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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2012 Barry Michels and Phil Stutz (P)2012 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"With deceptively potent visualization exercises, psychiatrist Stutz and psychotherapist Michels promote a rapid and streamlined method of self-improvement. . . . The clear, user-friendly approach plus a belief that "the power of higher forces is absolutely real" is a winning combination. Here is the rare self-help book that doesntt end with the self" (Publishers Weekly)
"Barry Michels and Phil Stutz are profoundly talented guides to the inner workings of the psyche. The Tools is breakthrough material that ignites your own capacity to transform your life" (Marianne Williamson)
"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" Kathy Freston, author of Quantum Wellness: A Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jennifer on 08-24-12

You Owe It to Yourself to Try

Where does The Tools rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's the most important audiobook I've ever read, hands down. This may ultimately be the most life-changing book I'll ever read. If it doesn't change my life, it will be because I didn't work hard enough with the tools every day. This is not so much a self-help book as it is an existential guidebook to the universe.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Tools?

Barry tells about how he discovered, while talking to his very skeptical friend, that all the adversity we face in life is meant to get us to access the Higher Forces. It helped me to answer the question of suffering very clearly. Earlier in the book, Barry refers to Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning," in which Frankl recounts how he persevered in the Nazi death camps by holding onto the fact that the Nazi's could not take away his right to determine his response to his suffering. In my case, most of my suffering is not a result of human evil. I was born with a genetic progressive neuro-muscular disability, and now I am fighting day by day to survive. When I read Frankl years ago, I was very moved, but I didn't get satisfaction from the answer that I am in control of my response to my circumstances. I had nobody to point to as the cause of my circumstances but God, yet I couldn't bring myself to be angry at God the way Frankl was angry will the Nazi's. The standard Christian answer is that God let suffering into the world in response to the sins of the first humans, or that satan is the cause of suffering, not God. C.S. Lewis said that suffering in life was to prepare us to spend eternity with God, and we would become better people through our suffering. I now think Barry's definitely on the right track. The adversity is not to make us better people or to punish us for the sins of the first humans. For us to access the Divine, to get to know God, and to have compassionate, meaningful lives, we need to access the Higher Forces. To access the Higher Forces, we have to have problems, pain, and emptiness, or else we will not understand courage, love, inclusiveness, compassion, or creativity. These gifts are available to us all, but in first world countries, we are all tempted to either believe that humans can solve their own problems, or that there is a "treatment" for all suffering, whether mental, physical, or spiritual. The Tools are not cures, but they help you to access Higher Forces, which I call God, which makes life a powerful, divine undertaking.

Have you listened to any of Phil Stutz and Barry Michels ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

If Barry wanted another career as a reader for Audible, he could easily do so. He's in the top ten percent of readers. Phil's New York accent and soft tone make me feel like he's talking to me about the tools, and his life, in a restaurant over dinner.

What did you learn from The Tools that you would use in your daily life?

This Tools are not going to be easy to use daily, but I know I must use them. The methods in the book will be used side-by-side with my prayers, in my case. The tools will enable me to love my enemy, to walk with Jesus on the Jordan in a storm, and to break bread with my inner leper, unclean woman, and tax collector. I just hope the jeopardy tool will give me enough will power to become disciplined, because I have already died, and I am already in real jeopardy. I will have to be like Vinny and "just think about death all day."

Any additional comments?

If you have clinical depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, addiction, or any other major psychiatric disorder, do not kid yourself into thinking that the tools are going to be all you need. You do need professional help and quite possibly medication. Consider going to a support group such as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance or Alcoholics Anonymous (or other Anonymous programs.) The Tools will help you, but you must get your brain chemistry under control to actually use the tools effectively. Trust me, I've been there.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful


By tmfnyc on 07-09-12

Mental Alchemy

What did you love best about The Tools?

Its quick results after years of fruitless talk therapy.

What did you like best about this story?

Its giving me the methods to change my life without expensive therapy. Although talk therapy is helpful for diagnosis and medical treatment, it does comparatively little to truly change one's interpersonal relationships.

Have you listened to any of Phil Stutz and Barry Michels ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I only heard them interviewed on the Charlie Rose show.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

Visualization tools in the book really do work.

Any additional comments?

I only wish I had this book many years ago. It would have spared me many lost friendships and made my life far, far more enjoyable.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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