Exceptional Woman

You will stand up and shout, “Here I am, world. Bring it on!”

You…Without Apology!

What makes a woman exceptional? Popular culture tells us that it’s how you look, what you wear, the career you have, the family you’ve raised or what others think of you. And yet, no new wardrobe, big promotion, radical makeover or praise can really make you feel exceptional. Only you can do that.

No more trying to be what others think you should be – or fitting into others’ “should” boxes. Instead, you can gain profound self-knowledge of who you really are – and learn to embrace that. Isn’t that what you really want for yourself, … to know how to make your own life meaningful, rewarding, loving and joy-filled … no matter what others think or do. Experience the power possible in a circle of women gathered in a safe and nurturing environment: the Exceptional Woman program.

What makes Exceptional Woman 
an exceptional experience?

  • Samahria Lyte Kaufman:Option Institute Co-founder and inspiration to women worldwide – and your primary teacher
  • All Women: When you share a week with only women (your teachers and your classmates), the experience is incredibly special,
    surprising and intimate
  • Deep Self-Acceptance: Learn to genuinely love all of your physical self – including the parts you judge the most
  • Personal Power: No longer feel victimized, even when people judge you, go against you or events don’t go the way you want
  • Outgrow Your Past: Move beyond difficult or traumatic past experiences that have held you back or haunted you
  • Be Enough: Release the “I’m not enough” beliefs that hold you back, such as “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m not pretty enough” and
    “I’m not capable enough”
  • Put Yourself First: Gain life-long “female satisfaction” tools so that you can feel at ease with prioritizing yourself

Read Reviews

I had spent years struggling with self judgment, judgment of my body, yearning for a ‘mother’ to heal me. After this outstanding program, I have, for the first time ever, been able to feel my perfection, look in the mirror and see beauty, healed myself by taking in the comfort of being held, and have felt my own strength and power to direct my growth.

Amy Aronoff

Cardiology Practice Administrator, Maryland

Exceptional Woman taught me for the first time in my life what being a woman is really all about. Not only am I now proud to be a woman, but I have the ability to express what is exceptional about being a woman with the tools to really show who I am and to love me as an exceptional woman!

Roxanne Litherland

Administrative Assistant, South Africa

I soared to new heights. I learned more about myself and grew more in four days than I have in four years of therapy. I am especially appreciative to have learned that I am loveable exactly as I am and that I will be OK no matter what life brings.

Stacy Berrin

Neuropsychologist, New York

In one week, I’m a totally different person. I can love everyone in my life now! And most important love myself. I even stopped smoking because I’m taking care of myself now. You will meet the most wonderful person here at the Option Institute — yourself!!!

Sylvia Gijsen

Office Manager, Netherlands

I came to Exceptional Woman grieving the loss of my son who is grown and off to college. I am leaving this week excited to develop and enjoy a new relationship with him and with myself. I am comfortable embracing change and looking forward to this next chapter of my life. I have tools to take with me that I will use  for the rest of my life to create the most amazing life possible.

Tiahna Skye

Manager NHI, California

Coming to Exceptional Woman was the best holiday for my soul. Instead of a quick fix, I came away with so much healing and re-discovered who I am and to love myself. What a great gift this course was for me.

Irini Katsogiannis

Homemaker, Australia

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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