In 1995 Oprah Winfrey hired McGraw’s legal consulting firm CSI to prepare for the Amarillo Texas beef trial. He had started the company with lawyer Gary Dobbs in 1990. Previously, he was a clinical psychologist. He kept his Texas license for practicing psychology until 2006 when he officially retired it.
Winfrey was so impressed with McGraw from the trial, though, that she invited him on her show. She began inviting him on the show weekly as a “Relationship and Life Strategy Expert” in 1998. In 1999, McGraw released his first book, Life Strategies, and then wrote three more in the following years.
He also wrote workbooks to complement his books. In September 2002, McGraw formed Peteski Productions and launched his own syndicated talk show airing daily, Dr. Phil, produced by Harpo Studios. It is an advice show that tackles different problems people face in their lives.
The California Board of Psychology decided in 2002 that McGraw didn’t need a license, because his show involves entertainment rather than psychology. Image: