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Britney Spears & Dr. Phil's visit . . .

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Dr. Phil Criticized for Britney Brouhaha

By JOHN ROGERS – 2 hours ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dr. Phil's public brand of tough love sometimes makes him tough to love, particularly among mental health professionals who are accusing television's self-help guru of making an uncalled-for house call on Britney Spears this week.

Although Dr. Phil — whose full name is Phillip McGraw — announced Monday that he is shelving plans for a show on Spears' latest breakdown, some in the mental health community say just showing up at her hospital room last week was going too far.

"It's true people sometimes need to be placed under involuntary mental health treatment because they can't take care of themselves," veteran psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Sugar said of the 26-year-old Spears. "But there's a difference between being detained involuntarily for psychological treatment and being forced to endure Dr. Phil involuntarily."

Spears, who appeared to have enough trouble already, saw McGraw barge into her life Saturday when he showed up at her room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as she was about to be discharged. She had been taken there Thursday after an hours-long standoff with police that was triggered by her custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

A court commissioner on Friday gave Federline full custody of sons, 1-year-old Jayden James and 2-year-old Sean Preston.

McGraw said he was invited to the hospital by Spears' family.

Sugar, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry, crisis and emergency service for the University of Southern California, said that isn't good enough. Late adolescent or not, he said, Spears is still an adult who has the right to decide who she lets into her hospital room.

In a statement posted on his Web site Monday, McGraw said he had hoped to film a show this week that might help other families facing the same troubles as Spears.

That's assuming, of course, they have been in and out of rehab in recent months, arrived in public in short skirts and no underwear, shaved their heads bald, run over a photographer's foot, banged up a car in a parking lot and left without notifying the owner, and attacked another car with an umbrella.

But in the end even McGraw, never too shy to blurt "What were you thinking?" to a troubled guest, seemed to agree that putting Spears or her family and friends in front of the cameras wasn't wise.

"Because the Spears situation is too intense at this time, and out of consideration to the family, I have made the decision not to move forward with the taping," he said on his Web site. He didn't say whether he planned to do a show later, and a spokeswoman for the show declined to elaborate.

"Certainly I think it's a good idea to stop that show dead," said Dr. Richard Harding, professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of South Carolina. "This isn't the time to be exploiting anybody and making examples out of anybody."

Sociologist Julie Albright, an expert in family therapy at USC, agreed with Harding that while McGraw's sometimes bellicose approach can be helpful under the right circumstances, Spears is in perhaps too fragile an emotional state for it.

"It looks as though her behavior has been unraveling for some time now. Frankly, it's reached a point of being pretty frightening," she said.

"People may have thought it was entertaining or funny, but really it's a cry for help, and I hope people around her will respond and get her the help she needs," Albright said.

Also, Albright said, the tough-love therapy that McGraw practices is really only the first of many steps therapists must take to change destructive behavior. What's more, she said, it really only works when the recipient is receptive.

"It's hard to do therapy or intervention in a half-hour or one hour-spot," she said. "They have these longer interventions that they follow up with. That's where important change will occur, not necessarily in the one-hour sound bite of a show."

Still, at least one pop psychologist couldn't fault McGraw for trying.

"I'm sure Dr. Phil does not want to exploit her. He has all this experience in helping people get over problems," said Dr. Joyce Brothers, who herself has been dispensing psychological advice to TV viewers for more than 30 years.

But Brothers, who like McGraw has a Ph.D. in psychology, acknowledged that key for any therapist is getting the person to listen to them.

"He has a lot to offer," Brothers said of McGraw. "But only to the person who wants it."


Associated Press writer Erin Carlson in New York contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS that Albright works for USC, not UCLA.)


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From the Canadian Press

A timeline of key events in the life of troubled pop star:

Britney Spears

Dec. 2, 1981: Born in McComb, Miss. Raised in Kentwood, La.

1993-1994: Spears, 11, becomes a cast member on the Disney Channel's "The New Mickey Mouse Club," along with other future celebrities Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Canadian Ryan Gosling.

October 1998: Spears becomes a bona fide pop star with "... Baby One More Time." The video features Britney gyrating in a Catholic schoolgirl's uniform. Her album of the same title goes on to sell 25 million copies worldwide.

February 2002: Spears's first film, "Crossroads," is released. It tanks at the box office.

November 2003: Spears becomes the first woman to have four studio albums debut at No. 1 on the charts with the release of "In the Zone," a dance record.

Jan. 3, 2004: Spears weds childhood pal Jason Alexander in Las Vegas. The marriage is annulled 55 hours later. Several months later, Spears cancels her Onyx Hotel Tour, citing a knee injury.

July 2004: Spears announces her engagement to Kevin Federline, whose former girlfriend is pregnant with their second child. Their courtship is documented on the UPN reality series "Britney and Kevin: Chaotic," and features Spears eating Cheetos constantly. They wed on Sept. 18, 2004.

Sept. 14, 2005: First son, Sean Preston, is born.

February 2006: Photographers catch Spears driving while holding Sean Preston on her lap and not in a car seat. Public outcry ensues. Spears says she was simply trying to escape paparazzi.

Sept. 12, 2006: Second son, Jayden James, is born.

Nov. 7, 2006: Spears files for divorce from Federline, who gets the news from his wife via text message while he's in Toronto.

Feb. 16, 2007: Spears, who's been partying incessantly with Paris Hilton and flashing her vagina to the paparazzi, checks into a rehabilitation facility in Antigua. She stays less than a day. The next night, Spears is photographed shaving her head at an L.A. hair salon. Four days later, Spears checks into another rehab facility in California.

September 2007: Spears and Federline are awarded joint custody of their two sons after a court battle in which Spears is accused of being a negligent parent. Spears is ordered to submit to random drug and alcohol tests. Several days later, Spears is charged with a misdemeanour hit-and-run.

Oct. 1, 2007: Federline wins full custody of the two boys.

Jan. 3, 2008: Spears, alternating between hysterical laughter and sobbing fits, is rushed to the hospital late at night strapped to a gurney after refusing to hand over Jayden James to Federline's bodyguard.

Jan. 5, 2008: Spears is released from hospital, reportedly after throwing a tantrum and despite an unexpected visit from Dr. Phil. Hospital officials say Spears tested negative for drugs and alcohol and was not suicidal during her two nights at Cedars-Sinai. She is soon seen out in public canoodling with her new boyfriend, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib.

Jan. 7, 2008:Television's "Dr. Phil" McGraw has pulled the plug on plans for a one-hour show that was to examine Britney Spears' latest public meltdown.

In a statement posted Monday on his Web site, McGraw said the 26-year-old pop star's situation was "too intense" for him to go forward with the show. He didn't say whether he planned to reschedule.

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  • 4 weeks later...


Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:44am GMT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Britney Spears was taken from her home in Los Angeles by police and rushed to a hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Spears, 26, was rushed into an ambulance from a side entrance of her home in the Studio City district shortly after 1 a.m. (4 a.m. EST/9:00 British time), escorted by more than a dozen motorcycle officers, two police cars and two police helicopters, the Times reported, citing unidentified authorities.

Television images showed the motorcade snaking its way through empty streets from Spears' house.

She was taken to UCLA Medical Center after a call from her psychiatrist, the authorities told the newspaper.

Hospital spokesman Mark Wheeler said he could not confirm the report and Los Angeles police also had no immediate comment.

The pop star, whose personal life has veered out of control in the last 12 months, lost custody of her sons Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, in October, but had been allowed to see them three times a week in court-monitored visits.

Those visiting rights were removed on January 4 after Spears refused to hand back the boys to her ex-husband Kevin Federline and reportedly locked herself in a bathroom in a fit of hysterics. That episode ended with her being taken away on a stretcher and kept in hospital for two days.

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I'm getting sick and tired of all this media attention about / people making fun of Britney. If shit goes on like this things will go wrong, and then everybody's crying. She's also human, you know... <_<

WE ALL KNOW bRITNEY'S HUMAN, but she should too.....or maybe it's her TVland-hungry mom who doesn't know that!! NO-ONE 's eternal...or if you like: "No-one gets out of here alive" (Jim Morrison) = no-one's eternal so Britney should not act as if she will never go or not be forgotten one day!

Robert :)

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I'm getting really annoyed with the fact that all this crap about her is all over the news. WHO CARES?! She never had any talent, she's likely doing all of this for the sake of publicity since people are finally starting to grasp that she has no talent, and when it's bigger news than a an Al-Queda commander being killed, the media needs help.

Why are we facilitating this nonsense? People should just ignore her and she'll go away.

It was also really annoying on ET when they were talking about Heath Ledger's death last week (which is actually a very sad thing), and then the next thing they were showing was their "exclusive with Britney's paparazzi boyfriend!" I mean, really. That juxtaposition is really messed up. The death of a cool guy and all the people who were affected by him in his short life... to a publicity whore who is dating a paparazzo.

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Ya know i used to feel for her a little bit becuz of her age, i certainly did plenty of stupid shit in my early and mid 20's. However she has certainly went out of her way to exhaust any sympathy that I or anyone else may have had for her. This isn't the papparazzis fault its her, maybe if she'd ever worked an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week she'd have a little more appreciation 4 what she has. I know money isnt everything but when your struggling to pay rent , feed your kids, and just trying to make ends meet, its really hard to feel sorry for some fuckin idiot with 100 milion to her name! :rolleyes:

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She'll never get her kids back and they're better off without her. S

:(:( That's sad for any human being! But then again she axed for it :blink: Another sad thing is how a a cute sweetie and sexy lady like Britney can ever get into that dumbass showbiz trap.......go figure! :oB)

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When is all of this nonsense surrounding her EVER going to end? I mean, I don't know who to blame the most, her for keeping herself out in front of the paparrazzi 24/7 or the media covering her EVERY LITTLE move. It has all gotten completely out of hand! Britney, please get some help and fast!!

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She'll never get her kids back and they're better off without her. S

Maybe so but I hope for their sakes she gets some help or serious treatment and gets mentally as well as physically healthy so she can be part of their lives in some fashion. She appears to be a train wreck right now.

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