Phil Stutz and Barry Michels are the authors of Coming Alive: 4 Tools to Defeat Your Inner Enemy, Ignite Creative Expression, and Unleash Your Soul's Potential and The Tools: 5 Tools to Help You Find Courage, Creativity, and Willpower—and Inspire You to Live Life in Forward Motion, a New York Times bestseller.
Referred to as “the most sought-after shrinks in Hollywood” by Lawrence O’Donnell and “an open secret in Hollywood” by the New Yorker, Barry and Phil’s client list boasts top writers, actors, producers, CEOs, and other creatives. In their books and public events, they share the same Tools they use behind closed doors with their clients.
As a 17-year-old college sophomore, Phil found himself as the sounding board for two guys who were fighting over a girl. Without doing much more than listening, Phil watched the trouble resolve itself in front of his eyes. As the guys walked away laughing with each other, Phil knew life had spoken to him and he had found his calling.
He graduated from City College in New York and received his MD from New York University. After working as a prison psychiatrist on Rikers Island and then in private practice in New York, he moved to sunny Los Angeles where he has been practicing since 1982.
Barry Michels powered through his undergraduate studies at Harvard, went to law school at the University of California at Berkeley, and spent three years at a white-shoe law firm before disillusionment got the better of him. After a soul-searching time in Europe where he played guitar on street corners, he had a powerful spiritual experience and realized he wanted to be a therapist.
He returned home and got an MSW from the University of Southern California and began his psychotherapy practice in 1986. A few years later, still searching for a psychotherapeutic technique that would bring his patients true freedom, he attended a seminar held by Phil. Struck by Phil’s commitment to human potential and his unorthodox approach, he began to study with Phil and use The Tools with his patients.