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Alec Baldwin Sits on Dr. Phil's Couch
The recent ado over the conduct of Alec Baldwin has mental health professionals around the country discussing the effects of such behavior on children.
Alec Baldwin is no stranger to public controversy. Over the years, he has threatened to move out of the country based on a Presidential election, reneged on a deal to narrate a film about Arnold Schwarzenegger, and recently has embarrassed his daughter in front of the world. The problem, he claims, is frustration over his on-going custody battle with actress Kim Basinger, the child's mother. Last week, Baldwin appeared on The View hoping to ingratiate himself with America. He announced on the show that he wants to fight for those suffering from "parental alienation."
Dr. Phil McGraw, who gained fame through Oprah, offered to counsel the divided family. Baldwin accepted the offer. McGraw was a guest on the Ryan Seacrest's radio show last week, correlating with Baldwin's View appearance. The TV psychologist offered little about their conversation, but he did give a hint as to where he stands.
Dr. Phil acknowledged that part of the problem is Baldwin's current employment. He is working in New York , and his daughter lives across the country. That makes it hard for them to bond. The actor has stated that he wants out of his contract with NBC, but that does not seem likely to happen. Dr. Phil also claimed that Baldwin is not looking to mend the relationship with his daughter since "there is nothing to fix." Really?
McGraw spoke as if he has known the actor for years saying that the voice mail was "out-of-character" for Baldwin. Kim Basinger disagrees. She has denied that his claim of parental alienation is the driving force behind the behaviors. According to her, aggression and hostility have always been a problem for her soon-to-be-ex husband.
Did the psychologist-turned-TV-personality help the Baldwin situation? More likely, the result of the conversation will be that both men were able to get some free publicity. No one doubts that Dr. Phil gave the actor a sympathetic ear, but the two do not appear to be heading into a long-term counseling session. McGraw has faced his own critics over his show's parenting advice and his book, Family First. Perhaps he sent an autographed copy to the troubled actor.
One has to wonder why Alec Baldwin chose Dr. Phil as a sounding board and not another professional. If the goal were "co-parenting in peace" for the estranged couple, would it not be better to seek help in an unpublicized session with someone in private practice? No doubt, Dr. Phil will have a future show about fathers alienated from their children. One question remains: What about Ireland Baldwin?