Inner Strength Boot Camp – Teacher Reviews

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Bears Kaufman
Samahria Kaufman
Clyde Haberman
Beverly Haberman
Leah Taylor-Roy
Stan Cohen

Bears Kaufman

“Inspiring, loving, gentle, and unrelenting! I have trusted him with my bare soul and he has gently and with great tenderness nurtured it, and has guided me along the rocky road of self-discovery and healing.”

Elaine Shaw, Registered Nurse, MD

“The finest teacher I have ever had. He combines I want to know what this teacher knows with I want to be like this person. His firmness is extremely loving.”

Belton Cooper, Project Manager, AL

“AMAZING!! I am in awe of Bears. He has a wonderful ability to intuitively find spontaneous examples in class to teach and help others with their growth. His humor and loving attitude make the classes fun and powerful.”

Heather Hearst, Career Counselor, MA

“The man I want to be. If I learn and teach myself to be as accepting of myself and others as he is, to be as present and clear about my own intentions and choices as he seems to be, to be as loving as he seems to be, then that’s about the closest to nirvana I could imagine for myself in this life.”

Stan Kugell, Inventor, MA

“Bears is a loving presence in every class and dialogue – His respect for himself and others is expressed in his life and action – The trust of each person’s inner knowledge of themselves and their self-selected path through life sets the stage for greater self-trust and self-knowledge.”

Suzanne Morris, Speech-Language Pathologist, VA

“Bears has taught me what love is about. He amplifies his lessons so I am able to clearly see and get what his teachings are. If all teachers taught like him…this world would be even more magical!”

Suzanne Stone, Director, UK

“The Barry Bonds of personal development – without the steroids. Whatever the topic, issue, or domain, Bears hits it out of the park. I am grateful that I got to be with you after you have spent thirty or more years thinking, learning, experiencing, understanding, loving, analyzing, changing – you are so useful!! Thank you, thank you, thank you….and I love you.”

Julian Feneley, Businessman, California

Samahria Kaufman

“Once Samahria enters the room you feel her energy, enthusiasm and love…almost like an angel…Samahria is loving and a real dynamo in action. “

Emilio Formiga, IT Manager, Portugal

“I want to take her home with me! Clear, loving, all embracing, gorgeous examples and a clear demo for us all of someone who loves herself and radiates love, peace, happiness.”

Jude McCarthy, Teacher, UK

“Your happiness transcends in all your teaching. The love in your voice is so strong I am constantly reaching for you words.”

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

“She loves us, supports us, and celebrates us with spunk, and wit. Her passion shows in her movements, her love shines in her eyes and her delight rings in her laughter. Her wisdom has been so useful.”

Mariah Stone, Teacher, Norwich, VT

“I love Samahria’s energy and laugh! She is like a breath of fresh air when she enters the class. Most of all I appreciated her patience and love when working with the participants in class.”

Judy White, Consultant, Cortland, OH

“Samarhia’s larger than life presence, her exuberance, her joie de vivre along with her total down to earthness is truly inspirational as a way to live authentically and happily.”

Louis Rosenbaum, Businessman, Mill Valley, CA

“I have never met anyone with so much life as Samahria. A breath of fresh air, vitality and a laugh that I can’t help joining in with! I especially love her warmth and interaction with group members in such a tender way.”

Jacobson, Student, Manchester, UK

“Fiery, wise, clear. I adore you sweet woman – I am so excited to know you are in the world and living your truth – so many women(myself included) search for powerful role models – you are one of them!”

Saida Desilets, NY

“Every time Samahria walks in the room I am filled with gratitude. She has a beautiful ability to gt to the point in a loving and joyous way. Her light heartedness and rich laughter make exploration a celebration. Just looking at her loving face makes me smile(I’m choosing it!). She’s super effective in getting her point across while really engaging the entire crowd. When she is the teacher who walks through this door, I consider myself blessed. Can’t we do an Exceptional Woman II?”

Amy MacDonald, Chaddsford, PA

Clyde Haberman

“What a soothing stimulus! I love Clyde’s attitude with everyone. Yes, he will challenge you, but with such comfort, like someone guiding you, with a gentle hand… “

Emilio Formiga, IT Manager, Portugal

“Clyde is so wonderful! He has such a down to earth quality to his presence. Ease, comfort and peacefulness.”

Mariah Stone, Teacher, Norwich, VT

“I appreciate Clyde’s acceptance of each of us. He models for me presence and loving us anyway, no matter the issues we may act out in class with which we struggle.”

Erika Bro, Mentor, Hopewell, NJ

“I love your style! Gentle and cute, but packs a punch when you least expect it. It is so much fun to watch you play.”

Kimberlee Olsen, Customer Support, Stockbridge, MA

“Clyde is a wonderful teacher with a nice, relaxing style. He asks questions that really clarify things in my mind. His approach is excellent. He gives you time to learn and get the very best for yourself.”

Mark Smith, Singer, Dublin, Ireland

“Wow, his combination of warmth, humor and knowing what he is doing is amazing.”

Elfriede Nordlohne, Nurse / Therapist in Psychiatry, Netherlands

“He’s a marvelous, loving, gentle, and precise person with great awareness of the needs of each person in a playful way.”

Maier, Counselor, Therapist, Switzerland

Beverly Haberman

“Fabulous. Love in action is my best way to describe Beverly.”

Emilio Formiga, IT Manager, Portugal

“Engaging, lively, relevant, beautifully detailed. I was captivated and absorbed all she said – felt I was always in the moment under her loving.”

Jude McCarthy, Teacher, UK

“Beverly is laser sharp in her teaching and I always learn so much from her. I want to hear everything she has to say. Beverly has a special place in my heart!”

Judy White, Consultant, Cortland, OH

“Fantastic, with a fabulous way of teaching.”

Ole Grondal, Key Relation Manager, Denmark

“Has a quiet energy that I love to be around. She shines from the inside out. She is a wonderful and insightful teacher.”

BT Beckmeyer, eProduct Manager, E. Lansing, MI

Leah Taylor-Roy

“I love your classes and how you teach! And I like your humor and quick responses and the way you are loving.”

Thera Valster, Teacher / Painter, Switzerland

“Has a real warmth and desire to help the student. Pushes the student to grow in a very kind way.”

Belton Cooper, Project Manager, AL

“Love Leah’s energy. She’s a great example of compassion and inner peace. She glows. I especially enjoyed her dialogue class last week.”

Julia Dougherty, Self-Employed, CA

“She is a warm and loving person with a clear way of explaining content of the course and a powerful presence as she listens and facilitates a dialogue with others.”

Suzanne Morris, Speech-Language Pathologist, VA

Stan Cohen

“I really feel his caring, warmth and loving attitude. He is also very persistent within class dialogues which always seem to bring new learning.”

Heather Hearst, Career Counselor, MA

“I love his teaching. He is great. So devoted and authentic.”

Lone Thomsen, Denmark

“I love Stan. His smile is encouring and his teaching style is the right mix of challenging and encouraging. He makes you feel that he really wants the best for you!”

Elaine Shaw, Registered Nurse, MD

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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