12/23/2007 at 12:50 PM EST
Ever the optimist
concerning the Spears family, Dr. Phil McGraw commends matriarch Lynne Spears – despite the current controversy regarding her 16-year old daughter's pregnancy
"We know the Spears family, particularly the parents," he tells PEOPLE at Adrienne Maloof and Dr. 90210
Phil Nassif's holiday party in Beverly Hills on Saturday. "An asset that Britney and Jamie Lynn both have is a great and dedicated mother."
McGraw admits that his friend is "troubled right now" but is "really looking for the positives in this." As her daughters live under the glare of public scrutiny and criticism
, Lynne has "her feet squarely and solidly on the ground," he says.
"They're a very strong, close-knit family," says Dr. Phil's wife Robin, "They're relying on each other." And with her book recently put on hold
, Lynne is also drawing strength from her faith. "I talked to Lynne yesterday and she said they're turning to prayer, asked that I pray for them. That's how they're going to get through it."