Inner Strength Boot Camp – Program Reviews

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Erika Bro, Counselor, Hopewell, NJ

“Inner Strength is both a powerful and profound journey into what it means to be ‘indestructible from the inside out’. I loved the twq weeks as it continued to deepen in its content and meaningfulness for myself personally. I highly recommend investing two weeks as the return is a lifetime of ease, comfort, joy & delight in the beauty of all that life offers”

Saida Desilets, Participant, New York

“I came to this program frightened and insecure about who I was in the world. I’m leaving centered and strong in my ability to move powerfully and loving with inner strength.”

Bob Wiley, Licensed Professional Counselor, Mt. Pleasant, MI

“The Option Institute put me in an environment that allowed me to pinpoint many of my issues, understand them and then work toward resolving and dealing with them. I was able to let go of a lot of pain, anger, and frustration and replace with feelings of inner peace and strength. The in class exercises were equally as valuable to me as the countless opportunities I grew from with classmates. I have a lot of work and a long road ahead of me but I have been given a new birth, tools, and I am finding direction that allows me the best shot I can recall for having the life I choose.”

Dylan Pfister, Self Employed, IA

“I came to Inner Strength with a desire to gain insight and happiness within myself. This two- week program has been life changing. I see myself as a Pillar of Strength. We learned fundamental tools to apply to our lives. This course taught me that it is my choice to be strong.”

Terry Ann Luther, Son-Rise Director / Mom, Florence, Oregon

“Being here was the most life-discovering and life-affirming experience I have ever had in my life. It’s the gift of a lifetime to be able to be ready for anything, knowing there are really no limits to what is possible for me. I walk from this program with tools that are now part of me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”

Emilio Formiga, IT Manager, Portugal

“Inner Strength has been such a beautiful experience. In this program, I have been challenged to stretch and cheered on every step of the way. Steps became leaps as we laughed together. A playful attitude was pervasive. I have learned so much about what inner strength truly means to me.”

Mariah Stone, Teacher, Norwich, VT

“Inner Strength was a high-flame, two-week intensive for expanding my understanding and practice of the Option attitude. I felt the length of the program and the intensity of the teaching was great for what I wanted to create and experience. I can’t imagine a better laboratory in which to practice dropping the judgment and creating comfort for myself. I loved the exercises and experiences. My thanks to all!”

Judy White, Consultant, Cortland, OH

“Inner Strength has provided me with the tools to deal with life with happiness, love and compassion. I can be the person I have dreamed of being. I learned how to draw from the pillars of strength all the resources I need to become even happier, more useful human being.”

Louis Rosenbaum, Businessman,, Mill Valley, CA

“Inner Strength has been the perfect program to enable me to go out in the world and be someone, a force of nature. I have never felt stronger and I know that I can live life happy, loving and with a deep desire to return to The Option Institute.”

Jacobson,, Student, Manchester, UK

“Inner Strength helped me to hold fast to that which I already know – There is nothing wrong with me, and there never was. Now I can move forward in my life with ease and power, knowing that every experience is a gift and that I can go for what I want.”

Kimberlee Olsen, Customer Support, Stockbridge, MA

“Inner Strength has been a pivotal program for me. I finally got the concept that regardless of how concrete and fixed truth appears to be – how I respond to it is entirely a choice. It sunk in on an almost cellular level.”

Bran Callet, California

“This program was amazing. I loved having the two weeks to really explore myself and solidify what I was learning. I realize now that I was in training for these two weeks to become a teacher myself and a creator of my own life.”

Jessica Carroll, Child Facilatator, Massachusetts

” so enjoyed this class and hung on every word. I loved how the class took so many turns one corner is filled with lighthearted fun, the next is hyper focused love directed to one person, the next turn is planting ourselves in the here and now, the next a corner is one of self reflection. All these corners softens to make an awesome circle with Bears standing in the center, exquisitely cheering us all on to just get up and move in whatever direction we choose.

I was presented with a self reflection as to why I get so emotional in my relationship with my lover. In our discussion about the attention that the unhappy child receives I was sharply reminded that when I find a challenging relationship topic to discuss with my boyfriend I start off by crying. I believe I have been doing this as a way to get his attention. Wow!

I would love to see more of the dialoguing in class to the level you did with Jeannene and Steve. Totally powerful! Oh yeah!!!!! Something that I also thought to be very impactful was when you (Bears) shared about your own personal experience from when you did life unhappily to now where you are still growing and learning from the process.”

Susan Humphries, Massachusetts

“I signed up for the Inner Strength program with a feeling that if this didn’t help, I would be lost. Not only did the program give me practical and easy-to-use tools to help build my inner strength, it also helped me discover strengths I did not know I had. I am now equipped to face anything the universe places in my path, and to deal with all issues with clarity and happiness. My life is no longer a battleground – it’s a playground!”

Keith Hindmarsh, Chef/Caterer, Canada

“I came to The Option Institute at the age of fifty, desperate, depressed and in a deep fit without a way to climb out. Many years of therapy, anti-depressants and other medications from former physicians and institutions had left me hopeless. Twelve days at The Option Institute changed the manner in which I view my entire life. The choice is mine – create the greatest version of me possible or remain miserable. If I choose the former, The Option Institute has the framework, tools and love for me to get there.”

Steve B, New York

“The Inner Strength program brought together for me all the principles that strengthened me from taking Optimal Self-Trust, Fearless, Empowering Yourself and PowerDialogues. I feel more integrated within my own understanding of happiness. I feel more passionate about life from studying the pillars of Inner Strength. I am extremely grateful I took this course and fascinated in being able to go home with the sense of strength I have found during the two weeks. Thank you for a life-changing experience. I cannot wait for more! The sky is the limit and beyond!!”

Helen Cherry, Alexander Technique Teacher and Artist, United Kingdom

“I have had the most wonderful transformations and ‘ah-ha’ moments over the last two weeks. I have realized behavior patterns and beliefs that no longer serve me, and I am so grateful that I choose now to let them go. I am taking ownership of my life and will be learning to explain myself to myself from this point on. Thank you!”

Kerry Kenna, Clinical Specialist, New Jersey

“Inner Strength gave me the opportunity to find, look at, and jettison beliefs that led to my being in a weak position. The specific Pillars and their continued emphasis helped to deepen understanding and strengthen the actual muscles to apply them so that I now know I will see and act differently – from a place of empowerment.”

Clio Osman, Teacher, Los Angeles/Germany

“Inner Strength for me deals with the bedrock of The Option Process®: stimulus – belief – response. It challenges you in many ways to find and look at your beliefs. So much of what we live we take for a fact as unchangeable. I’m now learning it’s all changeable, merely by my whim.”

Roz Brassington, Student, United Kingdom

“I am no longer afraid to be in a group. I feel confident and deeply loving and released . . . this is a huge step for me. I no longer need to check in with myself to see if what I’m doing is good enough. I know I’m good enough. I’m out of my cage and I’m FLYING! “

Anne-Marie Grafton, Development & Training Manager, England

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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