Dr. Todd Sheppard Blog

Power Tools for Your Brain

‘The Tools’ Book Review
By Phil Stutz and Barry Michels

One fixture of modern culture is the home improvement show. Whether it is a fix-and flip or leave-it-to-the bald-guy show, people love to watch others work and transform the ugly to the beautiful. Why don’t we do it ourselves? Well, that’s easy:

1. We know it’s a lot of work

2. The pro’s have the experience

3. They know how to use the proper tools.

Often in these shows they get the poor husband involved with the reno. They give him a power tool and set him loose. Of course, he looks clumsy, uncomfortable and hapless.

I know the feeling all too well. In dental school, I spent years learning how to use new tools. It takes hundreds of hours before you are any good (don’t worry I’m pretty good with dental tools now).

What if someone could give you tools to help improve the quality of your life? That’s what Phil Stutz and Barry Michels want to do in their book ‘The Tools’. The book is designed to give you five tools that

Barry was a lawyer who left it all to become a psychologist. He felt the need to help people improve their lives. He discovered that it was almost impossible to motivate people to change for the better. Why is that? Phil is a career psychiatrist who was puzzled by the problem of real and lasting change in both his own and his patient’s lives. Through a series of ‘genius’ insight, introspection, and experimentation Phil developed the basis for the five ‘Tools’ for real change.

Barry saw Phil speak at a conference and immediately realized that they both were frustrated by the same short comings of modern psychotherapy. Barry and Phil became partners, developing and refining the Tools. They spent years in Los Angeles working with many patients (including many celebrities) and getting repeatable predictable results.

Thankfully, Phil and Barry put their life’s work into a well-organized and entertaining book. This is a book that you could read for fun or a book that you could use as a textbook for the rest of your life. The authors warn the reader; this is hard work but the results are more than worth it. You wouldn’t renovate your house without knowing how to use power tools, now you can learn how to use the tools that leverage fantastic results in your life.

For people who are committed to making significant and lasting change in their lives I can’t say enough about the Tools. Like anything worthwhile, like learning a new language or getting in shape, it takes a lot of effort and commitment, but the end result is worth it. There is a price to pay for everything of value. You just have to decide if you are willing to pay it.

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