Barry “Bears” Neil Kaufman
& Samahria Lyte Kaufman

Co-founders of The Option Institute® International Learning and Training Center, a married team celebrated for their contributions to personal development.

Bears has authored 12 books, including best sellers like “Happiness Is A Choice” and “Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues”. Together with Samahria, they wrote about The Option Process® and The Son-Rise Program®. Their books have sold over three million copies across 90 countries.

Bears and Samahria started teaching The Option Process in 1972, and 11 years later (1983) established the Option Institute International Learning and Training Center offering personal development workshops to adults, as well as counseling services for individuals dealing with trauma. The Option Institute has positively impacted 45,000 individuals, families, and children from over 140 countries.

The Kaufmans are also the originators of The Son-Rise Program® (online at the Autism Treatment Center of America®) which transformed the life of their son, Raun, who was born severely autistic. This remarkable story became the bestselling book “Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues” and was adapted into an award-winning NBC TV movie. Their programs for families with children on the autism spectrum has improved the lives of thousands and thousands of families over the decades.

Their commitment to making a difference extends to the rest of their family. Alongside raising three biological children, they also adopted three children from challenging circumstances, enriching their multi-racial, multi-cultural family.

The Kaufmans’ legacy continues to impact lives worldwide as the Option Institute and the Autism Treatment Center of America offer Interactive Online Training Courses, reaching audiences globally.