Empowerment & Assertiveness

Are you getting everything you want out of your personal and/or professional life? Or, like many, have you found yourself settling for less than you wanted or felt you deserved? It is possible to overcome the feelings that are holding you back! Many people have come to the Option Institute to overcome their fears and supercharge their self-confidence in order to feel strong on a day-to-day basis and ultimately, to pursue their greatest goals.

How Does Assertiveness Affect Our Lives?

Personal empowerment means, at its core, going for what you want without reserve or apology.
So many of us have difficulty being genuinely empowered and assertive. Certainly, there are numerous seminars and workshops that aim to help us take a more empowered role in our lives, but oftentimes, the focus of these workshops rests upon changing our behavior.

How the Option Institute Can Help

We have a unique strategy. We have seen that individuals’ behaviors are fueled by their beliefs. So, it is the cause, not the effect, that we focus on helping you with.

An important question: Do you secretly apologize for wanting what you want?

Over and over again, we see participants in our programs take an apologetic stance toward what they want. So many of us apologize for our wants that we may not notice all of the ways in which we do this.

Sometimes, when telling people what we want from them, we dance around the issue, afraid that they will judge us, fight us, or ignore us. We might feel guilty about pursuing the things we want, especially if what we want is at odds with the desires of someone else. The unspoken truth: it is not truly the judgments of others that we fear, it is our own judgments of the things we want – or even our right to want them. Thus, we end up refraining from ever really going for what we want and then wonder why we seem to be living so far from the lives we desire. Some of us don’t even bother pursuing many of the things we want in our careers or relationships. Often, we don’t clearly articulate them even to ourselves.

Building Self-Confidence

We are so petrified of “failure” that we avoid the whole endeavor. But again, this is just another face of our apology. We see “failure” as proof that it wasn’t okay for us to want what we wanted in the first place. If we had self-confidence and we weren’t apologetic about what we wanted, failure to achieve what we pursued would mean nothing about whether it was okay for us to want it.

As long as we judge ourselves as not okay, not worthy, not important, as stupid, incompetent, selfish, we will always be apologizing for what we want, and thus, we will always be holding ourselves back. We can try to “force” ourselves to be more assertive and act more empowered all we want, but we will be fighting the same battle over and over again, and never really reaching our desired destination.

If you have any difficulty whatsoever with your own empowerment and assertiveness, we can absolutely help you.
In our programs, you will learn how to uncover the limiting beliefs and perspectives that you may hold. You can then question and challenge these beliefs, and change them, if you choose. What’s more, we can help you adopt and strengthen new beliefs which support your self-confidence.

Then, there will be no fight to change your behavior. Once you change your thinking, your empowerment can be unleashed.

See Our E-Learning Training Courses.
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Emotional Fitness TrainingSay YES To YourselfPowerDialoguesFEARLESS

Personal Stories — Creating Personal Power

I have had a lot of fun this week. I have integrated my soft and loving side with my authenticity. I have really enjoyed watching myself and others grow. I have been amazed to watch a roomful of strangers completely open up and share themselves to everyone’s benefit.

Mary C.

Business Owner & Mother, Indiana

I’ve learned here that self-confidence comes from within, that it’s something I decide and give myself. No one else can fill me up, but I can by being passionate, daring, believing in my dreams and myself and acting with conviction.

Deborah E.

Option Process® Mentor/Counselor and Group Facilitator, Washington

This week has been an adventure of self-discovery-better than the Discovery Channel!. I’ve learned to really love myself and find out why I received the gift of a tumor. I learned that I can take care of myself, especially my health. I am responsible for me, my happiness, my actions, my choices of feelings and behaviors. I learned how to receive unconditional love by also having it within.

Julie D.

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PRE-REQUISITES for attending Advanced Power Dialogues are:

  • Completion of The Option Institute’s PowerDialogues program.
  • If it’s been more than 5 years since you attended PowerDialogues, please call 413-229-2100 to discuss options.

NOTE: Attendance of live sessions via Zoom are required to complete this course.

Please note, this is a per-person registration


Dear Donor,

Jeannie Reid was searching for answers to the challenges she and her family were facing. Jeannie and her husband Stuart’s son, Carson, had been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition on the Autism spectrum. For Carson that meant being completely involved in obsessive behaviors and only using minimal words to identify objects, as well as frequently and completely melting down.

Soon after, Jeannie found the book, “Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues” and when she read it, she KNEW she had found what she was looking for. She began using some of the Son-Rise techniques described in the book on her own until she was able to come to The Autism Treatment Center of America for the Son-Rise Program Start-Up. As she put into practice what she learned there, Carson’s world was opening up. Today Carson is attending a Montessori school as a 'typical' student and functioning at or above typical grade level, being fully verbal and conversational, and very interested in learning about the world and interacting as much as possible with other people. He is even taking swim lessons at the local YMCA and doing great!

“It has been wonderful to get, and stay connected with other people and Son-Rise parents from all over the world. My son’s progress had already come very far, but now I truly believe we can go all the way!”

Jeannie wrote.

Stuart Reid then attended the Empower Yourself course and brought home a new sense of clarity, balance and personal power. He shared his new empowerment with Jeannie and she in turn gained in confidence, strength and enthusiasm. Their own relationship began to flourish anew, as well. Life-altering changes were happening for Jeannie and her family.

Jeannie journeyed again to Sheffield, this time for the Fearless course at The Option Institute to help her recognize and overcome her personal obstacles. Jeannie wanted to continue her amazing journey as she had found using the techniques she learned in The Son-Rise Program and in Fearless had absolutely changed the lives of everyone in her family.

But, because the Reids’ finances had been seriously stretched by then, their next steps were put on hold. Then an amazing event changed everything. Jeannie’s college roommate and lifelong friend decided to start a Son-Rise Program scholarship fund for people from the Cleveland area. Since then Jeannie has been able to move ahead with her courses, taking Radical Authenticity, Son-Rise Maximum Impact and Son-Rise Wide Awake ... and eventually she became a Certified Group Facilitator.

Jeannie Reid’s story is about wanting BIG and making it happen. She is about to embark on her renewed private practice as an art therapist, and plans to be a super advocate for The Son-Rise Program in her area. Her wonderful new life is a product of her persistence and belief, and of the wheels she helped set in motion for others when her friends learned of how she and her family had been impacted by The Son-Rise Program.

“I know I will be able to give back by helping others, and that will be the top of my personal mountain! Thank you to everyone who donates! You are making a big difference in the world!

Jeannie Reid


Dear Donor

Two years ago, Antonio's kindergarten teacher told us something was not quite right with our little boy. He was not socializing, he somersaulted all the time and hardly spoke at all. At the time I was working for a municipality close to Florence, Italy and basically I had nothing left after seeing to basic necessities.

In the meantime, I looked up Autism with Google and as I was also looking for happiness and personal growth, I was guided to The Option Institute, thence the Autism Treatment Center of America. I read up as much as I could and started trying to apply the “Happiness is a Choice” suggestions. I'm not quite good at it but it has helped me with attitude, and everything else that seemed trying is really different after all this.

When I decided to come for The Son-Rise Program Start-Up, I really had little or no money to pay for it. I spoke to my friends, old and new. My mother helped me, friends I thought couldn't [help] tried their very best and the scholarship did the rest.

What the scholarship did was give a HUGE boost to my fundraising. About six friends contributed the rest, at the travel agency a very kind lady who I may now call a friend helped me some more. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. Here I am, happy to have attended the Start-Up program and looking forward to learning more and praying to God for guidance.

So the gist of the matter is, I am a happy mum who hopes to implement a wonderful relationship with her child and is riding a not so easy moment with lots of hope in her heart and THANK YOU is not enough for what I feel. I still remember William's words, “If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.” Now I'm trying to do different, bit by bit, day by day. I feel the difference already.

About Antonio ... we are going on with the Italian program and I play with Antonio after school in a quiet room in the house. Knowing what the little guy is exposed to (he's always putting his fingers in his ears and he seems to have problems with too much light in his eyes), I find him very brave as he bears it tolerably. Drums a lot to digest it all.

When we went to the doctor, just weeks after starting the program at home, she told me that she found him more attentive. His attention span has increased. He is also tagging or pulling at one's arm when looking for attention. The child psychologist last Saturday reported the same thing and what's more, my son has always required that I enter the room, hence assisting in every session. Well, this time he went in along with the doctor and told me, “See you later.”

At school, his teacher who speaks English as well, read up and watched my DVD (Kyle’s Journey, Jade and “I want my little boy back”). Now she's changing, bit by bit and I do appreciate that very much. He seems to be OK with her and actually sent me away from class this morning, again telling me, “See you later.”

He is now ONE HUGE GREENLIGHT and I'm hoping to be able to really have volunteers (still looking), raise funds and settle down to business.

God bless,



Dear Donor,

I am the mother of three children, all on the Autism Spectrum. Before I heard of the Son-Rise Program and the Option Institute, I was a desperate, angry and depressed person…. I was on Anti-depressants, sleeping multiple hours of the day, and for a period of time, using alcohol to run away from my pain.

Then I heard of the Son-Rise Program. I called to find out more about it and thought “this if for me!” But I could not afford it. You see raising one child with Autism is very expensive but raising three is just outrageously expensive with all the therapies and dietary interventions that we were doing.

But I was offered a full scholarship to the SRSU program. I have since attended all of the Son-Rise Programs and many of the Personal Growth programs offered by the Option Institute.  Each time I have been given a scholarship and each time I go I learn more about who I am and I change for the better each and every time.  Because of your most generous support, my children are recovering from Autism, I have found happiness in my life!  I am no longer on anti-depressants and I have so much more energy.

YOU are the reason that my family is in recovery. It is because of YOU that my oldest son now is enjoying school.  YOU are the reason my second son is speaking. YOU are the reason my daughter is no longer as rigid and controlling as she once was.  Thank you does not even begin to cover how much gratitude I have for you.  I thank God every day for you and I do not even know you.

Please know that you are changing lives with your donation to ATCA and the OI.  It is because of you that every day people are getting the help that they need. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

With so much love,

Kerry Rihtar