Before I begin, I find most of this book genre terrible. People today write books not because they have a great idea or a better way of doing things, they write books to become famous. They might become famous and appear on TV, but their book still sucks.
The other day, I came upon a book that has changed the way I think, live, work, and interact with people. It’s called The Tools. Phil Stutz and Barry Michels are both psychotherapists who honed these tools to help people like you and me.
Phil invented The Tools when he was finished with his training as a psychiatrist. After a number of failures at helping his early patients he felt that the kind of psychotherapy he was trained in didn’t offer much to patients that was all that practical. He basically started from scratch and invented The Tools as a way to help his patients with day to day problems, and to his surprise and his patients’ satisfaction, it worked.
Barry faced the same dilemma, but at a critical juncture in time Michels was lucky enough to attend one of Stutz’s lecture. He became the prime student of Stutz and found incredible success using the tools with his patient population. Both have used these tools as the cornerstone of their psychotherapy. The two worked together to refine them and are now the go-to psychotherapists to Hollywood writers and the stars. They are presenting this book to bring their ideas to the general public and to help people help themselves.
These four fundamental problems which keep clients from living the life they want to live:
1. Pain avoidance (out of fear of rejection, failure, and negative consequences) to the extent that clients don’t move forward or progress — clients are stuck in a comfort zone in which they aren’t achieving their goals, life is passing them by.
2. Unrealistic belief that people will treat you fairly — when this doesn’t happen, clients become enraged/hurt and replay the experience, refuse to move forward until wrong is rectified, obsess about the person or event, fantasize about revenge etc.
3. Insecurity based on intimidating situations — leads to difficulty expressing yourself, connecting to others etc.
4. Negative thinking displayed in worry, anxiety, criticism, judgment of others and self-hatred — clients feel like a dark cloud hangs over them and have difficulty enjoying life and creating positive experiences.
I’ll be honest, this book won’t appeal to everyone. If you believe that the universe is simply mechanistic governed by material laws, matter-based cause and effect alone, you may find this book isn’t for you. However, if you believe that growth and spiritual evolution are principles operating in the universe, and that laws and powers exist to support resolving problems and forward movement, then you may be intrigued by the tools the authors have discovered and field-tested through their personal experience and clients’ experience.
IMPORTANT: I bought the audiobook to listen to in the car, it is much better than the book (I have that too) – you actually hear Phil and Barry explain each tool as they would in their seminar. Powerful.
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