Logo
Shopping Cart

Shopping Cart 0 Items (Empty)

Categories

Dr Phil McGraw Audio Books -AudioBooks CD plus Robin and Jay McGraw

Dr Phil McGraw Audio Books click here

Robin McGraw Inside my Heart Audio Book Click Here

Closing the Gap - Jay McGraw Audio Book Click Here

Dr Phil McGraw Family First Audio Book click here

Dr Phil McGraw Ultimate Weight Solution Audio Book click here

Dr Phil McGraw Life Strategies Audio Book click here

Dr Phil McGraw Self Matters Audio Book click here

Dr Phil McGraw Love Smart Audio Book click here

Dr Phil McGraw Relationship Rescue Audio Book click here

 

 

Dr Phil McGraw News

A Letter From Tricia: Identical Twin In Recovery From Serious Eating Disorder

A Letter From Tricia: Identical Twin In Recovery From Serious Eating Disorder

Dr. Phil met 16-year-old identical twins Taylor and Tricia in 2016 when they each weighed less than 80 lbs. The sisters were referred to separate treatment facilities to address their eating disorders, and as of September 2019, report having gained over 40 lbs. each.

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Teen in crisis?

Taylor and Tricia came back to the Dr. Phil stage for an update on their recovery

Watch: Identical Twins Who Were Starving To Death Return!

Additionally, the twins have written letters about their recovery – and to thank Dr. Phil for his assistance in finding them help. Below is Tricia’s letter. Check here to read the letter from Taylor.

Tricia’s Letter:

Hello everyone, my name is Tricia. As some of you may already know, I am one of the twin girls that was on the episode Identical Twins Starving to Death: Who’s to Blame? in August 2016.

I’m here today at 19 years old, to share the rest of my story.

I just want to take a minute of everyone’s time today to share something I wrote and before I begin, I want to thank Dr. Phil and everyone for having me here today.

If you are reading this and are struggling, I want to let you know that there is hope. If you feel everyone is against you, and you are alone - there is hope. Hope is one of the biggest things I believe in. You are never alone in this fight. Reach out to someone, even to myself if you’d like. Reaching outlets your brain know there is still a “you.”

An eating disorder is more of a mental disorder where a voice in your head takes over. Talking to the voice only makes it weaker and the weaker it gets, the easier the day becomes. I learned this through the treatment center that Dr. Phil helped me get to.

I’m not going to sit here and lie and say it was easy. Recovery is hard. There have been days where I didn’t feel like fighting. Where I wanted to give up. Where I felt alone. But what lead me to keep fighting the fight is hope. I had to believe in myself to succeed.

Throughout my recovery, I’ve learned that recovery to me means finding yourself. It means being willing to really get to know yourself, and open up to the belief that you can actually love who you are. All of you. Even the parts that confuse you or frighten you, or that you don’t like

so much. It means the ability to let go of the person you thought you would be, or think you should be, and allow yourself to unfold into the person you truly are.

Today I learned who I am, and will continue to learn my true self. Life is truly beautiful. And it is a gift that I have it every day.

Before I end, one huge shout out to my family, and my fiancé and his family. You guys have really been my biggest motivation and I’m so thankful for each of you! I love you guys.

And finally to Taylor. Thank you for standing by my side. You have encouraged and push me to be the best version of myself. You are my biggest motivation in life. Sunny days or rainy days, you’d be there in a heartbeat. I just want to let you, and everyone reading this know, how proud I am of you!! Continue to build yourself, and I’ll guide you every step of the way. I truly believe I will never be able to thank you enough, no matter how many times I say it. I love you and your beautiful soul, tremendously.

Sincerely with love,

Tricia Rose

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Need Dr. Phil to get real with someone?

 

Posted on 24 September 2019 | 4:01 am

A Letter From Taylor: Identical Twin In Recovery From Serious Eating Disorder

A Letter From Taylor: Identical Twin In Recovery From Serious Eating Disorder

Dr. Phil met 16-year-old identical twins Taylor and Tricia in 2016 when they each weighed less than 80 lbs. The sisters were referred to separate treatment facilities to address their eating disorders, and as of September 2019, report having gained over 40 lbs. each.

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Teen in crisis?

Taylor and Tricia came back to the Dr. Phil stage for an update on their recovery.

Watch: Identical Twins Who Were Starving To Death Return!

Additionally, the twins have written letters about their recovery – and to thank Dr. Phil for his assistance in finding them help. Below is Taylor’s letter. Check here to read the letter from Tricia.

Hi everyone, as many of you know my name is Taylor. This is my second time going on Dr. Phil. The first time was in August 2016, Identical Twins Starving to Death: Who’s to Blame? I highly would suggest watching that episode. It will not only give you the reason why I’m appearing back on the show, but it’ll show you how serious an eating disorder can be. I was 16 when that show was aired. Today, I am returning as a 19-year-old recovered anorexic/bulimic. Not only am I returning as recovered, but also my beautiful journey partner, Tricia is as well.

With being away from home and hospitalized made me dramatically scared. I was hopeless, I was beyond lost in my mind, lost at who I was becoming. I began my treatment in Chicago Illinois. Treatment started off very oddly to me. I kept losing weight to the point I got discharged and placed into a hospital facility that specializes with eating disorders. It was a very low feeling for me knowing that I’m only 16 years old alone in a hospital I had no idea about, in a totally different state than what home I was.

The hardest part was being away from home. All I wanted was some sort of comfort. My beautiful mother actually drove to Chicago to come give me the comfort I needed. All I needed was a hug from her and for her to let me know everything will be okay. That is what pushed me to keep going and to keep striving for what I wanted.

Later on, I returned to the treatment facility. I remember instantly crying, crying because this was the biggest change I had to ever go through. To finding my balance with food, to finding the balance in my mind to blur that voice of “Ed” (eating disorder) out, and most importantly to love the person I was becoming.

My sister and I were separated from each other for 2 months, my sister and I never experienced being away from each other longer than 2/3 days at a time. I remember girls on my lodge asking me if I was okay, and that’s when I started building a relationship with them. Being a twin is a very unique bond that I get to experience.

Recovery was also very challenging to me. It’s just like learning something new. You’re so unsure of how things are supposed to go, you’re unsure of your emotions and unsure of what to expect. I had to constantly remind myself of who I am and who I was. I had to tell myself little things like “You can do it”, “Be brave”, “Recovery is possible”, and “always believe in yourself”. I told myself I’d actually be living.

By living I mean doing things I couldn’t do when I was stuck in the position of having the disorder. I didn’t enjoy living at the age of 16. I isolated myself from the world. I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to go to work (simply because I had no energy) I hardly would see friends and family. I missed out on so much opportunity throughout those years. It was the biggest thing I’ve held against myself in treatment.

Treatment was hard, full of tears, frustration, new beginnings and most importantly a new me. One thing that stuck with me throughout my recovery journey would have to be “step outside of your comfort zone” be uncomfortable, and accept it! Learn to deal with being uncomfortable and find comfort in the mind with it. Timberline Knolls not only helped me with coping skills but they helped me meet so many other girls of all ages struggling with disorders and showed me how to so positive each and every day!

Being away from Tricia was miserable for me. As soon as I got to treatment I said my goodbyes to Tricia I immediately teared up, the girls on my lodge made me feel as if I had my sister with me. These girls became sisters to me and helped me get through this stage in recovery.

After treatment I was recovered for a while, then everything started to fall backward on my end me, I went back to square one and began to relapse. I felt so hopeless, so disappointed in myself, and upset at the fact I was losing myself to this disorder again. I slowly stopped trying to get better because I knew I “failed” and my mind didn’t want to accept failure in recovery. I slowly developed that failure is okay! Failure is a part of a recovery journey. failure only meant it was a slip-up, a setback, and that it didn’t have to be forever if you kept pushing for recovery.

I remember one Saturday night, I was really thinking about my recovery and my future. I didn’t want to live like this, I knew I wanted to change again. That’s when I developed a plan, a plan to get better and to fight for recovery again. I didn’t want to live the life I was living anymore and that’s what stuck with me to get better.

A huge thank you to Dr. Phil for guiding me into the direction of recovery and a healthier lifestyle. Thank you to my amazing family and friends for tremendously believing in me and supporting me.

There is one special "thank you" I feel like I need to give. To my beautiful mother. I know you’re reading this and I never really got the chance to thank you enough for all the hard work and effort you put into my recovery journey, to reaching out to Dr. Phil and getting us to where we stand today. You have been my biggest supporter since the day you found out I struggled with this disorder.

You didn’t even think twice about giving up on me. You strived to find me the correct help that I needed. You didn’t let me fight this alone. You stood by me and made me feel strong. So, mom, I wish I could say this a million times I’m so lost at what words to even use to say thank you. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. You are one of a kind and I can’t express how much your dedication to me means to me. I owe you more than the world and not a single bit less.

Although, I have lost tons of friends throughout my recovery journey because I needed to focus on me and put me first. That’s okay though, some people just don’t have the mindset to understand mental illness as deep as some people do. To the girls who are standing by my side today, you guys encourage me every day to keep reaching for the goals I have in mind for myself and to stay recovery-focused.

Just one last thing, I wanted to take a brief moment and congratulate my beautiful sister, Tricia. Tricia, knowing I went through this was extremely hard for me but knowing you faced the same struggles as me. It completely broke my heart; I knew from day one you would beat that demon! No matter how many slip-ups, fall downs or setbacks, I never lost hope in you. I knew you would be the strong woman you are and fight through it. Walk with your head held high and be ready for what challenges come next in life!

Today I can proudly walk across the stage and say I am beat the demon! I am a recovered anorexic/bulimic. Thank you to everyone for believing in me and to everyone who didn’t, look where I am today!

To all the young individuals struggling with something out there. Speak up! Stand up! Reach out for help, and reach for you dreams!

Sincerely,

Taylor Ann

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Need Dr. Phil to get real with someone?

Posted on 24 September 2019 | 4:00 am

Back-To-School Prep for College Students: Consider Vaccination Against Meningitis B

Back-To-School Prep for College Students: Consider Vaccination Against Meningitis B

Every summer, college students (and their parents) plan back-to-school shopping trips in anticipation of the fall semester. But somewhere between buying dorm supplies and textbooks, it’s easy to skip one of the most important stops to prepare for what’s ahead: the doctor’s office. You may have checked every box on your list, but if you haven’t scheduled a wellness visit for your teen, they may not be ready for school just yet.

Because of living in close quarters with each other and engaging in certain behaviors, such as sharing drinks and eating utensils and kissing, college students have had higher rates of meningococcal disease, an uncommon but potentially life-threatening illness also known as meningitis.

Early symptoms of meningitis may be similar to and mistaken for those of the flu, but meningitis can progress quickly and potentially be fatal, sometimes within 24 hours. One in ten people infected with meningitis will die and one in five will suffer long-term consequences, such as loss of limbs, brain damage, hearing loss and nervous system problems.

Vaccination is the best defense against meningococcal disease, although vaccination may not protect all recipients. There are two different types of meningococcal vaccines and both are needed to help protect against the five vaccine-preventable groups of meningitis – A, C, W, Y and B.

Routine vaccination against meningitis groups A, C, W and Y has been recommended for adolescents since 2005. However, there were no vaccines available to help protect against meningitis B until late 2014. If you aren’t sure whether your teen has received both types of vaccines, scheduling a wellness visit is a great way to make sure they’re up-to-date.

According to the CDC in 2017, only 14.5% of teens have received a vaccine that helps prevent meningitis B. From 2011 through March 2019, meningitis B caused all US college meningococcal outbreaks, which involved 13 campuses, 50 cases, and 2 deaths among an at-risk population of approximately 253,000 students.

To help protect your teen while they’re away at school, talk to their doctor about meningococcal vaccination and visit meningitisb.com to learn more.

Posted on 6 September 2019 | 3:00 am

9 Things The Media Should Avoid When Reporting On Suicide

9 Things The Media Should Avoid When Reporting On Suicide

Dr. Phil says there is a need to exercise sensitivity when discussing death by suicide, so as not to glamorize the act or give rise to copycats.

When reporting about suicide, there are certain guidelines to follow. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, ReportingOnSuicide.org and other sources, don’t do the following:

  • Use big or sensationalistic headlines, or prominent placement
  • Include photos/videos of the location or method of death
  • Include photos/videos of the grieving family, friends, memorials, or funerals
  • Describe as inexplicable or “without warning”
  • Refer to suicide as “successful,” “unsuccessful,” or a “failed attempt”
  • Investigate/report on suicide as you would a crime, rather than health issue
  • Describe in strong terms such as "epidemic" or "skyrocketing"
  • Release the contents of any “note”, if left by the deceased
  • Use first responders instead of experts as source of the causes of suicide

If someone you know is is talking about or planning to take his or her life, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).

Source: ReportingOnSuicide.org

Posted on 8 May 2017 | 3:00 am

Domestic Violence Resources

Domestic Violence Resources

If someone you know is in an abusive relationship — or if that someone is you — there are places you can turn for help. The following is a list of resources for victims of domestic violence:

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
(800) 799-SAFE (7233)
or 800.787.3224 (TTY)
http://www.thehotline.org

National Network to End Domestic Violence
(202) 543-5566
http://www.nnedv.org

American Psychiatric Association (APA)
(703) 907-7300
https://www.psychiatry.org/

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Phone: (202) 745-1211
Phone: (303) 839-1852
Fax: (202) 745-0088
Fax: (303) 831-9251
http://www.ncadv.org 

The National Center for Victims of Crime
(202) 467-8700
http://www.ncvc.org

Futures without Violence
(415) 678-5500
FAX: (415) 529-2930
http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
(800) 537-2238
FAX: (717) 545-9456
http://www.nrcdv.org

The Battered Women's Justice Project
TOLL-FREE: (800) 903-0111 ext. 3
Phone: (215) 351-0010
FAX: (215) 351-0779
http://www.bwjp.org

National Battered Women's Law Project
Phone: (212) 741-9480
FAX: (212) 741-6438

WomensHealth.gov
(800) 994-9662
http://www.womenshealth.gov/

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 
http://www.loveisrespect.org
(866) 331-9474

Safe Place 
http://www.safeplace.org
(512) 267-SAFE

Break the Cycle 
http://www.breakthecycle.org

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
(800) 656-HOPE
http://www.rainn.org

Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Phone: (800) 313-1310
FAX: (415) 252-8991

A Women's Guide to Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation
(866) 386-1608
http://www.recoveryconnection.org/alcohol-drug-rehab-for-women/

If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages. Because DrPhil.com does not operate, supervise, or exercise any control over any of the therapists, resources or referral services listed, it makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by these referral services. In no event shall it, Dr. Phil or the producers of the show be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on information provided by these therapists, resources or referral services.

 

Posted on 30 October 2015 | 8:37 pm

Teen Domestic Violence Resources

Teen Domestic Violence Resources

If your teenager, your friend, or even you are in an abusive relationship, there are places to go for help. The following resources provide information for teens dealing with relationship violence:

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 
www.loveisrespect.org
(866) 331-9474

Break the Cycle
(888) 988-TEEN
www.breakthecycle.org

KidsHealth
www.kidshealth.org

SeeItAndStopIt.Org
(617) 603-2009
www.seeitandstopit.org


If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages. Because DrPhil.com does not operate, supervise, or exercise any control over any of the therapists, resources or referral services listed, it makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by these referral services. In no event shall it, Dr. Phil or the producers of the show be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on information provided by these therapists, resources or referral services. 

 

Posted on 1 October 2015 | 11:49 am

Tips for Hotel Safety

Tips for Hotel Safety

Dr. Rosemary Erickson is a security expert who teaches seminars on hotel safety for businesswomen. Here are her tips for staying safe while in hotels:

  • Tell front desk your main concern is security.
  • Never get a room on the ground floor.
  • Try to avoid rooms where balconies connect.
  • Don’t get an adjoining room.
  • Never prop your door open to go to the ice machine.
  • Always use the deadbolt and make sure windows are locked.
  • Make sure you know the person knocking on your door. If they say they work for the hotel, get their name and call the front desk and double check. Make sure there is a reason why they’re sending an electrician/housekeeper, etc., to your room.
  • Have a doorman escort you to your room at night.
  • Be mindful of long hallways or corners you can’t see around.
  • If you see someone you’re unsure of on the floor of your room, turn around and get back on the elevator — try again later. There’s something known as “push and shove:” when you insert your electronic key, an assailant then shoves you into the room and closes the door. It’s the easiest way for a rapist to get into your room.

 

Posted on 24 May 2012 | 9:00 pm

Bishop T.D. Jakes' Five Components to Decision-Making

Bishop T.D. Jakes' Five Components to Decision-Making

How many times have you realized you made the wrong decision, but it was too late? In his new book, Before You Do: Making Great Decisions You Won't Regret, Bishop T.D. Jakes, says there are five crucial components to making smart decisions that won't lead to a lifelong regret. 

1. Research: Gathering Information and Collecting Data
"This is not about the destination. This is about the journey; how do I get to a good decision," Bishop Jakes says. For example, Dr. Phil's guest, Bruce, should ask himself if it's fair to blame his wife for their sons' illnesses. He should also take a step back and see what he needs to do to bond with his wife. "You can never make a good decision with bad information. A lot of people make a decision based on their emotions, but you really want to bring together, not just how you feel about it, but what are the facts."

2. Roadwork: Removing Obstacles and Clearing the Path

Think about the obstacles blocking your path and figure out how to overcome them to attain what you want. "As you're going through the process of moving on with your life, you've got to clear some things out of the way," Bishop Jakes says to Bruce and his wife, Sabrina. "You've still got this 'junk in the trunk' that you've collected along the way, and you're trying to go ahead with your life, as if you have not had a crisis. As you begin to move those obstacles out of the way, you clear the path to increase your chances of reaching the destination of living happily together."

3. Rewards: Listing Choices and Imagining Their Consequences

The consequences are the rewards. "You have never had any small rewards along the way; little reprieves, some moments of happiness. They are very short-lived, and it's very, very important," Bishop Jakes tells Bruce and Sabrina. Going for long periods without satiety doesn't make for a successful relationship. "You have not had those little ah-ha moments where you begin to really celebrate each other and have some relief from this stress and pressure ...  Take the power back by saying to yourself, ‘I can't help what happened to me, but I can change how I react to what happens to me.' That gives you the power back."

4. Revelation: Narrowing Your Options and Making Selections

Pray, meditate and find a way to get a clear picture on how your decision will turn out over a lifetime. Ask yourself what success looks like for you. "The revelation is that you still have many choices that you can make that are very positive and very meaningful," Bishop Jakes explains. "You get the revelation of seeing things correctly. When you see better, you do better."

5. Rearview: Looking Back and Adjusting as Necessary to Stay on Course

When revisiting a decision, decide if your choice accomplished what you set out to do. "Looking back on the situation and putting it behind you, assessing it and getting it in perspective is very, very important, because our wisdom is accumulated from when we look back at situations, we and learn from them. That's why, hopefully, as we get older, we get wiser," Bishop Jakes says. 

 

For more information on Bishop T.D.Jakes' book, Before You Do: Making Great Decisions that You Won't Regret, click here. 
 

 

Posted on 22 September 2008 | 9:00 pm

Internet Safety Resources

Internet Safety Resources

The Internet is a playground for sexual predators. Learn how to protect your children with these Internet safety resources.

To report the sexual exploitation of children, go to CyberTipLine.com. It's monitored by the FBI and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team: Keeping Children Safe Online

FBI Publications: A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

NetSmartz Workshop

RADAR, My Mobile Watchdog

ProtectKids.com 

KidShield.com: Ten Safety Net Steps for Safe Surfing 

SafeKids.com 

KidsHealth.org 

Posted on 28 August 2008 | 9:00 pm

Sibling Rivalry Quiz

Sibling Rivalry Quiz

 

 

Did you have a close relationship with your sibling at one time, and have you drifted apart over the years? Has your once close relationship with a sibling become no relationship at all? Is a childhood rivalry coming between you and your brother or sister? To find out if your contentious relationship with your sibling is negatively affecting other areas of your life, take the quiz below created by Dr. Frank Lawlis, psychologist and chairman of the Dr. Phil Advisory Board. Answer each of these questions based on your immediate attitude and feeling. Use the following letters to indicate the corresponding reaction: (I) Intense feelings " enough to interfere with your goals in life (S) Significant emotions " enough to upset you at times but not enough to interfere with your life (A) Aware of feelings, but not upset by them (N) No emotions, whether you are aware of them or not 1. Which of you has been the smartest? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions ______ 2. Which of you has made better grades? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions __________ 3. Which of you has been the better athlete? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions _________ 4. Which of you has been more popular? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions _______ 5. Which of you has been more charming? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions ___________ 6. Which of you has been better looking? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions _________ 7. Which of you has received the most honors? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions ____________ 8. Which of you has been the luckiest? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions _____ 9. Which of you has been the most successful? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions 10. Which of you has had the best of everything? ______________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions _____________ 11. Which of you has been Father's favorite? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions __________ 12. Which of you has been Mother's favorite? ________________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions 13. Which of you has been liked the most by your family? _____________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions ___________ 14. Which of you has received the most praise? ______________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions ____________ 15. Which of you has received the most things? ______________ How does being compared to your sibling in this area make you feel? (I) Intense (S) Significant (A) Aware (N) No emotions ____________ Scoring: For each Intense response (I) give a score of 3. For each Significant (S) response, give a score of 2, and for each Aware (A) response, give a score of 1. Add all 15 items for a total score from 0 to 45, and compare your score to the range interpretations below. Sum: ________ 34 - 45: Your sibling rivalry is very intense and is probably causing some issues interfering with your long-term happiness. 24 - 33: Your sibling rivalry is strong and may be causing stress in your relationships in general or your job satisfaction. 11 - 23: Your sibling rivalry is apparent, although unlikely to be a major influence on your life in general. Your rivalry has the potential to become significant related to specific events. 0 - 10: Your sibling rivalry probably does not interfere significantly in your life.

For more advice on getting over your sibling rivalry, click here.

 

Posted on 24 August 2008 | 9:00 pm

Good Habits

Good Habits

Dr. Phil Advisory Board member Dr. Art Markman offers strategies for developing good habits:

We are all concerned about breaking bad habits. In order to break a bad habit, though, you first need to know why people have habits in the first place. Then, you can put that knowledge to good use. You can make your good habits work for you, and you can help to get rid of your bad habits.

Habits are your mind's way of taking care of the little things that you have to do every day, but you don't want to have to think about. Imagine how frustrating life would be if you had to think about all of these things every day: 

  • Where is the garbage can in the kitchen?
  • Where is the light switch in the bedroom?
  • How are the numbers arranged on a phone?
  • Which button do I press to turn on the windshield wipes in my car?

Because these things do not change very often, your habit learning system takes care of them for you. That way, you can think about more interesting things (like what you want to read on the Dr. Phil website). To see that the habit system is working, think about what happens when you do change one of these things. For example, when you move to a new home, you don't know where the switches are and where you put the garbage cans. For weeks, you have to think about how to do these simple tasks. Not too long ago, I moved to a new office. I would find myself holding a crumpled piece of paper that I wanted to throw out and thinking about garbage rather than psychology. That was no fun (and a little bit stressful).

As another example, if you borrow a friend's car or drive a rental, you may have trouble finding the control for the windshield wipers. A few years ago, I had to pull off the road in a rental car when it suddenly started pouring, and I turned on and off the headlights rather than turning on the wipers!

We also see our habit learning abilities working at the grocery store. When you are faced with the wall of tomato sauce at the supermarket, you usually just pick up the brand of tomato sauce you usually buy. That is a habit. Not only do you usually pick the same brand, but that brand is often located in about the same place on the shelf each time you go to the store. When the supermarket reorganizes the wall of tomato sauce, it makes shopping harder, because you can't rely on your habits any more. I know when the supermarket I shop at reorganizes, it always takes me 20 minutes longer to do the grocery shopping.

Most of the time, habits are good. They let us do what we want to do without having to think about it. Now that you know this about your habits, make your habit system work for you. Whenever there is something in your life you don't want to have to think about, make sure that you keep that thing set up the same way all the time. Here are a few examples.

  • Always keep your garbage cans in the same location in your kitchen, bedroom, and office, so that you don't need to think about where they are.
  • Always keep first-aid supplies and thermometers in the same place, so that you do not have to think about where they are when someone gets sick or hurt.
  • Keep the same organization of the shelves in your kitchen so that you always know where to put the groceries away when you get home from the store.
  • Teach children to organize things consistently. My sons often have trouble finding a pen or pencil, because they tend to leave them where they were last using them. If they always keep their supplies in the same place, they won't have to spend time looking for them.

Finally, here are a few steps to develop a good habit.

  1. Make a list of activities that you think about now, but you wish would become habits.
  2. Pick one that you want to make a habit. You can always work your way through this whole list later.
  3. Think about all the ways you carry out that activity now. Chances are, you are doing this activity in many different ways right now so your habit learning system has not been able to take over.
  4. Pick one way of doing this activity and make an effort (at first) to do it the same way all the time.
  5. Before you know it, this activity will become a habit.

Next: Bad Habits and Your World

 

Art Markman is one of the world's leading researchers in cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is the area of work that examines how people think. He has done work on the way people communicate, reason, and make decisions. He is also interested in the way that people's motivation affects the way they think. In a 20-year research career, Art has published over 100 articles, books, and chapters including a textbook on Cognitive Psychology. He is currently the editor of the professional journal Cognitive Science. When Art is not working, he's spending time with his wife and three sons. Either that, or he's playing his saxophone. For more information about Prof. Markman, check his website at http://www.psy.utexas.edu/psy/FACULTY/Markman/index.html. You can contact Art at professorart@gmail.com.


© 2007 Arthur B. Markman, All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Posted on 5 November 2007 | 8:00 pm

Alcohol Addiction Resources

Alcohol Addiction Resources

Alcoholism is an out-of-control addiction. This year, Americans will spend more than ,000,000,000 on beer, wine and spirits. If you or someone close to you has a drinking problem, contact the following agencies:
 

Alcoholics Anonymous
https://www.aa.org/

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD)
https://www.recoverymonth.gov/organizations-programs/national-council-alcoholism-drug-dependence-inc-ncadd
800-NCA-CALL, (800)-622-2255

Adult Children of Alcoholics
http://www.adultchildren.org
(310) 534-1815

Mental Help Net
http://www.mentalhelp.net

National Association for Children of Alcoholics
http://www.nacoa.org
(301) 468-0985

Focus Adolescent Services 
(877) FOCUS-AS

Vital Intervention Professionals
http://www.viprecovery.com
(888) 536-7847

A Women's Guide to Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation
http://www.recoveryconnection.org/alcohol-drug-rehab-for-women/
(866) 386-1608
 


If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages. Because DrPhil.com does not operate, supervise, or exercise any control over any of the therapists, resources or referral services listed, it makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by these referral services. In no event shall it, Dr. Phil or the producers of the show be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on information provided by these therapists, resources or referral services.

 


TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Life in crisis?
 

 

Posted on 21 May 2006 | 9:00 pm

Missing Persons Resources

Missing Persons Resources

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
http://www.missingkids.com
(800) THE-LOST or (800) 843-5678

Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC)
http://www.mcsc.ca
Toll Free: (800) 661-6160 (403) 291-0705
Email: tips@mcsc.ca

Street Teens
A nonprofit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk teens. Get more information and find out how to make a donation by visiting:
http://www.streetteens.org
(702) 809-3585

FBI's list of Kidnappings and Missing Persons Investigations

Harold Copus, Investigative Solutions
E-mail: hcopus@bellsouth.net
Phone: (770) 547-0045

Posted on 6 February 2006 | 8:00 pm

Missing Persons Resources

Posted on 6 February 2006 | 8:00 pm

Child Sexual Abuse Warning Signs and Resources

Child Sexual Abuse Warning Signs and Resources

If you're worried that your child is being sexually abused, look for the following possible warning signs:
 

  • Changes in behavior: withdrawal, fearfulness, crying without provocation
  • Night sweats with screaming or shaking, and nightmares
  • Regression to more infantile behavior: bedwetting, thumb sucking
  • Loss of appetite or other eating problems
  • Poorly explained injuries: bruises, rashes, cuts, genital pain or bleeding
  • Sudden reluctance to be alone with a certain person
  •  Unusual interest in or knowledge of sexually related matters; inappropriate expression of affection

"They often won't tell you straight up that something is happening to them, because they've been threatened, they may be ashamed, or they may not want to talk to you about it," Dr. Phil says. "Think about these warning signs and ask questions. Create a dialogue if you're worried about what's going on with a child."

For more information and to learn additional warning signs, visit these websites: If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages. Because DrPhil.com does not operate, supervise, or exercise any control over any of the therapists, resources or referral services listed, it makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by these referral services. In no event shall it, Dr. Phil or the producers of the show be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on information provided by these therapists, resources or referral services.

Childhelp USA's National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-422-4453 (1-800-4ACHILD)
http://www.childhelp.org/

Rape Abuse & Incest National Network
1-800-656-4673 (1-800-656-HOPE)
http://www.rainn.org/

National Domestic Violence/Abuse Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE) 1-800-787-3224 TTY
http://www.thehotline.org/

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 
http://www.aacap.org

American Psychological Association
http://www.apa.org/topics/sexual-abuse/index.aspx

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
http://www.missingkids.com/home

Medline Plus
https://medlineplus.gov/ 

National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
http://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp


ChildLuresPrevention.com
http://www.childluresprevention.com/


TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Life in crisis?

Posted on 9 November 2005 | 5:08 am

The Foundation of a Good Pregnancy

The Foundation of a Good Pregnancy

Dr. Phil outlines the keys that lay the foundation for a successful pregnancy experience and that lead into good parenting. Plus, learn the number one thing parents do that may put their child's life in jeopardy.

Key 1: Realistic Expectancies What sets people up for disappointment is when they think something is going to turn out one way, but it turns out to be another. That is why it is important to have expectancies that are realistic. The good news is, no matter what anyone tells you about pregnancy, you're about to begin the most joyous, fun, unbelievable time of your life. You're getting ready to change all of your thinking about what having a child is like and you're getting ready to have a completely different attitude. The rewards outweigh the sacrifices 1,000 to one.

Key 2: Preparation You must be as prepared as you can be for what is ahead and what you'll need to do. It is very important to include the baby's dad in the process as well. The father really needs to not be crowded out of the pregnancy and baby experience. Dads: Stake your ground and change those diapers, get involved with bonding with your child right away. Moms: He may look like a bear with boxing gloves on trying to change that diaper, but don't take over. He'll learn just like you did. And together, you can grow as a couple with the joys of the parenting process.

(Advertisement: If you’re interested in diapers for your baby, try Hello Bello, a new line of plant-based products for babies and children that are healthy – and affordable, too -- created by Kristen Bell and her husband, Dax Shepard, along with Dr. Phil’s son, Jay McGraw.)

Key 3: Patience It seems obvious, but it's extremely important to learn patience. Expectant mothers can go through many different emotions due to the hormone fluctuations and they may have difficulty dealing with the changes in their bodies. For the first time, it isn't all about you and it requires a shift in body image. Weight gain is a part of pregnancy and is needed in order to support the growing life inside your body. Research absolutely supports exercise during pregnancy, such as low impact cardio, yoga and light weight training. Women who exercise during pregnancy are much less likely to have postpartum depression, and much more likely to regain their figure and lose the weight rapidly afterward.

Key 4: A Unified Front An expectant couple should provide a unified front in the pregnancy experience. Mutual support between you and your partner can make all the difference. As you work together planning for the family addition, listen to your partner's ideas and negotiate. Things like negotiating a name for your baby can be a fun experience. The number one thing parents can do that may put their child's life in jeopardy is to not cherish the relationship with their partner. When you become a mother and father, you have to be careful to not stop being friends and lovers. It's so easy to be consumed by your child, but you have to remember that kids join our lives, we don't join theirs. Of course they are important, but don't forget to take care of the relationship that is their base of operations. Spend time as a couple and nurture your relationship so your child has a solid future ahead.

Posted on 13 July 2005 | 6:02 pm

Addiction Resources

Posted on 4 January 2005 | 8:00 pm

Measuring Your Child's IQ

Measuring Your Child's IQ

"Intelligence Quotient" (IQ) is a score that reflects how "smart" a person is as compared to others when measured by a particular test or set of challenges. As long as you do not over-interpret IQ, well-designed and standardized intelligence tests are among the most accurate of all psychological tests and assessments.

The following IQ test was designed by Dr. Phil's former professor and mentor, Dr. Frank Lawlis. It was created to evaluate children between the ages of 5 and 16 who are functioning within a broad range of cognitive development.

What you are about to do with your child, through this test, will be a fascinating and enlightening experience, one that helps you understand what your child's intellectual abilities and aptitudes may be.

Click here to download a copy of the test, the directions and scoring criteria (Adobe Acrobat is required. Click here to download the latest version.)

This IQ test was designed for the parent to use, and although its psychometric properties for development were consistent with those used in professional tests, the test is not considered for professional use. It cannot be used for application for jobs, schools or membership in organizations that require intellectual testing. It is solely for the purposes of helping parents understand the cognitive status of their children in general terms for their use in their guidance for their children.

Posted on 14 September 2004 | 12:00 am

Chemistry Test

Chemistry Test

This test, from Relationship Rescue, is designed to help you gauge how your relationship lifestyle is working. Answer the following questions about the chemistry that exists or doesn't exist between you and your partner. Don't be afraid to tell yourself the truth. As superficial as some of these items may sound, these issues can have a powerful influence on your relationship as a whole.

Click here to view and/or print the test.

More interactive quizzes:

Posted on 11 December 2003 | 11:00 am

Relationship Communication Test

Relationship Communication Test

What type of communication pattern have you and your partner developed within your relationship? This test, from Relationship Rescue, is designed to help you better understand the ways you relate, or don't relate, to your partner. These questions will also help you realize how comfortable you feel with your partner — the person who is supposed to be the most significant and trusted person in your life. This is for your eyes only, to give you a better idea of the type of communication pattern you and your partner have developed within your relationship. Click here to view and/or print the test. More interactive quizzes:
 

Posted on 10 December 2003 | 11:00 pm

Worksheet: Documenting the Facts of Drug Use

Worksheet: Documenting the Facts of Drug Use

To prepare for an intervention, Dr. Phil recommends everyone bring a list of factual data over a period of time that spells out without a doubt that the person is using drugs or alcohol. Include the date, what happened, what was said and done and how it made you feel. Make sure there is no speculation, only facts.

For example: "In August, 2001, I overheard you ordering drugs over the phone. I confronted you, but you denied it and told me I was crazy. I cried myself to sleep that night. I was angry about your accusations and hurt that you wouldn't talk to me."

You can look for specific data in these areas:

Changes in pattern of use: denies use, hides supply, uses alone, increased use, can't stop using, increased tolerance, etc.

Behavior when using: becomes happy/animated/angry, becomes violent, increased arguments/fights, becomes withdrawn/silent, up all night/sleeps all day, etc.

How use is affecting: job, finances, relationships, health, responsibilities, safety, family, etc. Here is a worksheet to help you get started. 

Posted on 5 November 2003 | 11:00 pm

Relationship Health Profile Test

Relationship Health Profile Test

This test, from Relationship Rescue, is designed to give you a quick snapshot of the health of your relationship. Answer each question as "True" or "False." Be honest and go with your first reaction. Do not spend an excessive amount of time debating any one item. Click here to take Dr. Phil's interactive quiz.

More interactive quizzes:  

 

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: In relationship hell?

 

 

 

Posted on 7 May 2003 | 12:00 am

Potty Train Your Child In Less Than a Day

Potty Train Your Child In Less Than a Day

What You Need

  • A doll that wets
  • A potty chair
  • Big boy/girl underwear (instead of diapers)
  • Lots of liquids for your child and the doll to drink **Note that the following instructions using liquids also apply to potty training for bowel movements.

 

Consider Before You Begin

  • Development: The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests waiting until 2 years of age to potty train.
  • Modeling: You can demonstrate or have the doll demonstrate the process of "going potty."
  • Motivation: Find out who your child's superhero is. The hero will provide the motivation in this process.
  • Step 1: Teach a Doll That Wets Your child will learn by teaching the doll how to go potty. Have your child name the doll and give it something to drink. Then walk the doll to the potty chair with your child. Pull the doll's "big kid" underwear down and watch the doll go potty together.
  • Step 2: Throw the Doll a Potty Party! When the doll successfully goes potty, throw a potty party! Make it a big blowout with party hats, horns and celebrate. Give lots of attention to the doll so that your child understands that going potty is a good thing. Let your child know that when he goes potty, he will have a potty party too. Not only that, your child gets to call his favorite superhero to report the good news!
  • Step 3: Get Rid of the Diapers At the beginning of the process you placed underwear on your child's doll. Now it's time to take away the diapers and put underwear on your child.

    (Advertisement: If you’re interested in diapers for your baby, try Hello Bello, a new line of plant-based products for babies and children that are healthy – and affordable, too -- created by Kristen Bell and her husband, Dax Shepard, along with Dr. Phil’s son, Jay McGraw.) 
     
  • Step 4: Drink Lots of Fluids Give your child plenty of fluids to drink. The sooner he has to go potty, the sooner you can begin potty training.
  • Step 5: Ten Trips to Potty When Accident Ask your child if he needs to go potty. Your child might say no and that's OK. Because you've given your child plenty of fluids, he will soon need to go. If your child has an accident in his underwear, don't scold him. You want this to be a positive experience. Instead, take your child to the potty, pull his underwear down, and have your child sit down. Do this 10 times. This builds muscle memory and your child will eventually go.
  • Step 6: Let the Celebration Begin! When your child successfully goes potty, throw him a potty party. Most importantly, your child can now call his favorite superhero and tell the hero about what he just did! Enlist the help of a friend or relative to play the hero and take the phone call. When your child has an accident, simply take him/her to the bathroom ten times in a row as you did before. This will continue to build muscle memory. And don't forget to keep up the positive reinforcement.

Posted on 7 November 2002 | 11:00 pm

General and Mental Health Resources

General and Mental Health Resources

If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages. Because DrPhil.com does not operate, supervise, or exercise any control over any of the therapists, resources or referral services listed, it makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by these referral services. In no event shall it, Dr. Phil or the producers of the show be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on information provided by these therapists, resources or referral services.  

Helpguide.org
ww.helpguide.org 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK (8255) 

Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation
ww.ocfoundation.org/

Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services Self-Injury Program
www.vistadelmar.org

Mayo Clinic
www.mayoclinic.org

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
http://nccam.nih.gov

National Institutes of Health
ttp://www.nih.gov/

National Institute of Mental Health
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
www.aarda.org

Alcoholics Anonymous
https://www.aa.org/

Adult Children of Alcoholics
(310) 534-1815
www.adultchildren.org

National Association for Children of Alcoholics
(301) 468-0985
www.nacoa.org

Focus Adolescent Services
877) FOCUS-AS
www.focusas.com/Alcohol.html
    

La Hacienda
(800) 749-6160
www.lahacienda.com

Creative Care
(800) 832-3280
www.creativecareinc.com
 

Spruce Mountain Inn Residential Treatment Program
(802) 454-8353
www.sprucemountaininn.com  

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
www.nsvrc.org

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
www.chadd.org

MINDBody Relaxation Series by Dr. Frank Lawlis
https://www.mindbodybylawlis.com/

National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence
www.nccafv.org

Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration
(877) SAMHSA-7
http://www.samhsa.gov/
   

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
www.afsp.org
If you are in crisis, call (800) 273-TALK
 

Suicide Prevention
(800) SUICIDE
www.mentalhealth.org/suicideprevention

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
(202) 966-7300
www.aacap.org

American Psychological Association
www.apa.org

National Youth Crisis Hotline
(800) 448-4663

Covenant House Hotline
(800) 999-9999

Kidspeace
(
800) 257-3223

Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline
(800) 422-4453

www.childhelpusa.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233

Elder Care Locator Service
(800) 677-1116

Ulifeline
www.ulifeline.org

MedlinePlus
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus

About Teen Depression
www.about-teen-depression.com
 

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
www.rainn.org          

 

Posted on 31 October 2002 | 11:00 pm

Eating Disorder Resources

Eating Disorder Resources

National Eating Disorders Association
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
(800) 931-2237

Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc.
http://www.anred.com

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
http://www.anad.org

UNC Eating Disorders Program
http://www.psychiatry.unc.edu/eatingdisorders

From the American Academy of Family Physicians
http://www.familydoctor.org

What is diabulimia?

From the show, "'Save My Daughter'"
Dr. Cynthia Bulik
Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop

F.E.A.S.T. " Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders
http://www.feast-ed.org


From the show, "Eating Disorders"
Dr. Laurie Humphries, M.D.
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry

From the show, "Desperate Diets" and "Desperate Diets Update"
La Hacienda
http://www.lahacienda.com

Creative Care
http://www.creativecareinc.com

PychoNeuroPlasticity Clinic
http://www.pnpcenter.com/

From the show, "Dying to Be Thin"
Dr. Michael Berrett
Center for Change 
http://www.centerforchange.com/
(888) 244-8250
 

Posted on 30 October 2002 | 11:00 pm

Kryptronic Internet Software Solutions