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The Tools

Cover of The Tools

The Tools

Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity
A groundbreaking book about personal growth that presents a uniquely effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change The Tools offers a solution to the biggest complaint patients have...
A groundbreaking book about personal growth that presents a uniquely effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change The Tools offers a solution to the biggest complaint patients have...
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Description-
  • A groundbreaking book about personal growth that presents a uniquely effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change

    The Tools offers a solution to the biggest complaint patients have about therapy: the interminable wait for change to begin. The traditional therapeutic model sets its sights on the past, but Phil Stutz and Barry Michels employ an arsenal of techniques--"the tools"--that allow patients to use their problems as levers that access the power of the unconscious and propel them into action. Suddenly, through this transformative approach, obstacles become opportunities--to find courage, embrace discipline, develop self-expression, deepen creativity.

    For years, Stutz and Michels taught these techniques to an exclusive patient base, but with The Tools, their revolutionary, empowering practice becomes available to every reader interested in realizing the full range of their potential. The authors' goal is nothing less than for your life to become exceptional--exceptional in its resiliency, in its experience of real happiness, and in its understanding of the human spirit.

    "An 'open secret' in Hollywood . . . [Stutz and Michels] have developed a program designed to access the creative power of the unconscious."--The New Yorker

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    CHAPTER 1

    Revelation of a New Way

    Roberta was a new psychotherapy patient who made me feel completely ineffective within fifteen minutes of meeting her. She had come to me with a very specific goal: she wanted to stop obsessing about the idea that her boyfriend was cheating on her. "I go through his messages, grill him with questions; sometimes I even drive by his place to spy on him. I never find anything but I can't stop myself." I thought her problem was easily explained by the fact that her father had abruptly deserted the family when she was a child. Even now, in her mid-twenties, she was still terrified of abandonment. But before we could delve into that issue more deeply, she looked me in the eye and demanded, "Tell me how I can stop obsessing. Don't waste my time and money on why I'm insecure--I already know."

    If Roberta came to see me today, I'd be thrilled that she knew exactly what she wanted, and I'd know exactly how to help her. But my meeting with her took place twenty-five years ago when I was a new psychotherapist. I felt the directness of her request shoot through me like an arrow. I had no response.

    I didn't blame myself. I had just spent two years devouring every current theory of psychotherapeutic practice. But the more information I digested, the more unsatisfied I became. The theories felt removed from the actual experience someone would have when he or she was in trouble and needed help. I felt in my gut that I hadn't been taught a way to respond directly to what a patient like Roberta was asking for.

    I wondered, Maybe I can't pick up this ability from a book; maybe it can be learned only in face-to-face consultation with someone who'd been in the trenches. I had developed close ties to two of my supervisors--not only did they know me well, but they had many decades of clinical experience. Surely, they must have developed some way to meet these requests.

    I described Roberta's demand to them. Their response confirmed my worst fears. They had no solution. Worse, what seemed to me like a reasonable request, they saw as part of her problem. They used a lot of clinical terms: Roberta was "impulsive," "resistant," and "craved immediate gratification." If I tried to meet her immediate needs, they warned me, she would actually become more demanding.

    Unanimously, they advised me to guide her back to her childhood--there we would find what caused the obsession in the first place. I told them she already knew why she was obsessed. Their answer was that her father's abandonment couldn't be the real reason. "You have to go even deeper into her childhood." I was fed up with this runaround: I'd heard it before--every time a patient made a direct request, the therapist would turn it back on the patient and tell him or her to "go deeper." It was a shell game they used to hide the truth: when it came to immediate help, these therapists had very little to give to their patients. Not only was I disappointed, I had the sinking feeling that my supervisors were speaking for the entire psychotherapeutic profession--certainly I'd never heard anyone say anything else. I didn't know where to turn.

    Then I got lucky. A friend told me he'd met a psychiatrist who didn't accept the system any more than I did. "This guy actually answers your questions--and I guarantee you've never heard these answers before." He was giving a series of seminars, and I decided to go to the next one. That was where I met Dr. Phil Stutz, the coauthor of this book.

    That seminar changed my practice--and my life.

    Everything about the way Phil thought seemed completely new. More important, in my gut it felt like the truth. He was the first...

About the Author-
  • PHIL STUTZ graduated Phi Beta Kappa from City College in New York and received his MD from New York University. He worked as a prison psychiatrist on Rikers Island and then in private practice in New York before moving his practice in Los Angeles in 1982.

    BARRY MICHELS has a BA from Harvard, a law degree from University of California, Berkeley, and an MSW from the University of Southern California. He has been in private practice as a psychotherapist since 1980.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Making good use of his clear voice and youthful passion, psychotherapist Barry Michels does most of the narrating of this audiobook--which is a good thing because his coauthor's voice is flat and unappealing. Michels's enthusiasm works less well during segments when the writing drifts into moralizing, but what dominates the presentation is the sophistication and power of these ideas on how to overcome common blocks to happiness such as denial, self-sabotaging anger, creativity blocks, anxious or negative thinking, and lack of motivation. An example of its usefulness is the distinction the authors make between unnecessary fears and the motivating urgency we need to summon when complacency stalls our growth in important areas. This intelligent, memorable guide has some fascinating ideas on personal authority and how one's higher power can impact personal growth challenges. T.W. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "Transcendent . . . a rapid and streamlined method of self-improvement."

  • Kathy Freston, author of Quantum Wellness: A Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness "These tools are emotional game changers; they can help you work through conflicts, get happier, and feel a deep sense of purpose. As simple and practical as they are, they do nothing less than deliver you to your best and most powerful self."
  • Stephen Gaghan, Academy Award--winning writer of Traffic and writer/director of Syriana "Every single thing I've written of any power or merit came through using the tools Barry taught me. Usually counterintuitive, sometimes dangerous, they only changed my life."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity
Phil Stutz
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Phil Stutz
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