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Talking Back to Dr. Phil
Talking Back to Dr. Phil

Talking Back to Dr. Phil

Alternatives to Mainstream Psychology


232 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $17.95 (US $17.95) (CA $21.95)

Publication Date: February 2013

ISBN 9780985266707

Rights: US & CA

Belly Song Press (Feb 2013)


eBook Editions Available

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Utilizing in-depth research and analysis, this volume debunks the quick fixes and simplistic explanations of Dr. Phil McGraw. While he’s watched and revered by millions, no critique exists for his daytime advice—and like much of “pop psychology,” his counsel is often ineffective, leaving people feeling like failures and that something is wrong with them. Readers will easily identify with the guests and stories from actual Dr. Phil episodes, on topics ranging from anger, sex, addictions, and dieting to domestic violence, race, and gender. A powerful, love-based alternative psychology is then offered, basing itself on the belief that there is profound meaning in people’s struggles. Story after story shows how people’s difficulties are seeds of their unique beauty, power, and intelligence, elevating rather than diminishing their esteem. The insight and compassion for people’s humanity provided here cuts through the easy soundbites and will leave people feeling a genuine love for who they really are.


“David Bedrick takes on Dr. Phil in an intelligent, sensitive way that readers will find enlightening and validating. He uses Dr. Phil as a foil to give expression to a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of hot issues like race, gender, diet, sex, and power relationships. Here is the anti–Dr. Phil—at last, someone who can stand up knowledgeably to Dr. Phil’s suave bullying.”  —Robert W. Fuller, PhD, author, Somebodies and Nobodies

“At last someone is taking on Dr. Phil with good sense and great humor. Life isn’t a sixty-minute show where people just come in for the laying on of hands. Life is about working it all out with family, community, and love. Good for Mr. Bedrick to decide to pull off the gloves and have an emotional slugfest with an over-the-high-school bully. Talking Back to Dr. Phil is a must read. But not at dinnertime . . . you’ll be laughing too hard to eat.”  —Nikki Giovanni, author, Love Poems

“David Bedrick understands that real change or transformation requires challenging accepted dogma and then approaching problems with compassion and curiosity. A great advocate for stopping the madness of body hatred and dieting.”  —Jane R. Hirschmann and Carol H. Munter, authors, Overcoming Overeating

“David Bedrick gets it right. He isn’t talking back just to Dr. Phil but to a whole century of normative psychology, an approach to mental health that has more to do with socialization than with well-being. Bedrick adds a crucial missing piece to the equation: love. Not just ordinary love but love of our uniqueness, diversity, and struggles—a kind of love sorely missing in mainstream psychology. A modern-day Walt Whitman, Bedrick sings the beauty of our humanity and exhorts us to do the same, to prize the deepest levels of our diversity and express the many wonderful, crazy, and colorful ways there are of being human.”  —Julie Diamond, PhD, coauthor, A Path Made by Walking

“David Bedrick contrasts mainstream psychology with a new approach based on love and radical belief. Mainstream psychology tells us we are sick, bad, or wrong. But for Bedrick our fatigues, aches, pains, anxieties, low moods, and even the difficulties we encounter in our jobs and relationships are all growing opportunities without which we would not develop more awareness. I agree with Bedrick that our sickness deserves our love because it contains the medicine toward our wholeness and well-being.”  —Pierre Morin, MD, PhD, coauthor, Inside Coma

“This groundbreaking book demystifies mainstream psychology by calling out Dr. Phil, showing not only the limitations of his approach, which seeks to restore and maintain ‘normal’ behavior, but how it perpetuates a mode of psychologizing that reinforces the very pathology it purports to heal. David Bedrick reveals symptoms as allies assisting in growth and insight rather than as signs of sickness or deviations from a norm. And rather than focus only on individuals, he demonstrates how society fosters disturbances that, when processed, contribute to transforming not only the individuals but their relationships, groups, and potentially society itself. As such, Bedrick offers new directions for addressing some of the most perplexing issues of our time, from lying and pornography to addiction and racism.”  —Herbert D. Long, ThD, Dipl. PW, former dean and Francis Greenwood Peabody lecturer, Harvard University

“For many women, it is revolutionary to realize that what will silence the accusatory inner body-image voice isn’t losing weight but rather listening to the body’s wisdom. It could definitely be said that the essays on diet and body image in this book are a work of spirit through and through.”  —Andrea Hollingsworth, PhD, assistant professor of Christian thought, Berry College

“A breath of fresh air to those who have been hurt and put down by the righteous morality and shame of popular psychology. Bedrick, in daring to pull back the veil of the status quo, reveals an approach that invites self-discovery, finds meaning and purpose in problems, and values the social challenges of our times. Anyone who longs for the freedom of their own individual path of heart will be uplifted by this book.”   —Dawn Menken, PhD, author, Speak Out! Talking about Love, Sex and Eternity

Author Biography

David Bedrick, JD, Dipl. PW, is an educator, counselor, and attorney, having taught in organizations including the U.S. Navy, 3M, the American Society of Training and Development, and the Process Work Institute. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Dr. Arnold Mindell, PhD, is a therapist in private practice and the author of 20 books, including Dreambody, Quantum Mind, and The Shaman’s Body.