What is a Tool? by Phil Stutz, co-author of The Tools: 5 Life-Changing Techniques To Unlock Your Potential

by |May 21, 2012

The Tools is a new book by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. 

Together they have helped their A-list clients work through whatever has held them back – be it insecurity, trauma, anger, willpower, negativity or avoidance – and achieve their greatest work and find a deep level of fulfilment.

Actor John Cusack tweeted this recently ‏: Follow Phil Stutz and his magical book – @TheToolsBook – he’s a master alchemist of the highest order – no joke. Read it!

The first question we asked was What Is A Tool?

Phil Stutz was happy to offer this answer…

What is a Tool? by Phil Stutz

In conventional psychotherapy, we talk about “insights” or “causation” and we tend to believe that if we can uncover the deep-seated reasons behind someone’s problems, then the person will change automatically. This implies that awareness alone creates the forces that cause change. But real change, the kind of change patients in therapy cry out for, means changing your behaviour, not just your attitude.

That requires much stronger forces. A tool is a technique or procedure that can generate a force that allows you to do the work of change. It is work that must be done in real time.  When do we use a tool? In the present.

Conventional therapy tends to be passive and focuses on the past. It excavates a patient’s history, usually from childhood, brings it into the light of day and interprets it so as to strip it of its unconscious power. I have the greatest respect for the past. Memories, emotions, insights can all be very valuable. But my patients needed help and relief in the present and all the insights in the world weren’t going to be powerful enough to deliver that.

To control your actions you need something else: a specific procedure you can use systematically to combat a specific problem — you need a tool.

There’s an obvious objection that arises here: Isn’t what you’re doing superficial? Sure, these tools of yours may help a patient change his or her behaviour but you haven’t addressed the underlying reasons. Unless you do that they’re bound to go back to their (self-) destructive ways sooner or later.

There are two answers to this objection. The first involves a misunderstanding of how people change. Insight into the “reasons” for a problem isn’t the cause of change – it’s the result. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have always known this. You don’t join AA and then sit around discussing why you drink too much over a few beers or vodka martinis. You join to stop drinking one day at a time. Only after that can you look into the roots of your addiction by “taking inventory.”

The second answer goes back to our original question about what a tool is. There has been a bias in psychotherapy implying that anything that is active and involves your will is superficial; as if the deepest part of human experience can only occur inside your head. The truth is the opposite; the deepest part of human experience happens when you interact with the world outside yourself. That means you need to go beyond thinking and into “doing”—and this is exactly what a tool makes possible.

Booktopia would like to thank Phil Stutz for sharing his thoughts with the Booktopia Blog and our readers.

Follow Phil and Barry on Twitter – click here

Click here to order The Tools from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

The Tools: 5 Life-Changing Techniques To Unlock Your Potential

The new global phenomenon to help you break free from whatever is holding you back and finally fulfil your true potential, from the acclaimed psychotherapists behind Hollywood’s greatest talent.

Can you imagine what your life would be if you could tap into a new source of power – one that has been inside you all along – to solve your own problems and become the master of your life?

The Tools is an extraordinary psychological model based on the proven methods of Hollywood’s greatest psychotherapists. Dr Barry Michels and his mentor Dr Phil Stutz have over 60 years of psychotherapeutic experience between them. Together they have helped their A-list clients work through whatever has held them back – be it insecurity, trauma, anger, willpower, negativity or avoidance – and achieve their greatest work and find a deep level of fulfilment.

Now, at last, the acclaimed clinicians are sharing their methods in this eye-opening and empowering book.

Introducing their six simple techniques, including The Reversal of Desire, Active Love, Inner Authority and Jeopardy, the authors clearly explain what they are and how and when to use them. Astonishingly effective and beautifully simple, The Tools will give you everything you need to propel yourself forward to achieve your ambitions and be who you were born to be.

About the Authors

Phil Stutz graduated 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 to 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.

Click here to order The Tools from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

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