Psychologist, life strategist, television host. Born in 1950 in Oklahoma, Dr. Phil was raised both there and in Texas. He grew up to become a 6-foot-4-inch linebacker and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa. He finished his degree at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Later, in just four years, he picked up his master's and Ph.D. in psychology at the University of North Texas. In 1979, Dr. Phil opened a practice with his father, who earned his psychology degree at the age of 40.
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. And 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 Texan served up common sense advice rather than self-help jargon. His tough demeanor made him a psychologist that even men felt comfortable listening to.
In the fall of 2002, he launched his own nationally syndicated series, Dr. Phil. Along with conducting motivational seminars across the country, he is the author of three New York Times bestsellers.
» His fourth, which outlines strategies for weight managemnt, is in the works.
Dr. Phil has been married to his wife, Robin, since 1976. They have two sons, Jay and Jordan.
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