Power Dialogues – Program Reviews

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“This was the “best” program. While practicing to be in the Option Process mentor attitude, I was able to look at my beliefs that held me back from being in that attitude all the time. I was able to change some long held “beliefs” which made me choose unhappiness in the past. I feel so much more love towards myself. Now I have put myself in charge of my beliefs and actions. Being a mentor is about how I want to show myself in the world: “present, loving, non-judgmental.”

Iris Tuomenoksa, Administrative Consultant, Massachusetts

“This is my first program and it has absolutely changed my life! I love the Option Process and I love the attitude! This is the most beautiful place in the world! And it is the most beautiful way of life!”

Sanne Schroll, PH. D. Student, Denmark

“The Option Process Dialogue has been life changing for me. It is so great to spend a week immersed in this beautiful process. I will use what I have learned for the rest of my life!!!”

Tracee Elliott, Medical Transcriptionist, Missouri

“After taking Power Dialogues I have deeply understood that I choose my own happiness and have the tools and have the experienced how to do that. This has resulted in a physical change within my system and I am now more mobile/able to walk and at times I am running. This is a fantastic turn around for someone with multiple sclerosis.”

Helen Cherry, Artist, A.T. Teacher, Mom, United Kingdom

“Power Dialogues helped me to see what a beautiful world it could be if everyone simply adopted the attitude of an Option Process mentor. It begins with us-those who choose to adopt it-setting an example and sharing the concept with all those we come in contact with and offering them the option.”

Bernadette Williams, Program Development, Washington

“I thought Power Dialogues would be static and dry given its focus in the learning of a particular skill. It proved to be not only dynamic, educational and lightly insightful into our workings as human beings, but it was the most loving and accepting environment I’ve yet experienced. I recommend for anyone interested in their own personal happiness as well as in the well-being of all of their relationships to take Power Dialogues.”

Leeza Steindorf, Option Process Mentor/Counselor/Mediator, Germany, Colorado USA, Germany

“The Option Process can change the way you see the world, change the way you see yourself and others and ultimately improve every aspect of your life.”

Steve Morris, Executive Director, Connecticut

“Power Dialogues opened a new awareness of choice and how I get to choose it all. I was aware of my judgments of myself and the process and how that was not making me happy. I can now decide to be loving, accepting, non-judgmental and present to me and therefore to all I meet.”

Sue Kirck, Educator, Connecticut

“Power Dialogues is the backbone of all the work done here. For myself I learned more about my beliefs, how to identify them and how to change them. Great tools to use with any relationship and especially with myself.”

Dianne Donahue, Owner Horse Drawn Carriage Company, Canada

“I can’t imagine any single tool being more useful than the Option Dialogue Process. Being totally present, loving, non-judgmental and accepting of yourself and all that you come into contact with could seem impossible. By the end of our week, we were able to easily adopt this attitude in an instant in any situation and be a useful mentor for each other. Taking this tool home will profoundly change my life and all of those around me. It will trickle into my work place, my home and my love relationships.”

Nancy Haas, Realtor/ Writer, Pennsylvania

“I am, my life is changing so much since I came to the Option Institute this past summer. I feel different…more relaxed, more open, more expressive, less judgmental, more happy, more going for what I want, more moving towards my fears…I love it. The Option Process is synonymous with world peace”

Shayu Talbot, Community Service Worker, Canada

“At PowerDialoguesSM I found the answer to questions I had come with and so much more. The week has been exceptionally stimulating and challenging and has involved a lot of unlearning. Through learning the dialogue I have learned about love and about how to love, and am deeply grateful that I can never unlearn this again.”

Cathy Betoin, Clinical Psychologist, United Kingdom

“Before taking PowerDialoguesSM I often felt the need to solve” people’s problems. The PowerDialoguesSM curriculum provided a new framework for me to see myself and clients. I now believe that each person does not need me to ‘fix’ them. Moreover, I have gained a trust in myself that I will provide so much more value in counseling other, by being present, loving, non-directive, and non-judgmental.”

Joel Witherspoon, Family Counselor, Raleigh, NC

“I have been a psychiatrist for thirty years. Never before has any process taught me so much about how to be with others. The Option Process® is clear, precise and packs a punch. At the center of this process are the principles of being present, being loving, accepting others and being nondirective. To have been given tools in PowerDialoguesSM to follow these principles is a great gift indeed. I am grateful.”

Ted McCarthy, M.D., Chief of Psychiatry, Maine

“PowerDialoguesSM is a wonderfully safe environment in which to make all your dreams real. Not only did I learn a foundation of the Option Process® Dialogue, but I learned more about my own beliefs and judgments than I could have ever imagined. The uncovering of beliefs with simple, non-directive questions was exhilarating. Thank you for your love, humor and expertise”

Mya Lea, Behavioral Specialist, Pennsylvania

“The Option Process® Dialogue (PowerDialoguesSM) has profoundly transformed the way I work as a psychiatrist. I have changed my vision of my role from one of expert to guide, shifting my emphasis from ‘fixing’ people to empowering them. My perspective of patients’ problems changed from an ‘illness’ model to a ‘wellness’ model, where I now see problems as opportunities for growth rather than evidence of pathology. Because I no longer see others as ‘victims’ who need to be ‘saved,’ I have more energy and vitality in my work. Best of all, I am having more fun! Using this process, I have seen people change rapidly and painlessly, without the need for years of therapy. I am deeply grateful to Barry Neil Kaufman for making this powerful and effective method available to everyone!”

Philip N. Lomas, M.D., Psychiatrist, Wisconsin

“PowerDialoguesSM was the very best learning experience of my 69 years of life. There isn’t even a close second.”

Robert Libbey, Attorney, Alaska

“I looked for the best personal development and leadership training in the world and I found it in PowerDialoguesSM at The Option Institute. The program and the Institute are outstanding and far beyond my beliefs of what I thought was possible.”

Leif Ogard, Management Consultant, Sweden

“PowerDialoguesSM I loved the careful building of skills layered upon each other. My favorite part of the program was ‘catching’ the potential of what this process can do for a person’s life and I see that everything is possible. I can now weigh my beliefs against my wants to create a life of happiness and fulfillment; I can now change my relationships with others by being present and staying in the Option Process® attitude; and I can help others find their own answers by asking dialogue questions. The classes and practice showed me that this really works!”

Judy Gorge, Writer/Minister,, Virginia

“The PowerDialoguesSM class was a wonder for me. I truly enjoyed making discoveries about my own beliefs and witnessing classmates finding resolution with issues within themselves. The program was a week long example of the power each person ahs to transform their lives in an instant.”

Benjamin Farrell, Police Detective, Chapel Hill, NC

“In PowerDialoguesSM I have learned a great deal that will make me more effective s a career counselor: be present, not to judge myself, to help my clients deal with issues in their lives that stop them from being successful in their careers or in finding a new job.”

Anton Philips, Career Counselor, Netherlands

“The Option Process Dialogue has been truly life changing for me PowerDialoguesSM is a terrific class in which to learn and explore the process with gentle and encouraging teachers that really practice what they teach. They are truly masters of this craft who lovingly share their knowledge and experience.”

Laura Kasemodel, Consultant, Minneapolis, Minnesota

“From early childhood I recall seeking and looking for more happiness. I continued this journey of “seeking” throughout my teens and into adulthood. It was only when I found The Option Institute that I knew I could stop “seeking” and that I could begin living the happiness that had always been inside me all the time.”

Best,, Vocational Consultant, Rutland, VT

“The Option Process taught at The Option Institute helps you to go to the core of connections with other people, like a silver line between you and another person: totally open, totally intense.”

Elfiriede Nordlohne,, Psychiatric Nurse, Netherlands

“I came to The Option Institute expecting something amazing, and all of my expectations have been exceeded. Never have I found an environment so charged with love and encouragement. Here I have learned that anything is possible. The Institute shows you all the doors you can throw open for yourself, and roots your on as you take a deep breath and move through them.” “

Mariah Stone, Child Care Provider/Son-Rise, Norwich, VT

“This week was very intensive for me. I have managed to let go of five old beliefs I had and now feel much happier. I have experienced that I have the real power to choose.”

Fernanda Maier, Therapist, Switzerland

“The environment is a perfect learning space to be in. Thank you for being here and lovingly sharing this simple life affirming way of being!”

Susan Sacks, Massage Therapist, Livingston, NJ

“PowerDialogues is one of the most influential periods of my life. There is probably nothing on the planet more amazing that the personal growth happening at The Option Institute. One Option Process® Dialogue can change everything!”

Fullilove, Massage Therapist, Florida

“Before I came to PowerDialoguesSM, I ran away from my fears/anxieties. Now, I look at them as opportunities to grow. Using the attitude and dialogue techniques is a way to love myself and others. Thank you for this gift.”

Pam Warfield, Child Care Provider, Pennsylvania

“In PowerDialoguesSM I was surrounded by loving, insightful staff who gently and persistently invited me to explore the dynamic of loving myself and others by means of the Option Process® Dialogue. I found for myself a rich adventure in becoming and loving.”

Thurston Wilson, Clergy, Georgia

“I have really grown bigger this week. I am more me and happy with myself than I have ever been. The mentor attitude will give me a safe place to be, no matter what happens – a great tool for a happy life.”

Kate Henderson, Visual Retail Consultant, United Kingdom

“PowerDialogues instills the power to be ultimately present with someone else in a loving, non-judgmental manner. This course will improve my relationships with students, family, friends, and especially my autistic daughter.”

Frank Seidel, College Professor, Pennsylvania

“Life-changing! Power Dialogues helped me understand that I have a choice to be happy or not. The power comes from within myself, and is not based on outside people or situations in life. It is my judgment of others and myself that keeps me from living a true and joyful life. I am forever changed and will climb the mountain to love, happiness and peace by practicing my new belief: that I choose to be happy.”

Nicole Tanzi, Son-Rise Program Mom, New York

“Power Dialogues has not only provided the tools for my own exploration, it has helped me empower myself to question my own beliefs more in one week than in 30 years.”

Vito Tanzi, Vice President of Sales, New York

“Where else in the world can a person get intense, focused training on how to be loving, present, non-judgmental and helpful to others? Power Dialogues has provided me with wonderful tools to deepen my relationship with others and to be a force for love and happiness.”

Kim Williams, Electronics Engineer, Idaho

“Power Dialogues has totally changed my life. I have overcome challenges I have been facing since I was a child – lack of self-esteem, needing others to like me in order to like myself, hiding my true self. I know now which path I want to take and am certain that even if I stray from the path occasionally, I have everything I need to get back on track every time.”

Davina Bannister, Executive Development Manager, England

“I changed my life this week. By trusting the process of the dialogue and trusting myself, I was able to change beliefs that I’ve held since childhood, and create new beliefs that lead me to happiness. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Heather Aschmann, Son-Rise Program Mom, New Jersey

“The teachers are so inspirational with their energy and the way they are incredibly perceptive and aware. They have real skill with the group dynamic, fearless in addressing any issue that might come up and using an individual’s comment or exploration to develop a learning for the whole class. All of the Power Dialogue classes were fun and dynamic! I never knew I could concentrate for so long and so completely without even trying.”

Alexandra Woolgar, Ph.D Student, England

“I was surprised in how deep we went in the dialogue process. It was taught clearly and precisely. We were invited to go out on a limb to find out who we are, why we do things, what our beliefs are, and how to be non-judgmental about others and ourselves. It was an amazing experience, and I’m really excited about now taking the next step and doing Advanced Power Dialogues.”

Gaby van der Berg, Veterinarian, Netherlands

“I have been coming to The Option Institute for many years now, since I first came in 1996 with my son, Neil, who has a diagnosis of autism. Each time I come back here for programs, it feels like coming home, especially to myself. The experience I have is getting bigger and stronger, and the self-help tools I learn here are being absorbed into every cell of my being. Then I find I can be comfortable in any situation, because I have an inner strength that never fails to point me to the right answers! I always know what’s best for me!”

Denise D, Lawyer, Ireland

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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