Can ‘The Tools’ Work for You? Ask the Authors

We all wrestle with demons. Whether we worry too much, obsess when someone angers us, or struggle to open up to people we love, there always seems to be something standing in the way of true happiness. As a psychotherapist, Phil Stutz, coauthor of The Tools: Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity, dealt with clients who had these problems daily. His training taught him how to help clients look backward and analyze the roots of their problems, but he didn’t feel equipped to help people move forward and make positive changes in their lives. So he took matters into his own hands and developed a set of results-oriented “tools” that clients could use to actively to overcome their problems.

The Tools, co-written by Stutz’s mentee Barry Michels, is not meant to be a quick fix. Tool #2, Active Love, for instance, teaches you to overcome a fear of confrontation by visualizing yourself sending love to the other person. Loving your perceived enemy takes practice — all the methods in the book require a lot of work. But the authors also tell amazing stories of how they and their clients have been able to transform themselves with these methods. That’s why we’ve chosen this thought-provoking book as our Book of the Month for August. This month, we’ll delve deeper into their therapeutic model that counts Hollywood actors like John Cusack and novelist Bret Easton Ellis as fans. In the meantime, you can learn more about the book by watching the video above.

Stutz and Michels have generously offered to answer questions from BBL readers this month. We’ll be taking your questions this week, and then they will chose a few to respond to throughout the month. So what’s eating you?┬áMaybe you’re stuck in a career rut, have a relationship that’s imploding, or are struggling with an addiction. Submit your question in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or by emailing Let us know if you’d like us to keep your name anonymous.

For more information about The Tools, visit

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The Tools
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