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Phil McGraw Edit Profile

also known as Phillip Calvin McGraw

Psychologist , Television personality , author

Born in 1950, Dr. Phil McGraw was a college football player who got his Ph.D. in psychology. He quit private practice to start Pathways, a self-motivation seminar, as well as a company called Courtroom Sciences. He met Oprah Winfrey while helping her win a lawsuit in 1998. McGraw became a regular on her show, then launched his own in 2002. He also penned several bestselling self-help books.

Background

Phillip Calvin "Phil" McGraw known as Dr. Phil, is an American television personality, author, psychologist, and the host of the television show Dr. Phil, which debuted in 2002. McGraw first gained celebrity status with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s.

Education

Phil went to school and played football in Mission, Kansas. His high school sweetheart, Debbie Higgins (McCall) was a cheerleader.

Attended University of Tulsa; Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX (BA in Psychology, 1975); University of North Texas, Denton, TX (MA and PhD in Psychology, 1979)

McGraw attended the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, on a football scholarship but turned his attention to psychology after an injury cut short his athletic career. He transferred and earned a B.A. (1975) from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. After receiving a master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas, McGraw launched a career as a psychologist. He joined his father, who was also a psychologist, and another partner to form a company that operated self-motivation and life-skills seminars throughout the country. Soon after establishing his own practice, however, McGraw realized that he did not have the patience for the subtleties and ambiguous time frames of traditional talk therapy. He closed the practice and began conducting corporate consultant work.

McGraw graduated in 1975 from Midwestern State University with a B.A. in psychology. He went on to earn an M.A. in experimental psychology in 1976, and a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology in 1979 at the University of North Texas where his dissertation was titled "Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Psychological Intervention". McGraw was guided through the doctoral program by Frank Lawlis, who later became the primary contributing psychologist for the Dr. Phil television show.

After obtaining his doctorate, McGraw joined his father, Joe McGraw, in Wichita Falls, Texas, where the elder McGraw had established his private psychology practice.

Career

After going into private practice, Dr. Phil soon realized one-on-one therapy wasn't for him. He then launched a popular self-motivation seminar called Pathways. In 1989, he built a company called Courtroom Sciences. The venture helped trial lawyers build cases using psychology by conducting mock trials, behavioral analysis, jury selection and mediation.

It was through Courtroom Sciences that Dr. Phil met Oprah Winfrey. In 1996, she was being sued by cattlemen who claimed she defamed the beef industry on one of her shows, and Oprah hired Dr. Phil to assist during the trial. After helping her win the case in 1998, Dr. Phil became a regular expert on Oprah, dealing with life strategies and relationships. With his catchphrase, "Get real," the plain-spoken doctor served up common sense advice rather than self-help jargon. His tough demeanor made him a psychologist that even men felt comfortable listening to.

Dr. McGraw uses the power of television to tell compelling stories about real people with a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems, stripping away the shame and embarrassment that often keep people from seeking help. Many viewers, for the first time in their lives, develop an understanding of problems experienced by their families and themselves and, in the comfort of their homes, experience the hope and possibility of change. With a strong commitment to research, and the assistance of leading scholars and behavioral scientists, Dr. McGraw educates viewers about state-of-the-art and evidence-based treatment options for many of the most challenging problems faced by individuals, couples and families. His unique dedication to families and children is legend to the millions of people around the world who watch his show and read his books.

In addition to creating over 2,000 hours of national television devoted to helping people create better lives and families, Dr. McGraw is the author of seven #1 New York Times bestsellers, published in 39 languages with over 33 million copies in print. Because of his broad education, training and experience in the field of psychology, and his unique ability to effectively communicate in common sense language, Dr. McGraw is frequently called upon for his expert opinion on current events by major national and international news outlets including “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”

In 2003, Dr. McGraw established The Dr. Phil Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization, funding many worthy projects benefiting disadvantaged children and families. In addition to his work with The Dr. Phil Foundation, Dr. McGraw is a frequent supporter of many charitable organizations, including the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. Dr. McGraw and his wife Robin, have devoted countless hours promoting their recruitment project that generated an increase of $100 million of volunteer services in just one year. Additionally, he frequently supports disaster relief and was quick to volunteer his services in post-Katrina New Orleans and in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The Dr. Phil Foundation is another tool in McGraw’s arsenal to fight problems that cripple our society in subtle but undeniable ways.

Works

  • the host of the television show

    • Dr. Phil

  • Other Work

    • Oprah Winfrey and the Dr. Phil show

    • Weight loss products

Religion

McGraw is Christian, but rather than talk about it, he sort of plays it down. When asked how he felt about people celebrating Christmas in a non-religious way, he said,

I believe that it’s each to his own. I mean, it’s Christmas in my house. You know, we’re a Christian home and raising a Christian family. For those who haven’t been, do what works for you. I think you got to all get along.

And when a distressed woman on his show asked for advice because her husband had turned into an atheist, Dr. Phil didn’t exactly embrace atheism, but he wasn’t offended by it either. And he figured if the woman prayed enough, the husband would see the light eventually:

Don’t judge him about it; don’t cut him off; don’t be angry with him; don’t criticize his position. Because that’s not the Christian way. The Christian way is to be accepting and to be patient. And just pray that the time will come when God will move his heart.

McGraw also uses some Christian concepts on his show in an abstract way. In an interesting essay, two sociology professors draw parallels between The Dr. Phil Show and a religious conversion–McGraw, of course, is the preacher-type with “religious-like authority.”

Politics

McGraw is pretty vague on his political beliefs–he understandably doesn’t want to alienate any viewers–but it’s likely that he’s a Republican. He appears on several lists of Republican celebrities,56 and that’s probably because he donated to a Republican candidate in 1995. He has made no other contributions before or since.

He did, however, have Democrat Elizabeth Warren on his show, and even said about her: “We are so like-minded!” Granted, it was before she ran for the Senate, but she was still a strong voice in opposition to the excesses of Wall Street. But McGraw’s support of Warren was as a conservative, not as a Democrat. Talking about how consumers deserve to be treated honestly by credit card companies, he said,

We all have to take responsibility for our choices, but we deserve the straight facts too! That’s what Elizabeth wants to make happen.

Personal responsibility is a big theme with conservatives, and it seems to fit with Dr. Phil’s whole philosophy. After all, his life law number one is: “You either get it or you don’t. Become one of those who gets it.”

Views

His life law number one is: “You either get it or you don’t. Become one of those who gets it.”

Quotations: "Nothing's funnier to me than laughing at myself."

"We all have a social mask, right? We put it on, we go out, put our best foot forward, our best image. But behind that social mask is a personal truth, what we really, really believe about who we are and what we're capable of."

"The Internet is just bringing all kinds of information into the home. There's just a lot of distraction, a lot of competition for the parent's voice to resonate in the children's ears."

"There's a big difference between falling in love and being in love. There's a big difference between infatuation and falling in love."

"It's better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else."

"At the end of the day, whether or not those people are comfortable with how you're living your life doesn't matter. What matters is whether you're comfortable with it."

"A year from now, you're gonna weigh more or less than what you do right now."

"I'm embarrassed every time I look a teacher in the eye, because we ask them to do so much for so little."

"We teach people how to treat us."

"My dad used to say, 'You wouldn't worry so much about what people thought about you if you knew how seldom they did."

"Awareness without action is worthless."

"Eighty percent of all choices are based on fear. Most people don't choose what they want; they choose what they think is safe."

"If your neighbor has a completely different view on abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, all of those things, you still are both Americans. Neither one of you is necessarily more patriotic than the other. Neither loves their country any more than the other one does."

"A lot of people do have tragic childhoods. But you know what? Get over it."

"You need to listen to your body because your body is listening to you."

"There is nothing wrong with your marriage if you're dealing with bills and kids and the broken garbage disposal and in-laws and work demands. That's a normal marriage."

"You're only lonely if you're not there for you."

"Sometimes you just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you."

"If you want more, you have to require more from yourself."

"Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right."

"You know, what we do know is that there is a high frequency of violence in the home of those who bully."

"Successful weight loss takes programming, not willpower."

"If you're trying to get out of debt, you have to be willing to treat everything as expendable."

Personality

Dr. McGraw uses the power of television to tell compelling stories about real people with a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems, stripping away the shame and embarrassment that often keep people from seeking help. Many viewers, for the first time in their lives, develop an understanding of problems experienced by their families and themselves and, in the comfort of their homes, experience the hope and possibility of change. With a strong commitment to research, and the assistance of leading scholars and behavioral scientists, Dr. McGraw educates viewers about state-of-the-art and evidence-based treatment options for many of the most challenging problems faced by individuals, couples and families. His unique dedication to families and children is legend to the millions of people around the world who watch his show and read his books.

Interests

  • Sport & Clubs

    Football

  • Other Interests

    An avid tennis player, golfer and scuba diver.

    McGraw is also a private pilot, with an instrument rating, flying single engine airplanes.

Connections

Dr. McGraw lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Robin. The couple, married for 38 years, is totally devoted to their family, which includes sons Jay and Jordan, and Jay’s wife, Erica. Jay and Erica welcomed their second child in August, 2011, London Phillip, who is Dr. Phil and Robin’s first grandson. Big sister Avery Elizabeth was born in March, 2010.

father:
Joseph J. "Joe" McGraw - Psychologist
Joseph J. "Joe" McGraw - father of Phil McGraw

Born April 2, 1924 in Munday, Knox, Texas

Died August 22, 1993 in Dallas County, Texas

mother:
Anne Geraldine "Jerry" Stevens
Anne Geraldine "Jerry" Stevens  - mother of Phil McGraw

Jerry was born in the township of Colt in rural Arkansas on March 6, 1916, and died on June 23, 2015, at her home in West Hartford.

son:
Jay McGraw
Jay McGraw - son of Phil McGraw

Jay Phillip McGraw was born September 12, 1979

McGraw is president and CEO of Stage 29 Productions in Los Angeles, a company he co-founded with his father. He has served as executive producer on several prime-time Dr. Phil specials. He appeared as host of Renovate My Family, which aired on Fox.

McGraw was born in Wichita County, Texas, and attended Greenhill School and is a graduate of the University of Texas, receiving a B.S. in psychology. He earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University. He is executive producer of the TV series The Doctors.

McGraw wed Playboy model Erica Dahm at his parents' home in Beverly Hills. A reception for 400 guests followed the ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. In March 2010, Dahm gave birth to the couple's first daughter, Avery Elizabeth.In March 2011, McGraw and his wife announced they were expecting their second child in September 2011. Erica gave birth to a son, London Philip McGraw, on August 31, 2011.

son:
Jordan McGraw - musician
Jordan McGraw - son of Phil McGraw

Jordan McGraw was born 1986.

One of the eminent musicians, Jordan McGraw is the youngest son of Phil and Robin McGraw. Jordan fell in love with his guitar at the age of 15, when his family moved to Los Angeles. He created the band “The Upside” in April 2005, and was the band’s lead guitarist and vocalist. Currently, Jordan serves as the ambassador of “Little Kids Rock across America” a program aimed to re-establish, revitalize and augment music in schools spread in 10 cities across the country. Jordan was also reported dating American model Crystal Harris.

ex-wife:
Debbie Higgins
Debbie Higgins - ex-wife of Phil McGraw

McGraw married his first wife, an ex-cheerleader and homecoming queen named Debbie Higgins McCall, in 1970, when he was 20 years old.According to her, McGraw was domineering and would not allow her to participate in the family business. She claimed that she was confined to domestic duties, which included lifting weights to improve her bustline.

wife:
Robin Jo Jameson
Robin Jo Jameson - wife of Phil McGraw

Robin McGraw was born on December 28, 1953 in Irving, Texas, USA as Robin Jameson. She is an actress, known for Dr. Phil (2002), Christmas in Washington (2008) and Entertainment Tonight (1981). She has been married to Phil McGraw since August 14, 1976. They have two children.