Phil Stutz and Barry Michels Teach the Tools

Monday, June 04, 2012

Phil Stutz and Barry Michels discuss their groundbreaking approach to therapy. In The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity they present five tools that can bring about dynamic change. In their approach, obstacles become opportunities—to find courage, embrace discipline, develop self-expression, deepen creativity.


Barry Michels and Phil Stutz

Comments [24]


Nothing to hate. Just nothing new under the sun. 20th-21st psychology a footnote to most great philosophical ideas. First quote I read from Pascal's Thoughts almost 500 years ago did it for me:

"The only thing which consoles us for our miseries is diversion, and yet this is the greatest of our miseries. For it is this which principally hinders us from reflecting upon ourselves, and which makes us insensibly ruin ourselves. Without this we should be in a state of weariness, and this weariness would spur us to seek a more solid means of escaping from it. But diversion amuses us, and leads us unconsciously to death."

Jul. 11 2012 05:01 PM
Jim from Florida

I listened to this on podcast, I re-listened to it because I thought I missed something and wanted to find out what the tools actually are. On my second time listening to this segment I really didn't miss anything, it was just a sales pitch for their book - completely vague - all come-on.

Jun. 22 2012 10:58 AM
Ben from NYC

These are two bourgeois peddling a book. They have a profession, like accounting, or lawyering, and speak to their own class. No wonder the little bird faced guy left "prison therapy" for Hollywood.

Jun. 13 2012 09:01 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

Leonard did a really good job interviewing these gentlemen.

Jun. 04 2012 03:04 PM

these tools sound like they could be helpful strategies for getting past what could be a crippling fear of pain and an addiction to comfort, and for being in touch with one's inner resources - I appreciate the fact that Lopate did this interview

Jun. 04 2012 02:07 PM
Diana from Maplewood, NJ

The analysis of cognitive emotive therapy (either Aaron T Beck or Albert Ellis' approach) was superficial. Having studied and been in this type of therapy myself, it is not mechanical or ignoring of prior experience or emotion. It is one of the few therapies that has proven research available. And, like some of the other listeners, I am still confused as to what this therapy actually does or what the tools are.

Jun. 04 2012 02:02 PM

Sounds interesting, I will buy this book.

Jun. 04 2012 01:58 PM
Wende McIlwain

I am puzzled why your guests fail to acknowledge the Buddhist basis of this approach?

Jun. 04 2012 01:57 PM
Richard from New York, NY

The "act of love" sounds like a way to use "the Ben Franklin Effect," a subset of cognitive dissonance reduction. It turns out, you like the people you do nice things for.

The least inconveniencing nice thing one can do is wish someone well. The "act of love" sounds like it engages this mechanism to quiet active churning resentments.

Jun. 04 2012 01:57 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I may have been on the other end of the situation Leonard describes--sometimes a friend or acquaintance stops talking to me & I have no idea why. I have a hard time asking, & often when I do, they say there's no problem. I'm not sure what to do in this case.

Jun. 04 2012 01:56 PM

Today isn't April 1, so this can't really be a New Age parody. I guess.

Jun. 04 2012 01:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

All nonsense! Revenge is sweet! There is no substitute for appropriate payback. But if you can't avenge, then you're a loser who should accept the fact.

Jun. 04 2012 01:54 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Do people w/a history of avoiding pain tend to have a problem recognizing the line btwn. healthy & unhealthy pain when they start facing the pain? I've done this w/physical pain, when I need to do physical therapy exercises & sometimes do too much. Does this happen in the psychological realm?

Jun. 04 2012 01:54 PM
Larry from Brooklyn

Pseudoscience mishmash of 100 years of personality theory. Where is the evidence for these theories?

Jun. 04 2012 01:51 PM
Frank Grimaldi from EV

The word pain is being used, but it actually sounds like the three of you are talking about feeling vunerable. Most people avoid feeling vunerable because of their fear of pain that often isn't real.

Jun. 04 2012 01:50 PM
BradH from UWS

I did a program called Schema Therapy. It was amazingly helpful to find the reasons for unhealthy habitual actions. I loved it. My Psychiatrist did not suggest it right away, but when he felt I was open to repairing myself. It sounds like there is a bit Schema in what these guys are talking about.

Jun. 04 2012 01:49 PM
becky from Manhattan

I generally enjoy the Leonard Lopate show, but this is one of the most boring interviews. Nothing of interest has been said. It is as though they are talking in circles about the tools without ever concretely discussing them.

Jun. 04 2012 01:49 PM
Lucia Lezama from NYC

I think it's important to note that psychoanalytic theory has evolved tremendously in the last decades, where therapists have a different and more active role in the therapy room. Contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives focus on the importance of tolerating and reflecting on affects, and NOT only on analyzing them from the outside. Further, contemporary perspectives, such as relational psychoanalysis, think that change comes from reflecting and observing what happens in the therapeutic relationship, as means to understand what happens in the outside world. Psychoanalysis in sum, has evolved to be not a one person psychology, but a two person theory.

Jun. 04 2012 01:48 PM

How is it different from DBT - dialectical behavior therapy - by Marsha Linehan?

Jun. 04 2012 01:45 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Hahhaha! This is laughable!

Jun. 04 2012 01:44 PM
art525 from Park Slope

It sure sounds like that to me Suzinne. That was exactly my thought.

Jun. 04 2012 01:43 PM
fuva from harlemworld

What exactly are the tool? The haven't been clearly presented yet. Or is that not the point of the interview?

Jun. 04 2012 01:39 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

How do you activate potential?
With the tools?
Coming across as a little vague.

Jun. 04 2012 01:39 PM
Suzinne from Bronx

I received a copy of this book for reviews. While some of the "tools" in the book make perfect common sense, the book reads like so much new age Californian nonsense.

Jun. 04 2012 01:05 PM

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