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Frequently Asked Questions:


THRIVE consists of five days complete with teaching, application, practice and rest. In Tracks I thru III participants cycle from joy to rest, from active to quiet together, and from individual to group activities. There is time to learn, train, play, meet others, and see the area. This training in a synchronized personal, spiritual, and community life is what makes THRIVE unique.
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Training Tracks

Because THRIVE is designed specifically for bonded pairs who have experienced each phase of preparation before moving to the next level, consider investing in each facet of THRIVE. It helps to understand GROWTH before learning the FAILURE to THRIVE and so on. The training you receive in each track prepares you for the next level. In Track I you increase your capacity with Joy and Rest, in Track II you practice recovery with Returning to Joy, and in Track III you master the five levels of pain the brain knows with Applied Strategy.

Track IV Applications

Track IV is focused application of skills to complex, multilevel problems such as addictions, organizational fear and dysfunction, leadership failures, dissociation, marriage/family, blended families, borderline, narcissism, emotional healing ministry and more.
Track IV advanced training is for anyone, regardless of previous attendance or bonded partner! At Track IV you learn direct applications of emotional capacity building, or what we call the 19 skill training.

A lack of right hemisphere emotional capacity causes people to lose their internal synchronization and do foolish things, waste energy, and become anxious, fearful, resistant, and evasive. At Track IV we assume all participants know and can contribute to the training material from their own experience in ministry. Each year will be something new and fresh for Track IV attendees! Be sure to look at our future conferences to see what is planned for Track IV. Track IV is now separate from the three skill training tracks.

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There are two clear reasons for Track IV. Since the topics change each year, we want people from different fields to see how the THRIVE skills could help them. We know they will need control center training afterwards to acquire the skills. Tracks I, II and III are for people looking for applications for their skills to real life problems and for them, Track IV will lead to a skilled diagnosis and application of their skills.

Capacity Building Exercises

Thriving flows from keeping your basic rhythms of life. Each capacity building block will consist of interpersonal training of your brain's control center through matching rhythms, energy levels, relational circuit restoration and mutual mental states with your bonded partner. This means you practice key exercises that train your brain using joy and 19 brain skills! Surely you've heard the verse, "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." This Romans 12:15 verse succinctly describes a mutual mind state Christians are supposed to demonstrate. Personal, hands-on training takes time, effort, and yes, some serious practice!

We can synchronize as a group with worship dancing among other activities like bonding exercises, storytelling, learning to act like oneself in distressing emotions, and quiet time. These synchronizing activities are designed to train our emotional control centers to synchronize at all levels and build capacity to resolve distress. Only through modeling, example, and practice can our control centers be equipped to function the way they are designed to. Our training times will be full of energy, new experiences and a foundation for direct neurological paths to joy. We will work to build well trained control centers and enhance your bonded relationships.
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Synchronized Dancing

Yes, you read this correctly – synchronized dancing. Throughout Scripture song, dance and praise was used to testify to the things God was doing and to glorify the Creator. When excited, some of us cannot help but sing a song of praise before God, lift up our hands or jump up and down with excitement. Some of us are a bit more reserved and synchronized dancing is not on the top of our ‘to do’ list. Well, do we have news for you!

One of the benefits of the THRIVE experience is you have the opportunity to practice synchronizing with your body and build a group identity using what we call synchronized dancing. This is not a dance contest nor is it an opportunity to perform. Rather this is brain training. There are numerous benefits to singing, dancing and moving around in a group. Learn more about synchronized dancing and why this is an all-time THRIVE favorite for attendees.
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God's Hour - Immanuel Practice

At THRIVE you begin each day practicing the remarkable process known as Share Immanuel with Immanuel meaning God With Us. Developed by THRIVE friend and colleague Dr. Karl Lehman and revised by THRIVE and Thriving leaders, Immanuel is a significant time for joy, appreciation, fellowship and healing! Because we follow God’s timetable at THRIVE, God’s Hour is actually your last conference activity of the day, at sundown right before dinner. Connecting with God; can you think of a better way to start your day?
An important piece of the THRIVE brain-based skill training consists of equipping you to develop the awareness of God’s Presence in your life. We call this Skill 13, Heartsight or Godsight. God-awareness is something we Christians teach and believe but rarely practice. We know the Bible tells us Jesus is always with us and we hear untold sermons about this reality however it fails to translate into our every-day lives and experience. Without the awareness of God with us, moments, particularly painful ones, remain unprocessed then rob our joy and peace! Attendees practice Immanuel in the safety of small groups then learn to share their redemption story as opposed to their thorny pain story. God’s Hour proves to be powerful and healing for attendees. Click here and learn how to practice Immanuel.

Mealtime Discussion Groups

Take a portion of your lunch time to converse, question, speak with like-minded coworkers and friends in ministry on topics relevant to you and your situation. Popular topics are Life Model Churches, Marriage and Maturity Retreats, THRIVE for your family and church, Banana Grower's Association and more! You don't want to miss these satisfying discussion times!

Spread THRIVE Skills: Become A "Banana Grower!"

We are not asking you to quit your job and become a farmer. But we are asking you to consider becoming part of a team of international trainers organized to coach return to joy skills. A resource list of experienced, trained individuals is being compiled to assist people around the country who need a 'bigger banana' to demonstrate how to return to joy from negative emotions. We designed THRIVE to be an introduction to help improve return to joy skills.
Level three of the brain's control center, the cingulate cortex, strengthens by practicing with an experienced brain. We hope THRIVE will be the means to educate and guide you in order to educate, guide, and train others. One blessing of a trained brain is showing others how to return to joy. THRIVE can be the place to establish resources and develop contacts around the world. 
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For $15 per training hour you and your partner gain life-changing training and this price includes two meals a day! Try to find a marriage counselor or a personal consultant for this price, it is not easy. Rarely these days do we hear about the impact our control center has on our lives, relationships, work, family, and counseling ministry. In fact, the role of our emotional control center is often overlooked and greatly underestimated. THRIVE provides you and your people with theory, practical application, training and resources available to be equipped and prepared for a renovation on your life, marriage, relationships, and ministry! THRIVE not only gives you more tools for your personal and relational tool belt but fills your bucket with creative ideas and hands-on practice to suffer well, return to joy from distressing emotions, and build your capacity. All of these elements, whether absent or present in your life can make or break your marriage or your witness for Jesus Christ, and impact the people around you, to name but a few.

THRIVE is designed to help you become the person you are created to be and facilitate a group identity, fortify your individual identity, and strengthen bonds with your personal people. THRIVE is a lesson on becoming the kind of people who are salt and light at home, in the office and everywhere else. THRIVE is not only an investment of your time, energy and finances but this experience is an investment into your future, family, community, and every aspect of your life that you deem important! Families are being changed by THRIVE training and we hope you will join in the fun and change your generation today!

To learn more about the benefits of this training, click here.
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Exposure To Joy

THRIVE is a wonderfully designed environment for growing your existing bonds and a terrible environment for forming new romantic bonds. Save your romantic feelings for after the training. Because of the enriched joy environment, many kinds of bonds will grow that cannot be maintained later. People from low joy environments, with recent losses, who are recovering from divorce or otherwise alone, are at particular risk – most notably in the later tracks of THRIVE where people are beginning to become more acquainted with each other.

Oftentimes some attendees come to
THRIVE with their theological guns loaded, expecting to learn in-depth analytical information only to be triggered into reactivity due to the nature of the training. Important: When you attend a skill training track, expect to learn information but be prepared to practice skills! We are talking about hands-on training with your bonded partner! THRIVE is unlike most Western education methods and models.

The goal of each of the three skill training tracks is to learn skills through hands-on, in-depth training that may stretch you. Be prepared and do your homework. Those who have the hardest time with this training are those who fail to complete their assigned reading then are triggered and anxious during the conference week. Don't ruin this experience for yourself and your peers by failing to do your part! Invest in the numerous resources available to you through the Life Model website so you have the information prior to practicing the skills.
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Individuals Attending Tracks I, II & III

We liken your participation in THRIVE training to riding a teeter totter in your swimming suit.

First of all, try to ride a teeter totter alone – it is far from fun or exciting because you have no partner or friend to join you. Who will respond to your “lift-offs”? Without someone on the other end you are left to do all the work yourself. Soon the experience will prove too demanding and strenuous. After all, teeter totters are not designed for one person but two. A partner makes your ride fun, meaningful and smooth – just the way it is designed to.

Now, let’s say you find a stranger who agrees to sit on the other end of the teeter totter. The stranger is capable of riding the teeter totter with you but the problem is your swimming suit. How does it feel to sit before a stranger in your swimming suit? Would you feel uncomfortable, vulnerable or even exposed? Even though a stranger gives you the option of riding the teeter totter you need someone personal, a familiar face you trust who puts you at ease.

This is what happens with the THRIVE training. If you have a bonded partner join you in the fun, the experience is powerful and enjoyable. However, participating in this type of interactive training with a stranger leaves you wishing you planned better.

Because of the demand on individuals with the exercises and training experienced at THRIVE, coming with a bonded partner is ideal for you as a participant and us as the host. We find when attendees participate with a bonded partner the experience is intensely rewarding and enjoyable all the way around. Those who have had difficulty with the conference format in the past arrived either unprepared or without a partner. We understand finding a suitable or available partner is not always easy due to time or financial constraints. Many people come as a group but group members may already be partnered up or choose to participate in a different track. We encourage you to consider putting off your attendance until you can prayerfully find a bonded partner to join you in a track. Because THRIVE is a large investment we desire your conference experience to be fruitful, enjoyable and meaningful. Some folks want to participate with a bonded partner of the opposite sex. We also must caution this route. THRIVE training is designed to produce strong attachments for life. These exercises are powerful and it is not uncommon for romantic feelings to accompany intense bonds with members of the opposite sex. A good rule of thumb on this is, do not bring someone of the opposite sex unless you intend to fall in love with them! Please consider these warnings before you attend with a stranger or a friend. If you do plan to attend alone, we feel it necessary to present the following statements:

  • Building joy and triggering attachment pain is a bad prognosis for singles (married or not) who attend THRIVE without a support system on the premises and a partner to participate in the exercises and training. 
  • People at an infant level of maturity or with very limited capacity to return to joy may have extreme difficulty with several of the exercises designed for THRIVE, and staff do not advise individuals to come alone. We encourage you to bring a partner, spouse, co-worker, church brother or sister, prayer partner, spiritual family member, or someone you trust. Because THRIVE is based around affectionate fellowship and strengthening of bonds, you will glean more from THRIVE if you share the experience with someone you already share a bond with no matter how mature you are. Otherwise your participation can bring up many feelings that are hard to process alone.
  • We desire for you to attend and enjoy THRIVE but we also feel obligated to inform you of the potential risks and dangers by participating alone. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Coursey.

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What Is The Difference Between THRIVE & Thriving?

To avoid confusion with the various programs, training and available teaching, here is a brief overview:


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