Dr. Phil McGraw is probably the most famous TV psychologist and one of the most famous talk show hosts in general. On his show, Dr. Phil discusses and helps people address a range of issues, mostly to do with family relationships.
Dr.Phil’s show is famous for bringing a spotlight to family issues that are often hidden under the surface. Using his techniques, Dr. Phil helps people to reconnect and overcome interpersonal conflict.
But how did he become a household name?
Dr. Phil actually started out as a college football player before graduating with a Ph.D. in psychology. He stopped private practice to pursue a career in self-motivation seminars, starting a company called Pathways.
He became a TV personality after Oprah Winfrey made him a regular guest on her talk show. Riding on the fame that Oprah had given him, Dr. Phil started his own talk show in 2002.
Oprah originally met Dr. Phil when she used him in a court case. She was being sued for defamation by cattlemen who believed she had hurt their industry.
Dr. Phil became notable for his no-nonsense, somewhat tough approach to helping people overcome their problems. Dr. Phil is a master of cutting through the façade that people put on and getting down to the real issues that are preventing reconciliation between people.
Dr. Phil has also had a successful career selling self-help books, many targeting the issue of obesity. In 2003 he launched the Dr. Phil foundation which is focused on helping children overcome issues like eating disorders.
Dr. Phil became a household name because he was one of the very first to, for better or worse, expose mental health issues and the hidden demons people face in their personal life. Dr. Phil’s shows are noteworthy for having highly emotional guests, which always makes for great TV.