The Tools: Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence and Creativity

The Tools is a groundbreaking book about personal growth that presents an effective set of five tools that bring about dynamic change. Developed by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, The Tools is a new form of solution-based psychotherapy (a combination of cognitive therapy— hands on — and Jungian — unconscious or passive) that employs an arsenal of uniquely developed techniques or tools that allow people to access the power of the unconscious and propel them into action.

The Tools: Transform Your Problems Into Courage, Confidence and Creativity

Through this transformative approach, obstacles become opportunities—to find courage, embrace discipline, develop self-expression, and deepen creativity. See how you can use the techniques for Tools 1 and 2 in your daily life by practicing these exercises. 

Tool 1: Reversal of Desire

Use this tool when you need to take an action you’ve been avoiding. We avoid doing things that are painful, that cause discomfort, or inspire fear or dread. This tool allows you to act in the face of pain and helps you get your life moving again. Use the tool right before you act or whenever you think about doing something painful or difficult. Depression perfectly illustrates the absence of forward motion. 


1. Focus on the pain you’re avoiding; see it appear in front of you as a cloud. Silently scream, “Bring it on” to demand the pain; you want it because it has great value. 

2. Scream silently, “I love pain” as you keep moving forward. Move so deeply into the pain you’re at one with it.

3. Feel the cloud spit you out and close behind you. Say inwardly, “Pain sets me free.” As you leave the cloud, feel yourself transformed into pure light, moving forward with great purpose.

Tool 2: Active Love

Use this tool when someone angers you, when you find yourself reliving a personal injustice, whether it was recent or in the distant past, or when you are preparing to confront a difficult person.


1. Concentration: Feel your heart expand to encompass the world of infinitelove surrounding you. When it contracts back to normal size, it concentrates all this love inside your chest.

2. Transmission: Focus on the other person and send all the love from your chest to them, holding nothing back.

3. Penetration: When the Love enters the other person, feel it enter; sense a oneness with them. Now, if you relax you’ll feel all the energy you gave away returned to you. 

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