Couples Course

Rev Up Your Relationship

Who doesn’t want an even better relationship with their significant other? You may have a great relationship and simply want it to be deeper, more loving, more honest, more fun. On the other hand, your relationship may be in crisis.

Couples Course is a relationship enhancement course like none you’ve ever heard of. This course isn’t a vacation whose benefits end when the trip ends. Nor is it a week to repeat mantras of love to one another that don’t help when you’re actually in an argument. This program gives you very specific tools and lasting strategies that will forever transform how you and your partner relate to each other.

The program is led by The Option Institute Founders, Barry (Bears) Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman, who have themselves successfully navigated their own relationship of almost 60 years. They, together with other senior teaching staff, will help you and your partner rev up your relationship by making honest communication both safe and exciting. You will learn to eliminate blame, increase intimacy, handle disagreements with comfort, and dismantle old beliefs and perspectives which get in the way of just being together and enjoying each other.

In Couples Course, you will acquire the following tools:

• Keys to Closeness: Create a safe space together for truly honest communication.

• Moving Past the Past: Heal old hurts so you both can enjoy each other now.

• Intimacy Without Fear: Learn how you can always “plug in” to feelings of deep love, free from any fear or reservation.

• The No-Blame Game: No longer take what your partner does personally (and vice versa), which eliminates 90% of arguments.

• The Option Process® Dialogue: Use this vital technique to listen to one another in a whole new way.

• Principles of Happy Negotiation: Crucial steps to navigate disagreements and achieve real resolution – without anger, hurt or resentment.

Read Reviews

Couples Course was an incredible week. The tools that I have learned will help me in my quest for a love for myself and my spouse and our relationship. It feels like it will be easy to be successful using the tools of dialogue, negotiation, deep loving and meaningful conversations, authentic commitments and trust of actions. We are a professional company supplying the latest I believe this week has been a life changing experience.

Jon LaFontain

Fire Safety Coordinator, NY

My husband and I have learned how to love each other in ways we never thought possible. We had a shut down in our relationship. He went his way, outside of our marriage and I went my way, to shut down emotionally and sexually. We chose not to give up on our marriage and look at our choices as a gift. We have begun anew and with that are all the possibilities we can achieve and have in an authentic and loving partnership.

Kathleen Corelli Byrne

Mental Health Worker, CT

I came here with a good relationship, so I just thought maybe it could get a bit better. I had no idea how amazing it could be! We have both shared wants and dreams we never even knew before, learned to communicate from an authentic and trusting place. And discovered an intimacy that goes far beyond what I thought possible! This short time has changed us forever. And I am so grateful.

Lily Hearst

Actress, FL

With our 10th anniversary approaching, my husband suggested we come to Couples Course. It has been a beautiful week and I can think of no better way to enhance a relationship. Our relationship has been very loving, but with the complicated lives we were living, it was not as full of the intimate connections we used to have. The tools we were given and the authentic sharing of the couples around us sent us away with a real sense of excitement for the adventure ahead. It was really special to do this course facilitated by such loving teachers who were willing to share their experiences as well as question ours.

Gail Pettinger

Realtor, Canada

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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