August 17, 2015

Core Philosophy

A message from Option Institute Co-Founders Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman

“Take everything you thought you knew about human behavior – and give it one giant twist.

That’s the thinking behind what we teach at The Option Institute®.

We live in a ‘victim culture’. We’re taught that our environment determines who we are. I act the way I do because of my childhood, my boss, my spouse, the weather. So we try to change our environment,including the people around us. Sometimes we get downright controlling. Or we just feel like passive victims: if only this or that would happen, everything would be just fine.

It doesn’t work that way.

Why? Because the ‘if onlys’ are always beyond our reach. There’s always something else that comes down the road: the loss of a job, conflict with children, catastrophic illness,not to mention the day to day difficulties of life.

Here’s the twist. The Option Institute® takes the classic stimulus-response model and adds one element: beliefs. What we believe filters every stimulus we encounter. Change your beliefs, and you change your responses (how you feel, what you do).

Consider this: Two graduating seniors at the college commencement, same event, same stimulus, same situation. Yet one is elated and the other is terrified. How can that be? It all comes back to beliefs. The one grad believes her life will improve dramatically after graduation: independence, her own place, an exciting job. The other believes the world is frightening, it’s hard out there and success is just a pipe dream. Their beliefs make all the difference.

That’s just one example. Apply it to all the stimuli in our lives, and you quickly see how our thinking – not events or people-truly shapes us.

Good news: you can learn to systematically change your thinking. In the group programs, family programs and individual counseling sessions we offer at The Option Institute®, people learn to use the unique tools and curriculum we’ve developed over the past quarter century. As they do, they discover the beliefs that fuel uncomfortable and ineffective responses.

Creating new, supportive beliefs is the beginning of profound change. Suddenly, these people gain power. Resolve life’s challenges. Find peace with events beyond their control. Build truly satisfying relationships. Achieve their dreams.

Our life’s work is predicated on providing powerful resources for change – while accepting people unconditionally as they are. The results are amazing. Your life will be too.”


Bears and Samahria Signature



Barry (Bears) Neil Kaufman &
Samahria Lyte Kaufman




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