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Dr Laura is a Hypocrite. And a Twit.

A horrible, cringey Call of the Day from Dr Laura’s show was shared with me on Twitter. Like jaw-droppingly horrible. Like you want to wash your ears out with a Brillo q-tip horrible.

Dr Laura is the opposite of kind.

I remember hearing about Dr Laura Schlessinger decades ago, but I wasn’t aware she’s still a thing. Really?? People still get assvice from her?

She’s a twit. But not just a harmless, silly twit, but a clever, intentionally mean twit. Why am I using this word? It’s not one I can recall ever using before. It’s unkind and demeaning.

Therapy Through Insults & Interruptions

Here’s why I’m using it on Dr Laura. Because SHE used it 8 times on her Caller of the Day. 8 times in a 5 minute call.

Besides resorting to pejoratives, Dr Laura’s advice around parentage is fantastically misguided. It’s hard to believe that someone who has ever studied best practices in therapy and counseling would resort to shaming, name-calling, interrupting, and belittling — especially around the issue of truth-telling — as she does to caller Torri.

You can listen to these 5 minutes here. Brace yourself.

Caller: My Mom never told me the truth about my Dad

Caller Torri starts with this:

I am unsure of how to continue on in how to have a relationship with my mother. I found out last September that my dad, the man who raised me, is not my biological father. It has become a rift between my mother and I.

I’m not a therapist, but any half-twit knows that if someone comes to you with a problem, you first listen. Then you empathize and get into their space. You make sure the person feels heard and understood.

Not Dr Laura. Instead, she becomes incredulous and combative.

Dr Laura: Why? Why? Why? Is the guy who raised you nice?
Caller: Yes, he is.
Dr Laura: So. Let me understand this. Don’t babble at me. You wanna dump a mother who made you with one guy — obviously he couldn’t have been the greatest guy in the universe — he wasn’t there. And then she found a nice guy to raise you. And you’re pissed at her? What the hell is wrong with you?

Is Dr Laura saying that it’s okay to lie if someone is nice?

More Anti-Therapeutic Techniques

Torri tries to explain, but Dr Laura keeps cutting her off in order to rant.

Caller: I’m upset because she lied to me about it for —
Dr Laura: So what! So what! Who gives a shit? That’s her private life! She gave you a wonderful man to raise you whom you consider your daddy. What if you’d been adopted? Who the hell cares? She did the wrong thing with a jerk, and then she did the right thing with the guy who raised you. I seriously would rather smack you across the head than anything else right now, you ungrateful little twit. You insensitive, ungrateful twit.

Dr Laura doesn't walk the talk on truth.
Dr Laura is selective about the value of truth.

Let’s take a look at what else has been added here.

  • First we had lying is okay from nice people.
  • Now we also have a physical threat — “smack you across the head.”
  • …as well as one of the many words adoptees tell us is painful: ungrateful. Dr Laura seems to imply that because Torri wasn’t raised by the jerk she should have only feelings of gratitude.

I’m not a therapist, but any half-twit knows that you really can’t talk someone out of a feeling they are having. Insistence, threats, and shame are not going to lead to emotional resolution.

Lying Means Bonding & Security?

The call continues.

Dr Laura: You wanna counter with anything? I’m dying to hear your counter.
Caller: No. I respect my Dad for so much. I was just very disappointed in my mom for never —
Dr Laura: You’re a twit for saying that. You’re a twit for repeating it.
There aren’t too many people who, when they do something incredibly stupid, walk around with a sign. Number 2, she repaired it beautifully. And if she had called to ask me whether or not she should tell you, I would have said NO because I would have wanted you to stay incredibly bonded to this wonderful man who also didn’t tell you the truth. Because they both wanted to take care of you and make you feel secure and loved. What crappy parents they were. You better get on your knees and BEG your mother to forgive you.

Dr Laura has a strange relationship with truth.
Dr Laura preaches truth but advocates for lies.

Let’s Break that Down

Did you get all that? Dr Laura certainly packs a punch.

  • More twit-flinging.
  • Hurling “stupid” at her caller.
  • Stay bonded to people who lie.
  • Lying = security.
  • They weren’t wrong; Torri was. And she, the victim, is the one who must seek forgiveness.

Caller: My mom and I have continued our relationship —
Dr Laura: You BEG your mother to forgive you…for being a twit. I mean it. You owe her to beg her for forgiveness. She did exactly the right thing.
Caller: OK. Thank you.

That’s the last we hear from Torri, who completed exactly one sentence in the entire 5 minutes. She apparently gets off the call, but Dr Laura keeps muttering to herself.

Acceptance means you stop fighting reality. Dr Laura is inconsistent.
Does Dr Laura have a consistent guiding principle?

Dr Laura: You’re a lucky girl. Stop acting like a complete brat. You have no idea how lucky you are, clearly. She could have stayed with that bastard she made you with. Would have like to have heard that call from you.
My number is 1-800 [IMA-TWIT]. I’m gonna make that a Call of the Day. I know it’s gonna raise a lot of hackles.
You are one lucky girl and don’t even know it. What a silly twit.
“I don’t know if I’m going to continue the relationship with my mother because she didn’t tell me that she made me with a piece of shit and then found a wonderful man to raise me by and I should have known all the time all of this because it would have made my life much smoother and better.”
Hmmmm. …My number, 1-800 [IMA-TWIT].

My notes:

  • What a peculiar brand of validation (“stop acting like a complete brat.”)
  • You’re lucky you had people hiding your truth from you.
  • More twittaging. More demeaning.

Makes you wanna be Dr Laura’s next victim, doesn’t it?

What Say You?

I do understand that Dr Laura is 99% entertainer and possibly a fraction of a % therapist, if even that. The point here wasn’t to actually help Torri, but to make a trainwreck out of someone’s situation. I fell for it, and maybe I sucked you in, too. But as one of my wise adoptee friends tells me, this is what adoptees deal with regularly.

It’s important that we, especially the non-adopted, learn to sense these microaggressions and call them out.

Now that we’ve heard Dr Laura’s assvice, let’s open it up to yours.

What would you suggest Torri do about a hurting relationship with her mom for not telling her sooner the truth about her dad?

In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Don't be a hypocrite, Dr Laura.
Oh, this is rich.

More Assvice-Giving Experts

More on Adoption Telling: It’s 2020. Why do we still suck at it?

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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97 Responses

  1. Thank you for writing this, I was beyond both confounded and furious – that poor caller having to listen to the words of someone, who based solely on that response, is way beyond her best by date.

    I’d recommend the caller ask her mom to go for a walk, just the two of them and ask her to tell her, her story and also ask why she never told her the truth.

      1. Thank you for breaking down this story on Dr. Laura. Although I didn’t get called a twit or name called. I was told to stay out of it when I see my sister verbally attacked by a family member. I was raised that if you see any abuse you step in so I guess the next time you see abuse of any kind you mind your business. Also I was hung up on when I asked her my question because she was ‘Done’ with me. I have never been belittled or felt more dumb in my life since calling Dr. Laura. I will never call again that is for sure because after waiting close to an hour just to get hung up on, made to feel like a dumba** who tries to help out a sister from getting yelled at. Now my story is out there to hear Dr Laura laugh and hangup on me without any resolve. I feel for this Torrie but one thing I’m sure we both realized, never call any Dr for help on the radio. See a real therapist.

        1. Oh, Marie. I’m so sorry. You didn’t deserve that. I admire you for trying to get your sister out of an abusive situation. Your motives are good, unlike Dr Laura’s.

        2. I am so happy to see I’m not the only one who feels this way about Dr Laura. She is dangerous. Telling a woman today she was an idiot for working out of the home when she should of been financially dependent on her husband and a stay at home mom. I of course called in & she ended up hanging up on me as well, when I told her she is basically saying women shouldn’t protect themselves financially. She kept saying, well if your husband is irresponsible or worthless then no… I’m sorry dr Laura even the best men cheat, and where does that leave a stay at home mom/wife? It’s ironic she gives all thus advice but didn’t have a kid until she was 49.. so never had to battle the stay at home vs work life.. and she’s rich so she’s never been financially dependent on anyone either. She’s ridiculous and incredibly dangerous.

        3. That is absolutely awful! I did realize after some research that her Phd is in physiology. She shouldn’t be giving advice to anyone!

    1. This. I vote that TAO gets Dr. Laura’s funding and sponsorship so that someone can actually provide worthwhile, sound advice. #defundDrLaura.

    2. Wasn’t she married before ? She yells at people for doing exactly what she did. I no longer like her either …

      1. Yeah! She’s such a hypocrite! She’s also so mean, nasty, and profane! She tells others to go do the right thing! Seriously? She has no idea what the right thing is!

  2. The first thing I thought of, after being surprised Dr Laura is still a thing, was the caller deserves to know her medical information. What if her bio fathers family has a genetic trait that could end in disaster for the caller, or if she ever needs a bone marrow transfer etc. it’s her right to know her background.

    The caller and her mother have to have a long conversation even it it is hard, with no judgements on either side.

      1. What you posted infuriated me so much I refuse to listen to the call! I had no idea “Dr.” Schlesinger was still even around, but she definitely should NOT be. First of all, this poor woman’s VERY valid feelings were completely invalidated. Secondly, it seems the “Dr.” made some huge ASSumptions – how does she know Tori’s birth father was/is a “jerk?” What if he doesn’t even know he has a child? It’s these celebrity “therapists (I clump “Dr.” Phil and “Dr.” Drew Pinksy) who do more damage then good. How I wish you could find Tori so her feelings could be validated! 🤬

        This article from 2010 shows just what a “twit” she is.

  3. Is there a number we can call to complain and potentially get her off the air? (A girl can dream, right?)

    I didn’t know Dr. Laura was still a thing, either. Her show persona is that of a terrible human being. Why would anyone want to talk to her at all?


    Torri, if you somehow find this, you are not wrong. You are not a twit. You are not ungrateful. Your mother lied to you, and she is in the wrong here. Of course it’s become a rift. She owes you your story and should beg your forgiveness. And it’s up to you if you feel she deserves that.

    1. I’m so glad to find this site. I stumbled across “Dr” Laura when I was flipping channels this week. I listened in horror as she verbally excoriated caller after caller. I hadn’t thought of her in years, and was also surprised she was still around, doling out hate to callers. In Torri’s instance, (didn’t hear the call; my comments are based on the summation of the call) my overwhelming thought was the same as others-medical history from her biological father!! I hope a day will come when these “Dr’s” will no longer be on the air. I cannot imagine how Laura (sorry, can’t call her anymore by that unearned medical title) sleeps at night.

        1. She is a no BS type of person. She says it how it is. People who call her know her style and value her opinion, or else they wouldn’t be calling. All people have to do to get her off-air is stop calling, but they don’t and haven’t for years, again because sometimes we need a good smack across the head to make it stick! Definitely, not for everyone.

          1. I suppose you’re right, Farrah. People enter into that space voluntarily, knowing what they are going to get. To call such public humiliation “entertainment” is baffling to me and demeaning for both parties. But you’re right — it’s a phenomenon.

          2. Dr. Laura simply wants people to start being their biggest healer and not the biggest victim of the day. So many boo-hoo stories that just take common sense that snowflakes can’t seem to figure out on their own and need to be told to think for themselves, trust their gut, have no expectations of other people (you’ll always be disappointed sooner or later), and it’s true—nobody will love your child more than you, so if you can stay home by all means do it!!!

          3. Encouraging people become their own healers through name-calling, interrupting, belittling, and trust-breaking? That doesn’t feel encouraging or healing to me at all.

  4. Geez – who knows what to tell that poor girl? Did she even get her story out? There may have been many details confounding the relationship with her mother, the least of which was lying about where her genetic material originated! (That said, Torri has every right to be angry, to pursue her truth, and to manage the relationship with her mother however she sees fit. It may mean cutting her off until Torri is calm enough to address it best. Only Torri knows what she needs – she probably just needs some help in figuring that out and how to get it.)

    Dr. Laura is a waste of electrons on the airwaves. I am so disgusted that people continue to give her attention. To call her a twit is being kind – and if she has any credentials as a psychologist, they should be revoked after that performance.

    1. It really does make me wonder if she holds a current license to practice as a therapist. I can’t believe any governing body would consider her approach on this anything but worst practice.

    2. Herein lies a problem of modern America. We have a trained therapist host a radio show that people voluntarily call into. She certainly shows “tough love” as part of her shows package and the people who voluntarily call in and listen understand this. I’ve listened to her just enough to realize this is her style and you can tell that is has in fact been what these callers may of needed to hear (because clearly their other current options hasn’t solved anything). I’m sure she isn’t always right and is seen as abrasive (clearly noted here by the article and responses). For some people, they get personally offended (for what personal reason they only know) and they want to cancel a woman (strong educated woman who has been a personal success) that has clearly helped many people in this format. So… because of their disdain for her approach, and possibly picking out a few negative things over many years of programming that they find objectionable, are willing to deny thousands of people the support and assistance she has provided. Americans have become obsessed with cancelling anyone they disagree with. Sad.

      1. The show seems to be less about therapy (she breaks so many rules of actual therapists) than about entertainment. I’ve known about Dr Laura from way back, but didn’t realize the extent to which she uses humiliation in her show. I’m surprised at the demand for public sadism and masochism she’s tapped into for entertainment purposes. I know I shouldn’t be.

        Your point about supply and demand is a valid one. I wonder about the why of the demand as well as the supply of humiliation-as-entertainment. Humans are curious creatures.

        1. It’s not quite that simple. My mother called in to Dr. Laura in the 90’s. I was about 8/9 years old. She gave my mother terrible advice. I’ve shared the story maybe three times with different people. Each time, they stared at me in shock. Yeah, it was that bad. So, while I wasn’t a listener, my mother sure was and my sister and I were the brunt of it. It’s still hard to think about it.

      2. Maybe “Dr” Laura should give *herself* advice on how to not leave her husband and then have affairs with multiple married men.

      3. Very well said. she has changed my life for the better in so many ways. If people would accept their faults and quit being defensive, you would see that she has helped so many people.

        And yes she has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling as well as physiology.

      4. Mike, have you lost what is left of your mind? Laura is nothing but a big mouth bully! How can you refer to her yelling, demeaning, and name calling therapy? People who reach out to her for help, their self-esteem is so far in the toilet that they turn to something like her for help! I retired from the mental health field after 20 years! I can tell you that everybody is not going to tolerate her BS! There are people that will shut her mouth and her eyes up for good! Yah feel me???

  5. I may have missed something but did Torri say her biological father was awful? All I heard from Dr. Twit was how terrible and awful a man he was and how wonderful and terrific the stepdad must have been for lying to her and raising her. What if the first dad never even knew she existed? The mom is clearly not one to tell the truth, so maybe she hid it all from a man who never got a chance to decide to be involved. There is so much unknown because instead of listening, Dr. Twit bullied the caller. I hope Torri is able to find some advice and someone to talk to about a very complicated and difficult issue.

    1. Oooh, you picked up on something I missed, Ashley. Dr Laura made that assumption out of thin air! Another worst practice to add to the collection.

      Good catch, and right on about raising the possibility that the bio father may be as much a victim in this as much as Torri.

      1. She didn’t make any assumptions. All callers are pre-screened. She had to give a lot of information before coming on the air.

  6. I believe that her response is indefensible and unethical. Dr. Laura should have her license revoked–if she has one. At the minimum, she deserves an official reprimand from her licensing entity.

  7. Radio/TV therapists are about as real as reality TV. IE: not at all. Odds are the caller was a fake set up by the show to give ‘Dr.’ Laura an easy target. Stuff that makes her fans happy to hear – they love hearing someone knocked down for not being grateful for whatever. These shows are made to spread hate, rage, feelings of being superior and the like. There is a reason these are very popular in certain areas, but not others. Dr. Laura and the like have a few fans up here in Canada but not enough to sustain a show like hers.

    1. I knew it was more for entertainment, but I hadn’t thought that calls might even be staged.

      So even if Torri was a shill, Dr Laura is still solidifying what people “know” about adoption — that heritage doesn’t matter, that truth doesn’t matter, that adoptees should be grateful. I find that unconscionable.

      1. Thank you for breaking down this story on Dr. Laura. Although I didn’t get called a twit or name called. I was told to stay out of it when I see my sister verbally attacked by a family member. I was raised that if you see any abuse you step in so I guess the next time you see abuse of any kind you mind your business. Also I was hung up on when I asked her my question because she was ‘Done’ with me. I have never been belittled or felt more dumb in my life since calling Dr. Laura. I will never call again that is for sure because after waiting close to an hour just to get hung up on, made to feel like a dumba** who tries to help out a sister from getting yelled at. Now my story is out there to hear Dr Laura laugh and hangup on me without any resolve. I feel for this Torrie but one thing I’m sure we both realized, never call any Dr for help on the radio. See a real therapist.

        1. I’m so sorry, Marie. You didn’t deserve that. I admire you for trying to get your sister out of an abusive situation. Your motives were to help, unlike Dr Laura’s.

    1. She has 1.7 million followers on her Facebook page. It’s a shame that so many people will think she’s giving good advice on this, that Truth shouldn’t matter to a person as long as they are surrounded by Nice.

  8. The sheer vehemence of her response was appalling.

    Sadly, adoptees in general (especially online or in the media) have often heard similar. For example, adoptees trying to open records in various US states have had all sorts of crap thrown at them. There have been news articles by people like Shaaren Pine where 90% of the 600 responses seemed to be along the lines of “You ungrateful little minx”.

    There seems to be a feeling amongst many in the general population that any “non-adoption cheerleader” behaviour by adoptees is spitting in the eyes of their parents. The donor conceived probably face it even worse.

    1. You were one of the early ones, c b, who helped me to understand the problem with “ungrateful” many adoptees have.

      And yes, it does seem like in our construct of adoption, if an adoptee isn’t all in cheerleading for adoption, and if they dare look at the construct with a critical eye, they are disloyal and ungrateful.

  9. Also she trashed the biological father without knowing a thing about him. As someone pointed out in a comment, what if no-one told him?

    Also, it is not just the mother’s “private life”, it is half of Torri’s genetic make-up. She deserves to know what “makes her her” in all ways and it is up to Torri to decide what relevance all those parts have, not for others to decide for her.

    Btw from Laura’s website, it sounds like she doesn’t think much of “medical reasons” for wanting to know about birth family, a quote re an adoptee she spoke to:

    “Although she is very close to and loving with her adoptive family, she was quite interested in knowing something about her birth mother and father – for medical history reasons (I never quite believe that, considering the technology available today for diagnoses) and for curiosity’s sake.”

    1. Never underestimate the power of knowing a bit about your biological family. My girls all wanted to know. Good and bad. It helps with a sense of self and belonging in the world I have found for them. Sadly too many want the fantasy that TV and movies used to portray (and still do) that once adopted you can forget the past and never think of it again. To be super-thankful that people took you in. I never, ever ask my kids to be thankful I took them in. I tell them they helped us as we wanted children and they became ours. That we wish they didn’t need to come to us, that a perfect world would’ve resulted in them being able to grow up without the disruption adoption caused. Sadly it isn’t a perfect world, but people like Dr. Laura think adoptees need to be thankful they weren’t dumped on the street or something. Terrible way to live – to think that people need to be down on their knees bowing to others for not treating them like scum.

      1. Ahh, yes. Adoptees know that adoption isn’t a one-time event any more than marriage is (the wedding yes, but the marriage is ongoing. One adoptee explained it to me: Yes, I was adopted back then. And I’m also adopted today, and I have been every day in between. Just like you were married back then, and you’re married today.). But so many who don’t have the lived experience of being adopted think it’s a one-time event.

    2. Genealogy wouldn’t be among the top hobbies (#2, I think) if everyone — not just adoptees — didn’t find it important to them. Point is, no one should have to cite medical reasons for wanting to know who they are and their origins going back back back. People shouldn’t have to cite any reasons to follow their curiosity about themselves.

  10. There is absolutely NOTHING appropriate, educable, or even basically humanly compassionate about Dr. Laura’s response. NOTHING.

    She repeatedly interrupted, talked over, dismissed, and railroaded the caller.

    On a professional therapist/counselor level, it was downright unethical and biased and inflammatory.

    I hope, beyond hope, to John N’s point above, that it WAS just a plant, a shill. Because if poor Tori really WAS seeking help, “Dr.” Laura just shamed her into retreat and silence. Over something that COULD HAVE BEEN handled so differently.

    Like, “Tori, I’m sorry that you were lied to. That must really feel painful. Have you sat down with your mother to talk about how that feels and where you two can or should go from here? If nothing else, you deserve to know your biological/medical history. How can you get to that minimum expectation with your mother and start to repair that rift?”

    Damn. This call made me UNREASONABLY angry and my mother-heart feels ready to go to the mat for Tori.

    1. Your words are so much kinder and wiser, Tracy, and would have been so much more effective. How wonderful it would be if Torri made her way here to see some actual advice.

  11. I’m shocked “Dr.” Laura is still a thing.

    This, obviously, was terrible advice. Poor Torri. She has every right to be upset. Then she called someone for advice, and that person added shame to the many feelings she already was experiencing.

    The caller’s story reminds me of the the memoir “Inheritence.” The writer of that book found herself in a somewhat similar story, with all the same emotions. Laura should read it, and find some empathy. If that is even possible.


  12. Dr. Laura is awful. I didn’t realize she was still around. Somehow, I’ve gotten to completely miss her orbit for the last 12 years or so, and my world has been better for it.

  13. Ol’ Dr. Laura.

    I didn’t even know the victim-blaming, Queen of Shame was still around. Her rhetoric continues to be irresponsible. Even if it is staged. Let’s remember that Laura’s doctorate is in Physiology, not Psychology. While she does have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology (circa 1980), I’m guessing her license isn’t current nor has she educated herself on relevant clinical issues since the 80’s. Let’s also remember that she is no longer on main stream radio due to her racist, homophobic, inhuman views and comments.

    All that said, this call is a great example of projection (the caller Tori should be grateful and feel lucky based on Dr. Laura’s apparent view that truth and transparency are not relevant and lying in a family is acceptable). Dr. Laura also assumes that that Tori wants to “dump” her mother yet Tori never mentions that. Dr. Laura also assumes (without it ever being said) that Tori’s biological father is a “jerk” and a “bastard.” What if the mom left him? What if he doesn’t even know about Tori. What if he’s dead? Last, Dr. Laura let’s her longtime views about someone’s adoption status staying a secret be known: “What if you had been adopted?”

    My mother used to have Dr. Laura playing on the car radio when she picked me up from grade school. On more than one occasion, callers would call in and ask a question about their feelings or curiosity around having been adopted. On more than one occasion Dr. Laura would swiftly interrupt with her demands for the caller to be grateful they were “saved.” Dr. Laura also liked to remind callers who were adopted, “You are lucky you weren’t sucked down a sink.”

    That one really stuck with me as it was difficult for my 9 year old brain to understand. We didn’t talk about adoption in my family but Dr. Laura’s message rang loud and clear in my young ears. I should be grateful and should not think about adoption.

    It’s taken a long time to unlearn.

    Maybe Dr. Laura should get up to speed and talk with adoptees about the importance of biology and stop spreading her uneducated and ridiculous drivel.

  14. Oh boy, this touches on so many nerves! I had NO IDEA Dr. Laura was still out there, like an evil spirit who refuses to be smudged or exorcised away. Ick. I couldn’t listen to the actual call because your transcript raised my blood pressure so much I was like, NOPE, I don’t want to hear her voice spewing such meanness. And I totally agree with those who see that she’s made a huge assumption…

    I feel so badly for Torri, who called to get some advice and compassion and instead was bullied, not allowed to speak, and probably left feeling somehow to blame for the whole thing. Which is sooooo wrong. Enter really long story:

    So, there is a situation in my family where a mother knew that one daughter’s paternity was different and lied about it until the daughter and father who raised her got a DNA test when she was 20 or so, and it proved without a shadow of a doubt that there was a biological father out there somewhere. The father who raised her raised other children not biologically his own through his second wife, from birth (weird story for another time), and really did n’t have an issue with that part. It was the LYING that was a problem. There was a big confrontation, and a walk where the mother was confronted with the irrefutable evidence of the lifetime of lies, and it DID NOT GO WELL. There was trying to say it wasn’t known, but then when the biological father was found there was not a shadow of a doubt that you could ignore it (spitting image). AND, it turns out the biological father didn’t know, and the daughter had all these half brothers that she didn’t get to know and a whole medical history that she needed. It wasn’t a totally happy ending, the biological father had some issues and having an insta-relationship as father-daughter isn’t really realistic, but the reverberations with the mother were and continue to be insane. Lots of “how dare you contact him” and “I don’t see why we have to drag my past through the mud” and “you had a father growing up, that’s all that counts” and requests to NOT display photos of the biological family in the daughter’s own adult house decades later.

    All of that OF COURSE would cause a rift. A mother may make a mistake, may have a situation that they hide, but when that results in a child, you don’t get to tell a child that they are a mistake, or that they can’t own that part of their self because YOU are ashamed or embarrassed or don’t want to be perceived differently than if people DIDN’T know the truth.

    Torri, it’s not your fault, you don’t have to be “grateful,” you deserve to know this part of your story. It doesn’t take anything away from the dad who raised you to want to know the man who gave you half your genetic material. You can ask for those answers, and if you don’t get the answers you want or you’re made to feel like you’re poking your nose into someone else’s business, THIS IS YOUR BUSINESS and you can try to find those answers on your own. It sucks that there’s a rift but it’s totally and completely understandable, given that there’s been dishonesty and a disregard for your rights as a human to know your own background and history. I hope you can heal from the ghastly treatment Dr. Laura dumped on you and that you can find an actual therapist who can help you work through all of this, because it’s a lot.

    Good gracious, take that harpy off the air.

    1. Sorry for the insanely long comment, normally I would write my own post and link, but because this is in my family and is still a crazy point of contention I can’t write about it on my site. Ugh.

  15. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, this poisonous woman was estranged from her whole family. Her mother died alone and wasn’t found for more than 2 months, and it eventually took Schlessinger more months to retrieve her remains from the morgue. And it makes sense that she values papering over the facts with lies, considering that she was still married when she started dating her future husband, and he was married with 3 children at the time. How’s that for the moral high ground? Add to that the fact that she initially got famous by claiming, wrongly, that a surf shop had porn accessible (the horror of liberals!). She sued the owner when he said she was lying, she lost lat case, then he sued her for libel and settled for millions of dollars. We are not talking about a class act here, this is the bottom of the dung heap.

    1. Howard Stern brought me here…I was curious to know if she was still a thing. Like Dr. Phil, she is.

      1. Thank you Lori. I was both embarrassed and later after the call just sad. Asking myself maybe I am the bad person in this situation. Maybe I am dumb as Dr Laura thinks but she never really heard me either. Thank you for your kind words. After today’s horrible call, your kind words brought happier tears.

  16. My newly-developed-but-catlike adoptee-in-reunion senses are tingling over Dr. Laura’s very extra and highly twittish response. Lots of older folks seem to be getting all kinds of nervous about DNA tests and what they discover these days.

  17. I have been listening to Dr Laura just as back ground noise while i work from home. She has become so mean and bitter, She never lets anyone finish their sentence and never says goodbye. She does a lot of name calling and thinks she is right ALL the time. UGH what a “you know what”

  18. I think the same thing for so many shows! (e.g. anything with Chef Gordon Ramsey, the former Apprentice show, etc.) It DOES seem to be a ‘genre’ that some people are now seeking and it saddens me.

  19. “Doctor” Laura is just another byproduct of the vomit known as American culture. A culture that has no social capital and no real community, a culture that values cruelty.

  20. According to Wikipedia, Laura has a bachelor’s and PhD in physiology. She was a scientist who later received a certificate, NOT a degree in Marriage and Family Counseling in the 70s. I have no idea how she received a therapist’s license in CA. In most states you MUST have a at least a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy or Social Work to obtain an ASW license and a Master’s degree in one of those to receive an LCSW. Also calling herself Dr Laura when she purports to be a therapist is misleading at best. There should be a law against causing people to believe you are something that you are not.

    Laura had a horrific childhood with abusive parents. At one time she posed nude, not sure if that was for money, but the pictures later came up to haunt her after becoming “Dr Laura.” She sued, but lost. She was involved in a few lawsuits in her career.

    Laura married and divorced, married again and the second husband died. She was a conservative, then Orthodox, then reformed Jew because apparently she learned the hard way that taking the Torah too literally is wrong. She often mentioned that homosexuality was a sin until a Rabbi proved her wrong with scripture.

    Laura was only really on the radio until 2010 until the call when she said the N word 11 times. She was apparently either heavily criticized or sued afterward and shortly thereafter announced she would be going off the air because she wanted her “first amendment rights back” so she could “speak her mind.” After that her show went into syndication.

    Laura was estranged from her parents and sister much of her adult life, and her mother was found a long time after dying in her Beverly Hills home.

    Many have accused Laura of being a fraud who does not qualify to give mental health advice due to her lack of training, questionable license, severely dysfunctional relationships and family history, apparent personality disorder, lack of communication skills and treatment of her callers . Several TV shows have mocked Laura directly or indirectly as thinly veiled exposes.

    “Dr Laura”‘s advice is not a style of any known therapy, professional speaker communication or socially redeeming entertainment. It is blatant verbal and emotional abuse and neglect of professional responsibility, if not as a bonfied therapist, as a speaker, especially on a radio program that reaches millions. It demonstrates neglect of the most basic notion of human concern and understanding, let alone empathy or compassion. Abuse and neglect as a therapist is unethical and illegal, and Laura should have her therapy license taken away from her.

    Laura, like many of today’s speakers, exploits her listeners for profit. Masochistic tendencies often develop due to abuse. The people who listen to or follow Laura either have a warped sense of entertainment or, like Laura, were abused themselves, lack dignity, and don’t understand the negative effects that verbal and emotional abuse has on people and society.

    Laura appears to cut people off and assume things based on her own experiences. This is called countertransference and is discouraged in the field of counseling. She uses her platform as her own form of warped “therapy” for herself instead of getting the therapy she needs to work through her own abuse issues.

    I believe part of the chaos and violence we see in society today is due to these abusive voices we keep hearing in the media who are supposed to be our role models. By allowing this, we’ve emboldened them to spread their poison instead of cutting them off and encouraging them to change.

    Why is abuse of any kind acceptable on the air? A free society should mean free from abuse, not free to abuse. I’m hoping as we become more enlightened, or as these people get sued more often, we eventually turn off these types of programs due to a lack of demand and a desire for more positive and beneficial input into our lives.

  21. I need therapy after making a call to Dr Laura. I think she is horrible!!!! She didn’t even let me give her the circumstances but just gave advice on one sentence that I had left my husband after 50 years of marriage. Said she didn’t care why i left but felt sorry for my husband because he felt I abandoned him. I asked if I could give some background and she said no!!! She needed to know that he has had affairs with family members and was deep into pornography…. She hurt my situation instead of helping at all and then hung up on me !!!! Who does that ???? Someone who wants to put on a show for ratings at other people’s expense. I’m mortified

  22. I’m not sure why I would do that especially after I have listen to her before and how she’s treated a lot of callers. I don’t know what I was thinking. Big mistake

    1. Be gentle with yourself, Connie. You deserve to be treated well. Just remember she’s not an actual therapist. She’s an entertainer, and people go there to be entertained with large doses of humiliation. Maybe you can find an actual therapist to help you process what you’ve been through with your (ex)husband.

    2. I wonder if you gravitated to Laura because her abusive style felt normal to you? Many times abuse victims assume we need “tough love” when what we really need is tenderness and compassion. A good therapist will focus on *you* and what you need to feel safe and okay, not themselves or what they think you are obliged to do for others.

      1. I’ve questioned her morals in the past and after speaking to her and listening to a little bit of her show yesterday that her advice does not come from a place of truly caring. I feel if she had a love for Christ she wouldn’t act the was she dies. She just treats most people as if they were morons…. I did not realize that she wasn’t a therapist.
        I did want to say that I called back to the show and asked the screen caller if I could give some feedback and he said no and hung up on me just like she does.
        I do realize that for whatever reason most people must feel I’m a pushover and can really be patronizing. So I guess the way she treated me should not be surprising to me at all.

  23. Lori, I’m so glad you pointed this out to me on my blog this week, as somehow I missed it. OMG, I couldn’t get through more than half the call it was so horrific.

    There are so many good points here. The one that leapt out to me was when she said, “so what, that’s her private life” about the mother. With absolutely no regard for the fact that in the caller’s private life, she deserves to know who both her biological parents were!

    It was mind-bogglingly stupid and cruel. “Twit” is not nearly a strong enough word to describe “Dr” L.

  24. I really am perplexed how this woman was able to get air time for her services. She is horrific as a therapist and human being. Anyone, literally anyone, could do a better job.

  25. I googled “Dr. Laura abuse toward callers” after my niece emailed me a recording of one of Dr. L’s calls yesterday. I was so angry after listening. There were some parallels to an issue in my life but her cruel treatment of the sobbing caller was appalling. I don’t understand how she has been able to stay on the air. Frequently her advice is terrible and why would anyone go to a therapist to be verbally abused and name called. She repeatedly told the caller she was “a pain in the ass” at least 15 times during the call while the woman cried and tried to do better and please Dr. Laura. It was horrific to listen to and I can’t get her mean voice out of my head. What a terrible person and totally reckless advice giver! You suck Not-a dr-
    Laura. Shame on you.

  26. dr. Laura is an f!@#$ idiot. Seriously, as a studying therapist…she’s an idiot and her rhetoric is harmful. She should loose her license…if she stilll has one.

  27. That vindictive woman is still on the air? I remember when she went away in a flurry of self pity after her n-word rant, when people let her sponsors know they wouldn’t be buying their products if that was what they support. She called it “attacking” her sponsors.

    I hope people will stop and think before calling her if they really need counseling or therapy. In a real treatment setting what you tell them would be confidential and not on the radio or television for the entertainment of total strangers. She’s making a killing by entertaining people who are just like her, not to help anyone.

  28. she is horrible. she name calls, mocks and yells .i hear callers back off and just roll over for her saying oh yes ,your right as if it brings up childhood trauma from when they had to do the same with their critical parent. I think she does this because she gets off on keeping her tough women image going .This is for her ego not to help the caller . once a lawyer came on and she kissed his ass. I don’t know why callers call her ,maybe they are spineless and fall for her credentials .she isn’t even a doctor in mental health. deceptive but i dont think she operates under a licensing board because she “is just giving advice”

  29. this paragraph on p29 of “how could you do that?” is enough:
    “listen, after 20y of call-in radio, i can tell you that the main thrust of too many lives is an overemphasis on feeling good instead of doing good. being admired and respected by the self and others has taken a back seat to feeling good, or at least, avoiding feeling bad. and oh boy, the excuses some of you come up with for doing so!”
    she didn’t learn empathy.

    1. Dr Bruce Perry asks “What happened to you?” while Laura demands “What’s wrong with you!?”

      You’ve provided some insight, John. I looked up that book and it’s more than 25 years old. Laura focuses on behavior, which is like thinking you can stop a dandelion by cutting off the yellow flower. Nope, you need to get to the root. And what is at the root?

      Neuroscientists like Dr Bruce Perry. Dr Bessel Vander Kolk, and Dr Dan Siegel have revealed in recent years just how outdated Laura’s thinking was. Current research shows that to address behavior we must look underneath it. “Bad” behavior has its roots in trauma and in moments big and small of disconnected – of feeling unseen, unheard, scared. The treatment for disconnection is not more disconnection through judgment, shame, guilt, and humiliation, as Laura espouses (and which, in the long run, perpetuates more judgment and humiliation, often resulting in more bad behavior and inflicting more trauma.)

      Actual experts tell us that the treatment for disconnection is connection, compassion, and co-regulation, the antithesis of what Laura delivers to her callers.

      History will not judge her kindly.

  30. in my words: “she characterizes her callers narrowly and berates them. if she empathized with them she would attempt to engage them in making sense of their upbringing, what they got and what it did to them, and what they missed out on.”

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