'Dr. Phil' Guest Destoni, the Teen Who Suffered from Trauma-Induced Anger, Is Now an Adult

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jan. 12 2024, Updated 10:57 a.m. ET

Destoni during her appearance on 'Dr. Phil'
Source: CBS

As we rehash old episodes of Dr. Phil, one of the most memorable comes to mind. A 14-year-old girl named Destoni was seemingly out of control. Destoni threatened her mother, her siblings, her classmates, her teachers, and even Dr. Phil due to extreme anger issues. Destoni’s mother, Melissa, said it was either “foster care or Dr. Phil” so she told the world her story.

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In 2019, in an episode of Dr. Phil titled “Expelled, Handcuffed, & Violent: My 14-Year-Old Daughter Is Out of Control,” Dr. Phil gets to the heart of Destoni’s violence. But what happened to Destoni since her 2019 appearance? She would now be at least 18 years old, which means she’s legally on her own. But where is she?

Destoni and her mother, Melissa, on 'Dr. Phil'
Source: CBS
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Dr. Phil helped Destoni start to get over her anger issues by helping Melissa.

Throughout the episode, we see examples of Destoni’s anger and disrespect towards authority as Dr. Phil tries to get to the cause of her behavior. He uncovers that Destoni’s father was arrested when Destoni was just 3 or 4 years old, leaving her behind with severe abandonment issues.

An alleged audience member shared on Reddit, “The only thing edited out was Dr. Phil coming out on stage on a commercial break and explaining to the audience a brief backstory behind the situation with her dad because she kept mentioning him and I think he knew he was going to edit all of that out because it was a very terrible reason that he wasn’t around.” Perhaps the situation with Destoni’s dad was even worse than portrayed.

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Destoni makes it clear throughout the episode that she feels she can’t open up to her mom about her deep-seated emotions and that her mom doesn’t understand her. So there are just as many issues with Destoni as there are with Melissa that Dr. Phil gets to the bottom of.

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Destoni ends up going to the Center of Discovery treatment facility and school.

In the episode, Dr. Phil says, “I think you as a family and Destoni as an individual are on a collision course with disaster.” He recommends that Destoni go to the Center of Discovery treatment facility to help both Destoni and her family get the tools they need to move forward in a healthy way.

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According to various sources, she does end up going to the facility. One Redditor even wrote, “Coming from her old roommate from the facility, she's actually one of the kindest people you could meet. Sure she has an attitude but she's still kind. I spent a few days with her and sort of got to know her while I was new. You guys don't even know her, all the Dr. Phil show did was worsen the situation.”

“You don't need media or a show to fix someone. And I understand that a dad going to jail could be considered ‘attention seeking.’ But it's a traumatic event to her and trauma comes in all shapes and sizes.” It’s very clear that Destoni’s trauma came through as anger, but hopefully, her time at the facility was helpful.

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Some sources say that Dr. Phil followed up with Destoni in 2022, but the video is nowhere to be found. She supposedly said that she is going to classes and doing the work necessary, and she added that Dr. Phil’s therapeutic methods helped. Destoni's dad is supposedly still incarcerated, while her mother, Melissa, is also receiving counseling. None of this is verified, but we hope that at the very least, they’re doing as well as they can be.

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