Tony Robbins is a world-renowned speaker on behavioral modification. His books, tapes, videos, and seminars have affected the lives of thousands of people. Although Robbins does not hold a college degree, he has incorporated the work of multiple therapists and continues to evolve his theories on self-directions of behaviors. Robbins’ promotions involve psychology dealing with family, self, and organization; he states he helps people “find breakthrough strategies and solutions for overcoming the problems that confront us all.” (Robbins, 2015). He employs the use of neuro-associative conditioning, a technique similar to neuro-linguistic programming. By consciously addressing preferred representational systems and submodalities, an individual may be able to alter negative behaviors and perceptions (Bandler, Grinder & Andreas, 1979).
The information offered by the Tony Robbins organization is sought after by people wanting to improve their lives physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially. While Robbins offers small amounts of information through infomercials and interviews, individuals are required to purchase instructional aides for training. Robbins himself does little personal training. This leads to the assumption that the people involved in the behavior modification training are highly motivated for change. For that reason, there may be a high probability of success if the student applies the steps diligently and correctly; the perception of Robbins as a credible authority lends credence to the program.
Robbins presents himself honestly in the book as a young man from a disruptive home who was a financial failure. With no money, no career, and poor health, he decided to take charge of his life and began to study behavior modification by reading and attending self-help seminars. Through his personal experiences, he became a successful investor prior to creating his empire. The bulk of the book Awaken the Giant Within is offered in an informational manner with illustrations and examples to which the student can relate.
The primary shortcoming in the material presented in the Tony Robbins book is a possible inability of an untrained individual to incorporate the change in thought processes effectively to change behavior. Blind adherence to physical changes in actions unrelated to alterations in internal though processes will do little to create improvement with lasting benefits. It would be more advantageous for a client to work with a therapist or other knowledgeable person to work through the steps toward personal improvement. It is possible this is why Robbins created a serious of audiotapes – to assist some individuals who struggle with the written word to incorporate his system.
Robbins has never attempted to present himself as a trained authority on behavior modification and counseling other than through his own research and the assistance of educated professionals. He gives proper credit to those who work with him and often bring them into his organization as “partners”. One ethical matter not addressed by Robbins is the possibility for failure after attempted system integration or suggestions for seeking assistance from psychologically trained therapists in the event of distress.
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