlis.

[AD]Dr. Lawlis says one of the things they learned about Kathleen was her adrenal functions and her hormones were in total chaos. Even an individual who didn't have Kathleen's trauma would be feeling out of sorts. "She was so vulnerable to any kind of anxiety that her arousal just got out of control, so I had tremendous respect for her and her ability to follow up with this hormonal therapy that will make a huge difference in her life."

Patrice says Kathleen has learned some different relaxation and stress management techniques so she can learn to calm herself.

Kathleen says she's going to continue to make progress.