The Ultimate System for Personal Change

Power Dialogues is the signature program and system of questions taught by the Option Institute that you can use not only to improve the quality of your life but also to be sincerely and gently helpful to all those you care about.

  • Would it be exciting and super useful for you to learn a new skill, utilizing a system of questions, which would enable you to resolve issues and change yourself in the ways you would most want?
  • And are you, as well, a manager, teacher, therapist, health professional and/or a member of a team or organization in which you would like to increase your skills so that you could give more valuable support and guidance to those you supervise, those you work with, or those you care for?
  • And, hey… are you a parent or spouse or sister or brother who would want to acquire a soft, sweet, and respectful ability to help your children, other family members or friends to understand and resolve their issues?

Questions? Ah, how many of us have run away from questions? How many of us have experienced questions as accusations or commentaries punctuated with a question mark that was never really a question? We are going to introduce you to a Socratic style of inquiry, in which questions are going to become your best friend as well as wonderful opportunities to see and understand underlying beliefs that you have… that you can change and in doing so, can completely transform any or every aspect of your life.

In PowerDialogues you will learn:

  • The ability to be equipped with the skills to understand and resolve daily issues as well as major life events.
  • How to create, in specifics, a revolutionary but simple way to feel grounded, comfortable, relaxed and caring.
  • Listening skills that will enable you to hear and actually understand what might have been previously hard to digest.
  • A system of questions, which will allow you to warmly and wisely assist others in breaking through their own limitations.
  • The opportunity to practice doing Dialogues in real time and get feedback and assistance in a highly engaging, interactive environment.
  • A way to understand yourself much more deeply, and make significant personal changes by changing core perspectives and beliefs.

Attending our Power Dialogues E-Learning Training Course will give you the tools to be able to use this innovative method with yourself and others to create more clarity, empowerment, happiness, and a whole lot more love.

Four LIVE Sessions via Zoom
Session Times: November 4th, 5th, 11th & 12th |
9am – 4pm EST (UTC-5) | Course Fee: $2200.00 USD

Register Now Request Info

The Core of What we Teach

A letter from the Co-Founder of the Option Institute – Barry Neil Kaufman

“At the Option Institute, we teach people unique and practical tools to build the life experience they desire. How?

“It begins with a radical departure from everything we’ve been taught. Many of us have heard of the popular psychological model of stimulus-response. The dog barks, I get scared. My friend compliments me, I feel happy. This model has helped spawn a culture where we see our emotions and experiences as being caused by people and events around us. As a result, we often try to change our circumstances and the people around us so that we can feel good or, at least, not feel bad.

stimulus_response “This approach leaves most of us feeling like victims. We believe that if we could just get our loved ones to treat us right, or our finances to increase, or the roads to be traffic-free, we would feel better. But there’s always something else. Even without major life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, illness or loss of a loved one, many of us experience deep distress and discomfort.

“The Option Institute modifies the stimulus-response paradigm with a simple twist. We introduce a third component: BELIEF. Every stimulus that elicits a response from us is first filtered and processed by one or more beliefs. As our beliefs change, so do our responses and experiences. This simple shift changes everything in our lives, moving us from the passenger’s seat into the driver’s seat. We call this new paradigm the Happiness GPS® because it helps you identify where you are and allows you to navigate to where you want to go (In terms of your own happiness and emotional well-being).

“For instance, two parents watching their daughter getting married can have different experiences – one is happy and the other is distressed. How do we explain two people witnessing the same event (the same stimulus) having diametrically opposed responses? Simple – each one holds different beliefs that filter their experience of the wedding. One sees it as wonderful – believing that their daughter will be happy and the family will grow. The other sees it as terrible – believing they are losing their daughter and that they will be lonely without her. This simple illustration is a microcosm of the myriad ways our beliefs determine every response, from joy to anger, from kissing to shouting.

“The good news is: our beliefs are changeable. Our experience with thousands of people from across the globe has shown us that, when people use the tools that we provide, known collectively as The Option Process, they are able to uncover the beliefs fueling their responses and the underlying reasons for their beliefs. Moreover, they are able to change the beliefs that may be generating unhappiness, dysfunctional relationships or ineffective behaviors.

“In our highly interactive courses, we help people address ongoing challenges, find peace with catastrophic events, build more satisfying relationships and become efficient and effective at achieving their desires and dreams. We believe that the most effective way to help people change is to provide them with tools and opportunities to change, in an environment where they are completely accepted as they are, whether or not they change. We are happy to be, for many, the one place in the world where they can find just that.”


bears(Barry Neil Kaufman),
Co-founder of the Option Institute and Autism Treatment Center of America


Using the Happiness GPS®


Happiness I.Q.®

Definition: The measurement of a person’s capacity to choose emotional comfort and happiness irrespective of the stimulus.

Happiness I.Q. is determined by core belief structures about ourselves and our ability to decide how we feel and what we think.

Low Happiness I.Q. Beliefs:

  • I can’t choose how I feel. It depends on what happens (the stimulus).
  • I have to be unhappy, angry, worried, or upset in order to do what it takes to take care of myself, my child, etc.
  • It’s only human to get unhappy when things don’t go the way I want.
  • My mind just does what it does and thinks what it thinks. I can’t control it.
  • I am how I am. I have a limited capacity to change.


High Happiness I.Q. Beliefs:

  • How I feel isn’t determined by what happens (the stimulus), but by my beliefs about what happens.
  • I don’t need to get unhappy, angry, worried, or upset in order to take care of myself, my child, etc.
  • There isn’t one predetermined “human” way to respond to things. I respond the way I want to respond,
  • I am the pilot of my mind and the creator of my thoughts and beliefs.
  • Since I decide who and how I am, and since I can always make new decisions, my capacity to change is limitless.

Option Process® Dialogue: Introductory Questions
to raise your Happiness I.Q.®

  1. What is the stimulus?
  2. How do I feel about the stimulus?
  3. Why do I feel this way?
  4. What is my belief?
  5. Why do I believe that?
  • All beliefs are changeable.
  • Use the above questions to help yourself uncover your beliefs. Ask yourself these questions in the most caring and accepting way possible.
  • Uncover the belief and choose whether you want to continue to hold it or change it for a new belief.
  • Change the belief and you change the feeling.

Read Reviews of this program.

Read Reviews of this program’s Teachers.


Read Reviews

PowerDialogues has been an in-depth exploration of my own attitude- both as a mentor and an explorer – the gift of personal growth stemming from PowerDialogues– a gift in the form of brilliant classes, inspiring teachers, amazing tools – in a challenging and loving environment – is priceless.  An infinite source of happiness that I can give myself, applying the tools of powerful, self-empowering dialogues.

Eira Meadow

Post Graduate Student, Denmark

PowerDialogues surprised me with its depth and meatiness. I expected to learn a few techniques, slap them on and call it a day. I was surprised and delighted to find that the whole PowerDialogue process is an amazingly thought out and deeply meaningful science AND art. It’s a juicy, fun and thought provoking process, and I enjoyed launching into learning more about applying the process to my life so that I can be aware of my choices and be in control of what I feel and believe.

Pam Aronow

Son-Rise Mom, Arizona

I love the Option Institute. I have taken five programs here and each one has enriched my life. PowerDialogues was so powerful-I feel more loving, more non-judgmental and I was able to make connections with my character that I want to change. PowerDialogues, whether as mentor or explorer, gave me a new way to look at myself.

Gertruth Handelman

Retired, Canada

The dialogue is so completely gorgeous and dialogue classes are even more fabulous. I feel like it’s like getting an instruction manual to life and building muscles that will set me free in ANY situation. I want to keep going for this to make my love bigger and bigger…and bigger and BIGGER.

Anne-Marie Graften

Skills Development Manager, UK

My personal experience here at the Option Institute for Power Dialogues has been an experience of true growth and a deeper understanding of myself. I learned that the only person I can control is myself, and if I want to change my life then I have to change myself. I learned how to be a better parent and wife with the dialogue process. And lastly, I learned how to be kinder to myself.

Melissa Sutherland

Waitress, Maryland

The Option Institute is absolutely transformative.  Power Dialogues helped me learn the tools to change many of the unhelpful beliefs I wanted to change, but didn’t know how. I felt more confident, thoughtful, loving, and reflective in my conversations with others and especially, with myself!

Travis Kiefer

CEO, South Dakota

The idea of taking the Power Dialogues course had not intrigued me in the past. It sounded technical and possibly quite boring and rigid. What I found after attending Power Dialogues is that it is dynamic, exciting, and ultimately remarkably enlightening. I would go begin it again tomorrow if it was possible!

Gail Sheckley

Teacher, Oregon

I came to PowerDialogues in order to add dialoguing to my Son-Rise Program® at home. I am leaving today with so much more than I had expected to get. Such as:

1. A much more in-depth understanding of the incredible miracle of the dialogue.

2. A new conviction about my ability to choose my degree of happiness and comfort in my life.

3. A deepened joy and excitement about my relationship with my mother, who attended PowerDialogues with me as a celebration of her 75th birthday.

Susan Levin

Son-Rise Program Mom, MA

Wow! Thought I would see the sky and found the universe. Potentially, the most profound program of my life’s journey!

Stelios Angelides

Care Manager & Son-Rise Program Dad, England

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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