Book on solving problems rather than obsessing over their causes

By Tony5657 Latest Reply 2012-08-22 21:04:52 -0500
Started 2012-08-05 06:39:33 -0500

The new book, The Tools, by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels caught my attention. Has anyone read it? A close friend of mine has and cannot say enough good about it. Although not specifically geared toward diabetes, it offers "tools" to help overcome many of the negative emotions involved in living with diabetes & other problems. If anyone has read the book, I'm VERY interested in your comments. Here is a critique of the book:
The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity (reviewed on May 15, 2012)

In their debut, Stutz and Michels provide a blueprint to actively change your life.

Their tools are focused on solving problems rather than obsessing over their causes. Told mostly through Michels’ voice, the book outlines a process developed by Stutz in his psychotherapy practice. He found that while therapy elicits valuable memories, emotions and insights, people needed tools powerful enough to bring immediate relief and to connect to life-changing forces. The authors offer five tools to begin change. The first, the Reversal of Desire, helps you break out of your comfort zone, embrace pain and move past it. The second, Active Love, is used when your anger traps you in a maze of negativity. It involves creating and sending out love. The third tool, Inner Authority, asks you to embrace and celebrate your inner shadow, freeing your natural self rather than cloistering it in insecurity. When filled with worry, anxiety and negativity, Grateful Flow, the fourth tool, grounds you in the present and connects you with the ultimate positive force in the universe. The final tool, Jeopardy, provides the willpower to stay on track. These prescriptive tools ultimately invoke higher forces and give rise to spiritual evolution. In the final chapter, the authors help readers integrate the five tools to bring higher forces to bear on a personal problem and, by extension, society as a whole. Illustrated with stick figures and diagrams, the tools are adapted from Jungian psychology but go a step further. Stutz and Michels see problems as opportunities to enter a world of untapped spiritual potential.

A thought-provoking book with a strong prescription to turn your life around—not for armchair self-help enthusiasts.
I ordered my copy starting at and ended up selecting Blueridgebooks as the seller, I assume, through Anyway, total cost with shipping is $16.99

25 replies

Tony5657 2012-08-20 17:20:25 -0500 Report

More on "The Tools":

2. I'm "big" on self help books from professionals who have actually experienced what they are writing about. To me, two books stand out waaaaay above all others in their council for stress, anger, depression, sickness, disease, … actually all things negative. Number 1 is the Christian "Bible" (New International Version). Number 2 is "The Tools", by Phil Stutz, psychiatrist, and Barry Michels, psychotherapist.
"The Tools" gives step by step guidance in how to transform your problems into courage, confidence and creativity. Their counseling approach is most likely different than any you have heard or experienced. It's a common sense, wise and workable approach involving what the authors call the Source - something/someone infinitely bigger than yourself, something/someone that will grant you renewed strength when it seems like you have nothing left. They wrote this so people of many religions or even atheists could benefit. I choose to interpret the Source as being God, the Heavenly Father of Jesus and I substitute God when the authors mention the Source's involvement. They give you "tools" you can use when you're confronted & imprisoned by negatives of any type AND these tools WILL work to deliver you IF you'll take the time to believe in & use them.
The following is a synopsis of the statements on the book cover/jacket. "These "tools", if used regularly, will ignite your own capacity to transform your life, work through conflicts, get happier & feel a deep sense of purpose. They are common sense, simple & practical but will deliver you to your best & most powerful self. These "tools" allow us to use our problems as levers that access the power of the unconscious and propel them into action so obstacles become opportunities to find courage, embrace discipline, develop self-expression & deepen creativity. Both authors goal is to guide every reader to realize the full range of your potential, so your life will become exceptional - exceptional in your resiliency, in your experience of real happiness and in your understanding of the human spirit."
It's a new book, 2012, so many libraries may not have it. I found my new hardback book, shipping included, for $17 at It arrived in 4 days AND it is changing my entire life. It is profound, to say the least. As we said in the 60s, "Man, this is heavy!" :o)

Nick1962 2012-08-05 18:55:09 -0500 Report

Thanks Tony. Always looking for positive reniforcment information. Found it at Alibris $2 cheaper.

eristar 2012-08-06 06:12:12 -0500 Report

I love alibris - have purchased several out of print books through them!

Nick1962 2012-08-06 07:33:42 -0500 Report

Yup, i order a lot from them. Only had a few issues over the years, but they were quick to resolve them or even refund me and let me keep the book/CD.

Tony5657 2012-08-06 07:00:38 -0500 Report

Eristar, thanks for that confirmation & information! I don't want to get involved with a "not so good / not so honest" site. Tony5657

Nick1962 2012-08-06 18:25:16 -0500 Report

I just noticed they have a new "optimize my savings" feature at checkout. With one click they will find either a similar or cheaper book(s) if you're willing to accept the substitution or one that's a bit more worn. Just saved $5 on 3 books and a CD.

Tony5657 2012-08-06 05:43:04 -0500 Report

Gabby, the book you mentioned, "How to Heal Your Life", is that the complete title? I found one called "How to Heal Your Life & Make Miracles Happen" by Arielle Essex. Is that the same book? I was poking around in the Albris site that Nick1962 mentioned & found it there.

GabbyPA 2012-08-06 17:30:53 -0500 Report

I'm sorry, wrong title. It is "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay.

GabbyPA 2012-08-07 15:18:01 -0500 Report

It is kind of more like a work book instead. It is set up as a reading book, but I found it more helpful to actually read a little, go out and practice what I was learning. It is very helpful with my self talk

GabbyPA 2012-08-05 18:29:20 -0500 Report

You are an avid reader and this sounds like another good one! I have read "How to Heal Your Life" and it also is a positive focused book.

Type1Lou 2012-08-05 11:48:53 -0500 Report

Any tool that will help us focus on what steps we need to take to better manage our condition is a good thing. Each and every one of us has the power within to make the right decisions and if this book helps some of us to find the way it is worth the investment. (Haven't read it yet but will be n the lookout for it at my library.)

Tony5657 2012-08-20 17:11:19 -0500 Report

It may not be in your library for some time as it's very new. $17 is cheap for a life changing book. (Just my humble belief) It IS powerful, IF you will follow the instructions & use the discipline as instructed. It does take time and work on the reader's part (as anything worth while) but it's REALLY working for this old guy. Have fun and let me know if you get it and try it. My bet is that it will work for you. By the way, I receive no compensation whatsoever for recommending this book.. Tony5657

cottoncandybaby 2012-08-20 20:45:25 -0500 Report

This book sounds exactly what I have been needing lately. Have been frustrated lately looking for a teaching job, the frustration has been negatively affecting my blood sugar, weight and of course my mood. Maybe it will help with my confidence and focus on looking at things in a more positive way. Being Jewish, I can also easily substitute God for other symbols of a higher being. Sounds like it is a universal book for everyone, which works for me. Will be ordering it tomorrow, thanks! Amy in Florida

Tony5657 2012-08-21 04:37:17 -0500 Report

Yup! (as we say here), You can doooooooooo it. That book is changing my life. I ordered another self help book that was recommended to me, "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. If I like it, I'll let you know. I hope you have a great day! Tony5657 in TX

cottoncandybaby 2012-08-21 11:21:04 -0500 Report

Thanks, Tony, yes please let me know how that book compares. I am hoping that the Tools book will affect me as positively as it is apparently affecting you. Sometimes self-help books are so boring or long winded, I never get past the first few chapters… By the way, I lived in Houston from 1977 til I moved down here to Fort Myers, in 1982! I loved Houston, but never got back there since we left. My oldest son was born there in 1979. Have a great day too! Amy

Tony5657 2012-08-22 08:04:40 -0500 Report

I'll do it (compare the books - don't let your mind wander here). You lived in Houston? Bright lights, big city. I had fun there in the 60s. If you ever get to New Braunfels, we run a one unit B&B. Hey, we only charge friends double…LOL…Tony5657

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