Author Topic: The Tools by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels (self help, recommended for woo-lovers)  (Read 820 times)

Fru-Gal

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OK, if this is your kind of book, this is gonna be your kind of book. I devoured it.

I almost hesitate to post it here, because I don’t want to read a tear-down of it. If you don’t like woo, maybe don’t worry about it. There’s some Jungian stuff in there but I am no expert on the evolution of psychotherapy.

Suffice to say, this links my lifelong spiritual inclinations/philosophy/experiences with my positive psychology inclinations in an utterly satisfying way. And it might be the kind of thing MMM would enjoy (given that he recommended Psycho-Cybernetics, if I recall correctly).

The challenge is to follow the authors’ exhortation to not just rapidly consume and forget the book but rather to use the tools for the rest of my life.

HipGnosis

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What (who??)  is "woo"??

ChpBstrd

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What (who??)  is "woo"??
Woo is pseudoscience that is supposed to do something for you, like patent medicines, untested supplements and caffeinated dick pills sold at gas stations, healing crystals and copper bracelets, spiritual solutions sold for medical/psychological problems, mediums, psychics, occult practices, tarot, reiki, Scientology, Christian Science, water dowsing, etc.

Haven't read the book, but if it's Jungian psychology, positive psychology, self-help and motivation, then "woo" might be too strong a term. Such frameworks often do not involve a black box step where something magical happens, but woo is often bolted on to non-woo frameworks by subsequent authors.

For example, a particular framework might involve a systematic strategy to manage stress, think at a higher level, or solve problems and that would not be woo; it's just a strategy for thinking. However another framework that posits your positive thoughts and self-talk will attract good fortune would be woo, because something magical happens between the thoughts and the outcome. You can imagine a carnival psychic waving their hands and saying "wooooo" when asked how exactly this part operates.

If they start talking about your invisible energy field, karma, this one simple trick to not eat a particular fruit, massaging your soul, astrology, etc. then "woo" would be a fair assessment.

Fru-Gal

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I appreciate that definition of “woo”.

It’s an interesting point because some kinds of pseudoscience absolutely turn me off, as does extreme guru-worship (ANY kind of guru, from finance to yoga).

The “woo” in this case is, IMHO, in the vein of the hallowed American philosophical tradition called “New Thought”. https://www.britannica.com/event/New-Thought

It’s also similar to the “higher power” concept that is central to 12-step programs.

The authors provide psychotherapy tools to combat the powerlessness, instant gratification and overthinking that are the result of rationalism and consumerism. But they ultimately suggest a metaphysical model for our world that might be a sort of Buddhism + New Thought.

I think because they studiously avoid sounding religious and also avoid pathologizing human behavior, it comes off as far more palatable and actionable than pure pseudoscience.