- As a qualitative health researcher, I believe that there is much to be learned from people’s stories. Tom Culligan is a gifted storyteller. His book Sixteen Steps is not only enjoyable to read, but it also provides practical information for people who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and their actions. Changing your behaviour can be a difficult and daunting process, but it will be less so after reading this book. You do not need to have experienced a troubled childhood or addiction to benefit from the principles outlined in Sixteen Steps – it is a worthwhile and entertaining reading for anyone looking for a more thoughtful approach to life.
Beth Edwards, MPH, PhD(c),
- On both personal and professional levels, I commend you for your candor; you created a very effective emotional connection between these experiences and the steps. If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that people are more likely to remember how you make them feel than what you actually tell them. It was very interesting to read your reflections on your experiences at AA and Al-Anon; I have often wondered whether the religious underpinnings of these programs might turn some people away, particularly those individuals for whom negative experiences with religion may have contributed to their problems. I was struck by the way that your Sixteen Steps stand on their own, without the need for organized religion or Christianity to prop them up. The steps certainly progress from a more basic, personal and introspective level to a more outward looking/societal/community level. I was quite appreciative of the Leadership step, as I have spent a lot of my career in various roles that have included leadership. Many of the individuals I’ve encountered in leadership roles spend far too much time on trying to manage others and far too little time examining themselves and the personal/historical factors that contribute to their sometimes dysfunctional styles. This step highlights the need to look beyond self-centred motives to achieve better leadership, something that too few of our current leaders seem to be willing to do! Also, the paradox of Participation and Autonomy was explained very well in these two steps and expresses a something that is too often missing in our present day and age-the concept that individuals can coexist and thrive even if they don’t always agree. I’ll be passing Sixteen Steps on to our eldest son. I think that a lot of your observations, though intended to be self-help in nature, can be very useful to anyone who works with other people in team-based environments.
Robert Boulay, MD
Past President of the College of Family Physicians of Canada
- The author’s practical thinking helped to ground these core principles in my own clinical work with patients. This is a generous sharing of personal stories demonstrating that the path to success or fulfillment is never a straight line, offering simple useful tools that support the readers as they navigate their own unique personal journey.
Marc Michell, MD
Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, Toronto, Ontario
- … each principle stands on its own while at the same time adding to the richness of the others. The principles could allow us to find an underlying good in the world amidst all the dangers…fundamentally resetting the focus of the mind to find positive aspects of life. A healthy approach to balance off those with tendencies to focus on and predict the negative.
Charles J LoPiccolo, MD
Forensic Psychiatrist, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- The book was great! I enjoyed how the author discussed each principle in action through his own personal experiences. This book was an excellent reminder that this is a lifelong journey and one should not stop working on and applying these principles just because you are content with your current status.
Michael Thompson, City Councillor
- In Sixteen Steps, Tom Culligan provides an intimate and compelling portrayal of his difficulties and successes. Readers will connect with his honest and thoughtful explanation of the principles by which we can all live. More importantly, they can use his practical guidance to gain deep insights into the beliefs and practices that might be holding them back. Sixteen Steps offers a path to true and lasting change for anyone who wants it.
Allison Brimmer, Ph.D.
- This easy-to-read book offers simple self-examination and judgement-free techniques to lead a joyful and more authentic life. Workbook sections highlight personal challenges and yield surprising yet freeing self-reflection. Sixteen Steps is unique and accessible in reaffirming that the only higher power we must surrender to is ourselves.
Dave Campbell, Director/Choreographer for Theatre and Television
- The author’s personal journey of recognizing, confronting, and changing his destructive behaviours is compelling. Each chapter abounds with “workbook”questions helping the reader to challenge their faulty beliefs. Can stand alone as a self-help guide to addiction recovery.
Bonnie Wolf, Psy.D, Clinical Psychologist
Hollywood , Florida
- “Know thyself!” This is the most ancient wisdom, and yet it is the hardest to undertake. How, exactly, does a person learn to see themselves as they truly are? Tom Culligan reveals through very personal confession the exact practical steps needed to identify and break down false self-images inherited from childhood and how to begin a lifelong process of learning to see, and finally to love, the true self that lies beneath. We need not undertake this journey unguided or alone. This is a book for everyone.
David K. Goodin, PhD Religious Studies
Lecturer, McGill School of Religious Studies, Montreal, Quebec
- Mr Culligan’s latest book of candid memoirs goes beyond storytelling and offers solid counsel delivered with a soothing and empathetic voice. A good read and a welcome and original addition to the self-healing workbook genre.
Timothy Webb, Educator and Artist
- When I got to your chapter on LOVE, I was stopped in my tracks! I have felt it, and do now, but for a long time I questioned what it really is/was for me—how to name it, define it, and assign it. After reading your chapter, I realized that when we are so conflicted as a small child over such a basic emotion, one necessary for survival, how can we not be stymied, and yes, paralyzed by the mere word, no less the emotion itself. I was very moved by your words because they struck a chord I’d never heard before in my symphony of emotions; thank you for that.
Marcia Kaplan, MeD
San Francisco, California
- The author’s hard work and experiences over many years are clearly distilled and written in a way that will help anyone that wants to work towards a happier and healthier life. Our childhood emotional scars dictate so many of our feelings and actions in life; Sixteen Steps is a great guide to work towards healing these scars and their influence. I loved reading it.
Paula Sparti, MD
Miami Beach, Florida
And from the home front…
One of the guiding principles in Sixteen Steps is TRUST. Tom Culligan wants to gain your turst and has provided testimonials from his fiercest critics – family.