Power Dialogues – Teacher Reviews

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Bears Kaufman
Samahria Kaufman
Raun K. Kaufman
Clyde Haberman
Beverly Haberman
Stan Cohen

Bears Kaufman

“To describe in words the ultimate amazement I experience when listening to what he believes and teaches here at the Institute is an honor for me. To be a part of his life as a student has been a dream I never imagined possible. He is the most courageous man I have ever known or read about. When I think of the quote Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone, I think of Bears.”

Andres Valenzuela-Tyson, Chef, PA

“A fabulous teacher and example of belief and persistence in going for what you want pays off.”

Bernadette Williams, Program Development, WA

“A master teacher filled with love, warmth, and passion. I am my best me when he is teaching.”

Sue Kirck, Educator/ Searcher, CT

“”Joyful, energetic, warm-hearted. He’s a master teacher, a cutting edge thinker, and a radical human being. Many more people on our planet can climb their own mountains to shine from their summit as he does so brightly.””

Leeza Steindorf, Peace Educator/ Fundraising Practitioner, Germany

“I am amazed and excited about everything you know and share. You are an inspiration. Thank you so much.”

Shayu Talbot, Community Service Worker, Canada

“I just so love Bears’ flexibility. I just find this the juiciest part of attending programs – the off-curriculum, fast-paced changes of questions, and looking at beliefs in a new way is so exciting. I feel like my brain is dancing! Zoom!”

Amy MacDonald, Sales Rep, California

“Bears’ manner of teaching invites me to stretch myself in the deepest way possible. This style is intense and challenging, while also being clearly anchored in love and the deepest respect for each person present”

Cindy Terlazzo, Student, Pennsylvania

Samahria Kaufman

“What a riot! No one can answer a question quite like this woman! Fabulous!”

Debbie Hills, Student, New York

“I love Samahria’s style of presentation. The love and acceptance is so apparent and all with a sense of humor that makes the learning easier for me.”

Kate Henderson, Visual Retail Consultant, United Kingdom

Raun K. Kaufman

“A socratian mind with fun and sparkle. Fantastically present and brilliant attitude.”

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

“He’s one of the sharpest people that walk on this planet.”

Claudia Stein-Carr, Homemaker And Son-Rise Mom, United Kingdom

“He has such a gracious way of getting the message across and keeping the class moving with energy and love. Very dynamic style of facilitating.”

Alyssa Bantle, Trainer, Soon To Be Business English Instructor, IL

“Raun’s congenial manner and robust sense of humor combined with his keen intellect make classes with him riveting. He has an extraordinary ability to clarify the heart of any subject with laser sharp clarity and endearing wit.”

Leeza Steindorf, Peace Educator/ Fundraising Practitioner, Germany

“Can you have an attitude of a Lepricon? There is something so playful and impish about him and yet his brilliance trumps all as it is done with such awe and love.”

Nancy Haas, Realtor/ Writer, PA

“Raun is a fantastic teacher! The energy and love he brings into the room is out of this world. He has an excellent way of helping people by stating what he sees without any judgment at all. He is extremely disarming.”

Asges Leth, Head of Logistics Dept., Denmark

“Raun’s ability to teach the technical aspects of The Option Process® Dialogue is amazing! He dissects the dialogue into a whole maze of connections and roads you can follow. He is truly a teacher of this process.”

Jennie Linthorst, Poetry Therapist, California

Clyde Haberman

“Excellent, good in the mentoring attitude, in explaining effectiveness of questions, in analyzing, coaching and guiding.”

Ria van Rooyen, Sports Physician, Netherlands

“An old friend with blaze of love, wisdom and joy who teaches from and with his heart.”

Sidney Falthzik, Collaborative Mentor, MA

“What a wonderfully authentic human being. Gentle yet assertive and always gets to the bottom of beliefs without the process being challenging.”

Dianne Donahue, Owner Horse Drawn Carriage Company, Canada

“You are brilliant and warm. I feel at ease with you teaching because your love for the class is so palpable.”

Paisley Hillegeist, Homemaker, Connecticut

“Your relaxed, easy, gentle attitude and razor sharp responses were amazing. Seeing the attitude manifesting so solidly is inspiring to me.”

Liz Zawada, Son-Rise Program Mom, New York

Beverly Haberman

“She continues to exude love in a way that one cannot help feeling warm, very comfortable and accepted in her presence.”

Bernadette Williams, Program Development, WA

“Razor-sharp and sweet as anything.”

Claudia Stein-Carr, Homemaker And Son-Rise Mom, United Kingdom

“She was funny, warm and just wonderful. It is so easy to listen to her and she shares great examples and stories.”

Alyssa Bantle, Trainer, Soon To Be Business English Instructor, IL

“Beverly’s gentle style helped me see how I can be with my family and friends to help them open up, so that we can have deeper relationships.”

Richard Lord, Software, California

“Crystal clear, great energy, a natural teacher. I never tire of her classes – she always brings a fresh perspective.”

Joellyn Kopecky, Psychic/Medium/Healer, New York

Stan Cohen

“Excellent teacher, with humor, joyful, giving good practice exercise.”

Ria van Rooyen, Sports Physician, Netherlands

“A living invitation to love, learn and live the mentoring life and the Option Dialogue Process.”

Sidney Falthzik, Collaborative Mentor, MA

“I enjoy Stan for his loving directness. He demonstrates his joy for The Option Process.”

Dan Hegerich, Wellness Coach, Arizona

“Stan made it safe to practice and showed a lot of warmth and acceptance for his students.”

Joan Newton, Teacher, California

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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