Couples Course – Program Reviews

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“CouplesCourse gave me all I expected and more. I learned to peel away layers of amassed ‘stuff’ and, more importantly, learned the methods to continue doing so for the rest of my life. We were able to take risks because of the warm, loving, and safe environment, and those risks brought us greater and more sustained intimacy than ever before. I am truly excited about the prospect of spending the rest of my life with my wife exploring and becoming more intimate every day. Thank you!”

Bob Allcorn, Mediator/Investor, New Jersey

“I came to The Option Institute because my daughter had such a positive change in her life after taking Living The Dream. My husband asked me to come with him to the Couples Course program, and I came reluctantly, thinking that I’m too old at 57 to change. But I have changed in one week. I believe this place and all the people here are so loving, it’s impossible not to change. Thank you for giving me this joyful experience. Thank you for changing my life.”

, Retired, Maryland

“Participating in CouplesCourse has given me the insight, courage, and love I need to be a partner in a fabulous relationship with my partner. The Option Process® philosophy, the teaching, the other couples, and the setting are outstanding.”

Peter Kilmarx, Physician, Botswana

“Being in a relationship for 23 years and FINALLY reaching a place of true connection and love is the biggest blessing. Thank you.”

Ruth Dombrowski, Physical Therapist, New York

CouplesCourse gave me all I expected and more. I learned to peel away layers of amassed ‘stuff’ and, more importantly, learned the methods to continue doing so for the rest of my life. We were able to take risks because of the warm, loving and safe environment, and those risks brought us greater and more sustained intimacy than ever before. I am truly excited about the prospect of spending the rest of my life with my wife exploring and becoming more intimate every day. Thank you!”

Bob Alcorn, Mediator/Investor, New Jersey

“I came to The Option Institute because my daughter had such a positive change in her life after taking Living The Dream. My husband asked me to come with him to the Couples Course program, and I came reluctantly, thinking that I’m too old at 57 to change. But I have changed in one week. I believe this place and all the people here are so loving, it’s impossible not to change. Thank you for giving me this joyful experience. Thank you for changing my life.”

Mary Roggio, Retired, Maryland

“Participating in CouplesCourse has given me the insight, courage, and love I need to be a partner in a fabulous relationship with my partner. The Option Process® philosophy, the teaching, the other couples, and the setting are outstanding.”

Peter Kilmarx, Physician, Botswana

“Being in a relationship for 23 years and FINALLY reaching a place of true connection and love is the biggest blessing. Thank you!”

Ruth Dombrowski, Photographer, New York

“CouplesCourse was so much more than I could have ever imagined. From the first minutes of the first class to the last, I never stopped growing a more powerful gratitude for my wife. Thank you for providing such a nurturing forum for self discovery!”

Tim Kasemodel, Full-time Son-Rise Program® Dad, Minnesota

“I can’t imagine anything else I could do with my time or resources that could possibly benefit me, my life, and my relationship as much as CouplesCourse has. I’m committed to using what I have learned here to continue to create the life and relationship I most want. Thank you, Option Institute, and all involved!”

Nancy Fightlin, Retired School Counselor, Connecticut

“I came to CouplesCourse in a good relationship. Through the exercises, we made it a better relationship. We take away tools to make it a great relationship. The session on happy negotiation alone was worth the price of the program. I am grateful to have been able to participate in a program so well thought out by people who know and can teach relationship skills, which anyone can adopt to their advantage.”

Robert Van Tassell, Retired, California

“What an incredible week! CouplesCourse was filled with great love, fun, and happiness. The best part is that it all came from within me! This program gave me the blessing of offering me the tools to unlock what has always been inside. I’m so very grateful to The Option Institute for offering a place where one can go to find happiness through embracing the principles of being present, nonjudgmental, and loving. This week changed my life!”

Paul Denckla, Theater Technical Director, Illinois

“Thank you for the entire CouplesCourse program. Each day we came away with a learning to help ourselves. Throughout the week, we were able to dismantle the walls we had built up. I now have my best friend back in my life”

Laura Kasemodel, Risk Management Consultant, Minnesota

“With our 10th anniversary approaching, my husband suggested we come to CouplesCourse. 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

“CouplesCourse did much more than revitalize our marriage, it took us to a level of love and intimacy that we had never before experienced.”

Mark Tuomenoksa, Entrepreneur, Massachusetts

“CouplesCourse was absolutely awesome! The tools and experiential exercises have helped both me and my partner examine and solidify what we cherish in each other and discover and discard what keeps us from being happy in each and every moment.”

Michael Rubell, Training Consultant, New Jersey

“CouplesCourse was absolutely amazing. Every single moment was useful. I really feel clear that I, not my partner, am responsible for my own happiness. This week gave me tools to create happiness for myself. The Option Process® Dialogue is an incredibly helpful tool and has helped me to see things about my partner that I didn’t see before.”

Amy O’Donnel, Neurologist/Attorney, Connecticut

“The environment of acceptance, love, and playfulness at CouplesCourse helped me feel safe. My husband and I were then able to be very open and more intimate than we had been with each other in all our years of marriage.”

Rene Tuomenoksa, Homemaker, Massachusetts

“I have had an incredibly deep and meaningful experience this week at CouplesCourse. I’ve come to a new understanding of trust and commitment, learned to reframe events from the past and to feel a great sense of gratitude for my partner and our relationship.”

Nanette Semerjian, Environmental Engineer, Massachusetts

“Each time I take an Option Institute course, I am once again amazed at the wondrous miracles that occur in the serene setting of loving, caring, accepting people applying simple, yet elusive principles that transform lives! It is fantastically renewing to remember and relearn the obvious and feel the weight of the world lift off my shoulders! It is awesome to see class members from many walks of life free themselves of beliefs that do not serve them and move on to accomplish their goals with true happiness. As I watch others deal with issues, I too am able to deal with similar issues in a productive way that frees me to be happy no matter what! The CouplesCourse program provided an extraordinary bonus by allowing a setting to explore Option Process® principles with a partner and develop joint problem solving in one’s most intimate relationship. WOW! I feel truly free of major roadblocks, and I am so grateful to the Kaufmans and The Option Institute team for your profound teachings!”

Julie Hilton, Business Person/Attorney/Mediator, Florida

“CouplesCourse is exquisite. Our experience as a couple has been of the highest caliber in terms of providing us with opportunities for inner and interpersonal change, both here and beyond the borders of The Option Institute. You practice what you teach and deliver it with love in the superbly choreographed details of the program.”

Sean Withington, Clinical Social Worker, Massachusetts

“thought were loving and nonjudgmental actions, I found to be coming from a defensive, indifferent and fearful place. I am beginning my life of true happiness — not pretending to be happy — and that has set me free. I want to be a powerful and loving force in the world and with my children, and I have now recognized the tools and behaviors to be all that.”

Barbara Diamond, Homemaker/Teacher, Maryland

“I remembered why I had fallen in love with my husband 17 years ago, and found more ways to fall in love with him all over again and again. We haven’t laughed so much together in years”

Kalen Delaney, Technical Writer, Washington

“I am recommending this thought-provoking program to my brother, sister and friends. CouplesCourse opens our hearts and minds to possibilities only dreamed about. Then we are taught the techniques to realize those dreams now so we can live them every day of our lives”

Richard Whitsitt, Certified Public Accountant, Florida

“CouplesCourse was a super, duper, wonderful opportunity for my spouse and me to come together and really be a couple. I am extremely grateful that my husband got so much love from being here. He found it deep inside himself and really shined as a result. I feel closer to him and I am not watching the back door anymore for fear that he will leave. The most powerful thing for me was having my couples process witnessed by so many loving and genuine people.”

Laurie Harrison, Guest Services Manager, Massachusetts

“CouplesCourse was a most wonderful experience. I’ve finally developed an acceptance of myself. This acceptance has allowed me to grow closer to my husband and interact with him with love, trust, honesty and fearlessness, which I would have said was impossible just two months ago. Thank you from the depths of my being.”

Laura Haywood, Homemaker, Michigan

“CouplesCourse was an incredibly wonderful opportunity to take the time and create a safe space for ourselves to explore the roots and underlying beliefs in our areas of conflict. Learning about myself and my partner in a new, intimate way was the most precious gift we could give each other. It was an experience not to be missed!”

Ines Wachtel, Case Manager, Vermont

“CouplesCourse allowed me to peel off the old layers and get to my core. Bears and the other facilitators did a masterful job of leading us on a journey of discovery — discovering ourselves. The week was nonjudgmental, non-directive and, most of all, truly loving.”

Mike Kiepura, Senior Vice President, Georgia

“For years, busy juggling a home, a family and two careers, we gave our relationship a low priority. To have these five days to reconstruct what we want for ourselves alone and for each other in a thoughtful, loving and intentional way is the very best gift for our family that I could imagine.”

Lois Atherton, Museum/Gallery Director, Massachusetts

“CouplesCourse is the best investment you can make for yourself and your partner. Whatever stage your relationship is in, this week will help you clarify your intentions and wants, and strengthen your relationship”

Ellen Stanley, Certified Option Process® Mentor/Counselor, Maine

“How thrilling to more fully realize my life as I choose to make it and to see my partner as my perfect playmate. I love the Option Process® and the practical tools I have learned.”

Glenna Citron, Homemaker/Chef, California

“I learned this week to trust, which has allowed me to drop the barriers I had with my wife. The sense of happy, loving relief this has brought me is priceless. Thank you all.”

Dan Delaney, Homemaker, Washington

“The CouplesCourse program provided a fun, safe environment for exploring and strengthening my relationship with my husband-to-be. We were able to communicate at a level I never thought possible.”

Kathy Carroll, Executive Recruiter, Illinois

“CouplesCourse was a nurturing experience. It gave me the opportunity to make deeper connections with my husband and myself. I plan to use the anchors I have gotten from the Option Process® in all parts of my life.”

Nancy DeLucia, Chief of Operations, Pennsylvania

“This week deepened the bond between my husband and me, as I was able to take down the walls around my heart and accept his love, which was always there.”

Barbara Dan, Homemaker, Oregon

“CouplesCourse helped me to understand that I can decide what our relationship is going to be like — and achieve that. By learning how to lovingly negotiate, I have learned to be comfortable expressing my wants.”

Jim Haywood, Engineer, Michigan

“I am so grateful that my partner and I were offered this loving, nonjudgmental place to explore our relationship struggles and strengths. Thank you, Option Institute, for providing us with a scholarship.”

Betsy Nicholas, Homemaker, Connecticut

“My wife and I have been together for 15 years and before the CouplesCourse program I felt we had a great marriage. The CouplesCourse program enhanced our communication, helped us grow our love even bigger and fuller, and provided valuable tools for continued growth and negotiation of life’s bumps and detours. It is, like all the programs at The Option Institute, life-affirming and exceptional.”

Phil Lomas, Psychiatrist, Wisconsin

“My husband and I have a wonderful relationship – but we wanted to take our relationship to a deeper, happier, more loving level. The CouplesCourse program was amazingly effective in helping this dream come true. Our love and connection deepened and we learned new skills in allowing ourselves, our relationship, and our lives to be happy, effective, powerful and meaningful. Our life together has changed and will always be happy, full and joyful. Thank you.”

Lu Marchand, Physician, Wisconsin

“This week we were able to explore some issues that we have struggled with for a long time. We have both been able to realize that our problems were based on our own fears, and that it was possible to let them go, and just to trust each other that we can do it all differently. We feel a new freedom and lightness, and we are truly grateful for this chance to lead our life so differently.”

Madeline Kranse, Marketing consultant, Florida

“This is the most gentle and loving way I have found to discuss issues in my life with my partner, in a safe place. The principles taught here are unique and very powerful. That was the best experience for me, and I will start to practice them in my life. They help me to be more authentic, to be me, to trust, to love and to accept love from my partner, and mostly to discover a new me who is wonderful, fantastic and very loving – thank you. I feel very privileged for this experience.”

Michel Veronneau, Coach, Canada

“My husband and I have come to programs at The Option Institute for the past 6 years. We have used what we have learned to completely transform our lives. Instead of divorcing we have strengthened our relationship in hundreds of ways. We have learned to be clear, to be authentic, and to always come to each other from a loving place. The idea that happiness is a choice has had a profound effect on every aspect of our lives, from our business to creating our dream of an extended family.”

Martha Lindsay Potter, Massachusetts

“I came to the CouplesCourse program knowing that I had a good relationship, but that I wanted to strengthen it, deepen it and make it bigger. I leave filled with a new sense of love, excitement, gratitude and adventure with my partner. The program showed me how to rediscover and to live all that is finest in my life; that I am in complete control of how I feel and that I can always choose love – at every moment of every day.”

Marianne Weichselbaum, Marketing V.P., Massachusetts

“Here in the Berkshires is where you can find real authentic happiness through self-discovery. A day in the life of the Option Process® is a day unlike any other I’ve ever had in my life. It is intensely difficult yet extremely rewarding to break down the barriers that prevent us from focusing on our inner selves in order to make a greater relationship a reality. I leave here a better man and more in love with myself and my wife than when I arrived.”

Peter Roy, Business Executive, Massachusetts

“I have been a psychiatrist for 30 years. Never before has any program taught me so much about how to be with others. The Option Process® is clear, concise and packs a punch. At the center of the CouplesCourse program are the principles of being present, being loving, accepting others and being non-directive. To have been given so many tools in a one-week program, to follow these principles, is a great gift indeed. I am grateful.”

Ted McCarthy, Psychiatrist, Maine

“What an exquisite design! The CouplesCourse program brought forth the love and gratitude we so often lose sight of. It helped us to turn up the flame so that we can appreciate what we have in each other and in ourselves. Regardless of how new or old this relationship is, the sense of joy and possibility comes forth. I feel truly fortunate to have participated – I believe it will truly benefit our lives together.”

Robert Wyker, Consultant, New York

“The CouplesCourse program is magnificent! I learned that my relationship is all about me and that I can choose to see my partner and myself as loving and lovable – or not. The program design was beautiful, instructive, fun, and creative. Thank you. I go home in love.”

Jane Wyker, Family Counselor, New York

“A solid foundation for the rest of your life together, the CouplesCourse program contains the perfect mix of advice, experiences and examples to prepare you for your journey together.”

Kathleen Yurchak, Lawyer, Pennsylvania

“This program took me back to the lovely beginnings of our relationship, but now enriched by time. I was able to see my husband again in all the glory of his goodness, honesty and deep love for me and all the universe. Bears’ and Samahria’s relationship is a true ongoing inspiration of how wonderful a marriage can be when embraced from the Option Process® attitude of pure loving, non-judgmental acceptance. This is a truly new beginning for us of what I already viewed as an unusually blessed marriage of 18 years.”

Pat Cavitt, Retired Medical Technologist, Arizona

“This was the finest and most helpful one week in terms of tuning up my relationship with Karen that I have spent in 37 years of marriage.”

Robert Roach, Mechanical Engineer, Oregon

“I’ve been to a lot of corporate self-help seminars and my expectations from CouplesCourse were that this program would be similar. However, there is no comparison because this program far exceeds any other introspective course I’ve ever taken. The material is far more in-depth and useful for my husband and myself. I would recommend it for any couple wanting to learn new tools to use for their relationship.”

Caroline Wight, Secretary, Missouri

“I had an incredible experience here with my husband. I generally felt our relationship before we attended The Option Institute was close and strong, but also had times where I felt dissatisfied and wanted to work on becoming ” happier and more intimate. I was worried too that I had read Kaufman’s books and that if I hadn’t “got it ” then, the program wouldn’t be anything new. Well, this has been a week of amazing change and growth for me. I learned most importantly that there were simple effective ways to be happy, to be intimate and that I had the ability to make that happen in my life at every moment. I am so glad we took this opportunity as a young couple to dramatically improve our relationship together right away.”

Heidi Wells, Student / Waitress, Maryland

“The CouplesCourse program helped me uncover and open my eyes to issues that I had been avoiding. It helped me to take responsibility for my own issues and feelings within my relationship. I learned tools to use for keeping my relationship fresh, and getting my wants met. Above all, it rekindles my feelings of gratitude and love towards my partner.”

Isis Maria Cohen, Option Process® Mentor/Counselor, New York

“The Option Institute is an opportunity of a lifetime to experience life from a loving and caring perspective – the opportunity to grow and live a happy life. The course is taught here by Samahria and Bears, who share their experience, strength, hope, and love. I come away renewed, and I now rejoice in my new freedom of happiness!”

Fed Kranse, Automotive sales, Florida

“The staff brought to life the saying, ‘In healing one person the whole world is healed.’ Over and over throughout the week I felt uplifted and embraced through the impact of the activities on other members of the group, and on myself. If you never do anything else for yourself and your partner, do this”

Steve McCabe, Data Analyst, Illinois

“We first came here to help save our marriage which we were slowly destroying. Now, six years later we are here to burn our love brighter. Celebrating our love has become the most joyful experience of my life. I truly see the power of my own choice to create my happy family. Thank you for the life and love affirming strength of your teaching.”

Mark Lindsay, Boat-builder, Massachusetts

“I experienced a life transformation this week. I was finally able to say goodbye to my strongly held beliefs that were the cause of my unhappiness and learned to choose new beliefs that make happiness my number one priority. I now know I have the tools to choose happiness as my way of being in a relationship with my wife. I now know that my happiness is essential to having a great relationship with my wife.”

John Burke, Attorney, Minnesota

“Taking the CouplesCourse program is the best experience you could ever give your marriage. You learn so many new things about each other by expressing your wants. You learn new ways to resolve conflicts, which are so beneficial. A must for every couple – old or young, married or unmarried.”

Cherri Sanes, Son-Rise Mom, Massachusetts

“The CouplesCourse program presents a wondrous opportunity to make bigger and better all aspects of our relationship, as well as all the aspects of our individual selves. If you want to make what you love bigger, works in your life and your relationship bigger, then take this truly blessed opportunity to actualize love and goodness – and what an added gift to do this with your partner! I am so grateful!”

Robin McCarthy, Social worker, Maine

“The CouplesCourse program builds and strengthens relationships incredibly by teaching invaluable skills, but more importantly, by focusing on attitudes. The key to its success lies in helping each partner turn inward, and realize that the power and the answers lie within each of us individually”

Leah Taylor Roy, Manager, Massachusetts

“I thought we had the perfect marriage, but the CouplesCourse program gave us the opportunity to take our relationship even deeper and grow our love even bigger!”

Scott Sanes, Son-Rise Dad, Massachusetts

“The Option Process® is life transforming. The CouplesCourse program helped my husband and me to deepen and strengthen an already exquisite relationship.”

Susan L. Taylor, Publications Director, New York

“It was a wonderfully gentle way / approach to increasing my understanding of myself and my partner. We improved relationship skills and I feel safer and happier in the relationship as a result of being here.”

Amanda Hadican, Employment Counselor, Saskatchewan

“The Option Institute and the attitude of every person working there is the most loving and accepting of any place I’ve ever been. I will keep coming back to continue learning this loving way of being with myself and others. If you want to feel genuinely loved from your insides out and back again, this is the place that can help you open up the possibilities.”

Lyndsey Watson, Singer / Teacher, Massachusetts

“I came to The Option Institute with a healthy degree of cynicism. My marriage was on the rocks. CouplesCoursewas the beginning of astonishing life changing experience. I don’t know how to say thank you”

Tom Mirgon, VP-Administrator, Florida

“This program fulfilled all my expectations and more. It allowed me to take the basic principles of the Option Process (being present, being authentic, being grateful, etc.) and actually practice doing each of these. It has given me tools to continue the practice of this with myself and with my husband. It has also opened areas of trust with my partner and enabled us to share and reveal feelings with one another that we had never been able to in the 23 years we’ve been together.”

Lisa Rhudy, Registered Nurse, California

“This program assisted me in remembering and rediscovering the wonderful person I chose as my best friend, lover and life mate so may years ago. Words can’t describe the gratitude I feel for having my friend back. We are leaving here with a total commitment to each other and our marriage that fear and mistrust had kept us from previously. From the brink of divorce, we have emerged with a most precious commitment to and appreciation of each other, more precious than jewels or money.”

John Farnworth, C.P.A., Michigan

“I brought my husband here as a last hope effort for our marriage. I thought it was so he could change but I came face-to-face with my own reluctance to trust and risk. The 2 of us are literally starting over fresh as of 8 hours ago. I can’t begin to express my gratitude and joy for this. It has been beautiful watching John bloom here and find his own strength to commit in a new and scary way, for him.”

Janet Farnsworth, Michigan

“Just as the Living The Dream program gave me The Option Process® Dialogue as a tool to bring home and use in everyday life, the CouplesCourse program has provided me with an incredible tool. The “Principles of Happy Negotiation” has given me a way for my wife and I to continually communicate wants to one another. It’s amazing.”

Stan Cohen, Retired, New York

“This wonderful, wonderful program takes all our unexamined concepts of our role as a spouse/partner and sheds totally new ideas of ways to see ourselves, to be, and things to do. These ideas allow us to be ourselves, to know that we have the power to create happiness and love in our relationship no matter what. We can really give it to ourselves!!!”

Karen Taylor, Assistant CFO, Illinois

“Entering The Option Institute grounds is a healing experience in and of itself. The love and acceptance are alive in the air and the teaching staff has the ability to conceptualize it in the most clear, gentle and supportive ways. It has been and always will be a truly infinite gift.”

Ben Chageg, Israel

“I found the me” in this loving relationship. I now know that I can create more for us.”

Cathy Lavelle, Web designer, New Jersey

“This is a powerful way to revitalize a relationship, by learning about trust, intimacy, gender roles, people’s wants, beliefs and self-judgments, and how to negotiate happily for what you want. A terrific experience that provides skills, tools and insights to support partners long after the class has ended.”

Paul Weichselbaum, Business consultant, Massachusetts

“The CouplesCourse program has allowed me to reach a deeper level of understanding and communication with my wife than I could have guessed possible. I am deeply grateful.”

Jim Cavitt, Retired Engineer, Arizona

“Thanks for giving me my wife back!”

Peter J. Shull, Professor, Pennsylvania

“I started the week having a lot of criticism of my partner. This week gave me the opportunity to look at it, soften myself and to feel more open, loving and respectful towards my partner. It has opened new doorways for us for further growth.”

Lianne Dungen, Nurse, Holland

“A wonderful program that brought my wife and I much closer to each other. CouplesCourse taught us skills of communication that help us, as well as a better fundamental understanding of love, intimacy and happiness. The Institute grounds were incredibly beautiful as well as relaxing”

Ron Lachman, Executive, Illinois

“I thought the program was excellent. The range of teachings seems to have covered the major elements necessary to creating a joyful, satisfying relationship. I have definitely met my own personal goals for this program and am returning more connected to my partner than I have ever felt. Many of the concepts felt personally liberating for me.”

Linda Fabe, Executive, Ohio

“The best time of my life! The depth and understanding, acceptance and love that I gave to and felt from my partner, was the deepest yet. The safe environment and total focus on our relationship without distractions was the key for this to take place.”

Deb Krenz, Accountant, Connecticut

“I had heard about The Option Institute for sometime, so I came here with one eye hopeful and one eye open. Well after this program both eyes are filled with tearful joy and hope that I can have a loving relationship. I can now trust people again.”

Kirsten Mormino, Television Producer, Illinois

“My experience at The Option Institute reinforced the attitudes and lifestyled that I have been pursuing for myself for the past few years. If more of the world would make happiness and acceptance a priority: Oh what a wonderful world it would be!”

Genendy Eisgraw, Student / Performer, Maryland

“I found the experience enriching, enjoyable and challenging. It feels like if I can hold and practice what I learned my life and relationship with my wife and child will be so much stronger and fulfilling. I believe I can hold and practice it, too because the tools are well taught and reinforced throughout the program.”

Dan Pendergast, Computer Trainer, Colorado

“The program was insightful and brought out full and meaningful participation of all present. I was very impressed at how quickly normal barriers were broken down and very worthwhile communications were established.”

Joseph F. Carven, Business Consultant, Massachusetts

“Wow! There is always more to add to a 30-year marriage. The technique of negotiating with your partner in a loving way has been a part of our relationship, and yet the course gave it more clarity in other ways to use it. Thank you! What a fun and exciting time.”

Edith Tully, Practitioner, Washington

“I arrived with some fear and trembling and am leaving with a light heart, thank you all.”

Dennis Thomas, Massage Therapist, Florida

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The Option Institute and its teachers have had the honor to present programs (during the last four decades) that explore the attitudes and beliefs we have (and may want to change) and to help program participants find their own answers to questions about relationships, careers, family challenges and health issues. Our new program, Health & Healing: Navigating Life’s Health Challenges (formerly '5 Days to Live') , focuses on navigating significant health challenges and decision-making with greater ease, clarity, and clear purpose.

We are not a medical facility and we do not dispense any medical advice. We have and would always guide our program participants, to consult with their doctors, healthcare providers, and family members in making medical decisions for themselves and those they love. Neither Mass General Hospital nor any member of its medical staff endorses any program being offered by the Option Institute and its teachers.

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

Please note, this is a per-person registration



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