What is Thrive?

Thrive training equips you with relational skills that even the best families may miss or overlook. Careful study of Scripture and of how the brain is configured led us to identify 19 brain-based relational skills that provide the full range of life functions for our minds and relationships. When we lack these skills, pain, addictions, conflicts and other problems prevail.

If you feel pushed beyond your limits by someone else's anger, fear or even joy, for example, you know what it feels like when Skill 9 is missing. Perhaps your parents were not fully equipped or lacked the time to practice a skill with you. Whatever the case Thrive gives you the strategic training you missed growing up and changes patterns that were handed down for generations, all for under $15 a training hour! It's hard to hire a life-coach, counselor or consultant for that price.

What makes Thrive special?

Thrive is all about joy! The video below will help you understand why joy is such an important factor in our training.

Much of the latest trend of techniques and theory designed to make us better parents, effective leaders, and competent counselors is lacking a solid understanding of the right hemisphere of the brain that drives much of our behaviorThis leaves those of us trying to apply their methods empty and disappointed.

You may be disappointed by the results you have seen from seminars and even spiritual experiences in the past and you know something must be missing. You may have learned wonderful ideas, felt deeply moved, inspired, anointed and even healed. Your desire to change has never matched your ability. There may be something missing that words and will alone can't achieve.

We liken ministries, businesses and Christian leaders to farmers looking at plows. They look for better and better plows but never notice that when the person with a tractor sells his plow to a man with a mule it does not work the same. We thrive when we build emotional capacity or, as Jim DeGolyer, a missionary from Ecuador, puts it, we need “right-hemispheric leadership development."

For this reason, Thrive has the vision to develop the capacity of leaders, pastors, counselors, teachers, and ministers, not just improve their tools.

Join us at one of our following Thrive events:

Holland, MI July 30 - Aug. 3, 2018

Thrive Holland, MI

4 Training Tracks

THRIVE offers four skill training tracks that grow in complexity. Each Track starts with a 5-day conference where you experience hands-on training that teaches you skills to practice with your training partner for an entire year, so you will be prepared for the next Track.

• in Thrive: True Identity you will learn practical skills to start your joy
• in Thrive: Track One you will learn how to increase your joy
• in Thrive: Track Two you will enhance your return to joy skills from negative emotions
• in Thrive: Track Three focuses on how to pass on the skills to others

Read more about the 4 Tracks here


Because Thrive training focuses on the practical and we want to make sure you get all the practical experience you can get during the 5-day training, we developed the "Thrive at Home" course. This course walks you through all the theory you need before being able to start doing the exercises. It includes DVD teachings and an online class.


Read more about Thrive preparation here

Thrive: True Identity

For the first time ever we have a new Training Track for Thrive called True Identity. In Thrive: True Identity you learn, practice and apply several of the 19 brain skills to your life with no prior preparation and without the bonded partner requirement.

Thrive: True Identity is where you jump start your experience with joy using a variety of relational brain skills from appreciation to rest with engaging exercises to increase your ability to lead an Immanuel Lifestyle. All of this means you live peacefully and joyfully with the comforting awareness of God by your side. Your normal everyday life is transformed to a new normal of joy and peace.

Learning new brain skills require time, practice and interaction. While we wish you could learn new brain skills by reading a book or watching a video, this is not how God designed the relational wiring in your brain. Much like going to the gym to exercise, brain skills are learned through hands-on exercises in shared states of joy. Thrive: True Identity provides new exercises for you to learn new brain skills so you start experiencing serious joy. After all, joy is supposed to be your natural state for life, relationships, faith and your emotional and mental health. If joy is not your “normal”, then Thrive: True Identity is for you!

Thrive: True Identity has two unique features:

  • You do not need a bonded partner. Yes, we said it. You are free from the bonded partner requirement.
  • There is no required preparation. You register now and show up in July.

Where to start?

Some of you already have a bonded partner. This means you have options! You can attend Thrive: True Identity or you can sign up for Track One on Joy and Rest – which is still the natural place to begin for bonded pairs. A number of you have graduated from all three tracks of THRIVE and while you can repeat any track you like, Thrive: True Identity may be the refreshing week you need right now to bolster your skills, practice new exercises and apply the skills in fresh ways to specific areas of your life. Here is a list of the four training tracks so you can pick the option that’s right for you:

Thrive: True Identity - Easy entry because anyone can attend with no bonded partner requirement and no preparation required.

Thrive: Track 1 - Joy and Rest - The starting point for bonded pairs, preparation required.

Thrive: Track 2 - Return to Joy - Bonded pairs who completed Track One, preparation required.

Thrive: Track 3 - Solutions for Pain - Bonded pairs who finished Tracks One and Two, preparation required.

What does Thrive: True Identity cover?

Thrive: True Identity retrains your brain focusing on:

  • Eating: using food to build my joy.
  • Resting: inserting rest into my life.
  • Praying: interacting with Immanuel (God with us).
  • Belonging: keeping relationships bigger.
  • Playing: adding play to my life and relationships.
  • Giving: giving from the heart Jesus gave me.

Although Thrive: True Identity is separate and distinct from the regular training tracks, it does join the three tracks at times throughout the day during the training event.

Thrive: Track 1 - Joy & Quiet

The fun begins at Track One where you learn how thriving is directly related to how well you synchronize your personal and relational rhythms. Thriving is the visible sign of a well-synchronized life. Being disconnected and off-line will tire us out and reduce our energy level. Track One provides a solid dose of joy & quiet training combined with an introduction to many of the 19 brain skills. You will practice Immanuel moments and learn how to restore your relational circuits, and much more. In Track One you build joyful skills to grow!

It is important to recognize that the first year of training in joy and quiet can make people quite aware of the missing love and attachment in their lives. We purposely do not try to provide or create temporary bonds and relationships at Thrive to fill this need. Our goal is to strengthen existing bonds so bring someone with you! Building joy can trigger pain if you recently experienced loss or feel lonely.

If you want to learn how to play the violin, climb a mountain or pick up golf, you need to prepare. You begin with careful study and review of the essentials in order to successfully learn about your new hobby. Eventually, you need to pick up the violin and practice. Sooner or later you have to grab that golf club and hit the ball down the green. At Thrive we want you fully prepared before you attend. It is for this reason you have two ways to learn the training. Step One includes reading materials and videos along with online curriculum to apply the theory to your life. These materials ensure you have the Scriptural and theoretical basis for the hands-on practice with your bonded partner at Thrive. Step Two begins as soon as you arrive at Thrive. The first block starts with hands-on training and exercises. There is no time for teaching or application during the training. Each training track has specific steps for preparation.
More info about preparations for each track here

Thrive: Track 2 - Return to Joy

Now that you have practiced one full year’s worth of joy and quiet, you are ready to tackle Track Two. Here you discover how the painful failure to thrive impacts your life and relationships. Failure to thrive means lives spent in pain, fleeing pain, or rigidly avoiding any risk of pain. This failure to thrive emerges from a badly developed and poorly trained control center. Recovery consists of identifying the breakdown in the growth process and repairing the disruptions. We will learn what happens when we fail to keep our personal and relational rhythms synchronized. In Track Two you will bolster your ability to employ the 19 skills.

Year two requires more capacity from participants. Each participant will need experience with joy and have enough capacity to deal with unpleasant feelings like sadness, anger, fear, disgust, shame, and hopeless despair in moderate doses. We will teach a cohesive approach and introduce simple repair skills. Track Two is for those who have previously experienced the joy practice at Thrive Track One as well as the Basic Thrive Skills skill guide. In Track Two attendees enjoy daily Preparation Groups as part of the 5-day training. These are blocks set aside for attendees to discuss and identify how Skill 12, Acting Like Myself, relates to Scripture and each basic emotion the brain knows. This kind of training helps us develop a powerfully clear sense of our true identity and how it still works when we are upset or suffering.

Participants generally maintain a child or higher maturity, even though they may have remedial work to do with returning to joy from the big six emotions. This training is designed for bonded partners so be sure to bring a safe partner you trust.

Thrive: Track 3 - Solutions for Pain

Turning back after hiking most of the way up a mountain when you are so close to your goal is less than satisfying, especially when you can see the peak is within reach. While Track Three is a stiff climb in relational skill training, attendees report Track Three as their favorite track because it ties together all of their previous skill training once they discover brilliant solutions to pain. At Track Three attendees learn how to clearly recognize and address the painful deficits that result from a desynchronized control center. For example, you learn to distinguish Level 3 fear from Level 2 fear. Making this distinction will determine whether people feel comforted and "seen" or disconnected and alone.

Training focuses on how to pass on the skills to others, how to enhance your nonverbal skills and how to distinguish and resolve specific pain at each of the five levels of the brain’s command center. At Track Three you not only practice the 19 skills but you train attendees in Tracks One and Two.

Track Three is for individuals who function primarily at an adult level maturity or higher. We carefully designed Thrive to prepare attendees for this level of training after two years of actively building joy, practicing return to joy skills with the big six as well as complex emotions. Your Thrive Facilitator will train you in mindsight, heart sight, resolving the five levels of pain and more.

Thrive: True Identity

As mentioned previously, there is no required preparation for Thrive: True Identity. Go ahead, break into your happy dance as you hurry to register for the next event.

Thrive: Track 1

Track One preparation (prior to attendance)
1) The Life Model: Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You book by Frieson, Wilder, Bierling, Koepcke, Poole

2) A personal assessment of your earned maturity based on the above book or chart here.

3) Joy and Quiet: Track One DVD Lecture Series (DVD Lectures Series purchased separately)

4) Joy and Quiet: THRIVE @ Home Online Course. (Included with registration price.)

Recommended (but optional) preparation
- Introduction Series: Introducing the Life Model DVD* & THRIVE at Home online course.
-The Complete Guide to Living with Men book by Dr. Jim Wilder
-Share Immanuel booklet by Coursey and Wilder

*Although each person needs to finish the online courses individually, you can share the DVD teachings to save money.

Thrive: Track 2

Track Two preparation
1) The Complete Guide to Living with Men book by Dr. Jim Wilder

2) The Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel, or Parenting From The Inside Out by Siegel & Hartzell (Parenting is an easier read)

3) Basic THRIVE Skills, Mastering Joy and Rest 52-week skill guide

4) Return to Joy: Track Two DVD Lecture Series & THRIVE at Home online course. (DVD Lectures Series purchased separately)

5) Return to Joy: THRIVE @ Home Online Course. (Included with registration price.)

Recommended (but optional) preparation
-JIMTalks: Volume 24 by Dr. Jim Wilder

Note: You will be asked to show your completed Basic THRIVE Skills, Mastering Joy and Rest skill guide if you want a certificate of attendance.

Siegel books are available through www.amazon.com
The rest of these materials are available through the Life Model Website

Thrive: Track 3

Track Three preparation
1) Joy Starts Here: The Transformation Zone book by Wilder, Khouri, Coursey, and Sutton

2) Intermediate THRIVE Skills, Mastering Returning to Joy 52-week skill guide

3) Applied Strategy: Track Three DVD Lecture Series (DVD Lectures Series purchased separately)

4) Applied Strategy: Thrive @ Home Online Course. (Included with registration price.)

Recommended (but optional) reading
-Outsmarting Yourself book by Karl Lehman, M.D.
-The Anxious Organization book by Jeffrey A. Miller

Note: You will be required to show your completed Skill Guide in order to participate in all training exercises and receive a certificate of attendance.

Siegel's and Miller's books are available through www.amazon.com
Wilder's materials and Skill Guides are available through the Life Model Website

Attention:  A Life Model Works staff member may call to verify that you are prepared for the training. This telephone call is to ensure your Thrive Training will be a blessing rather than overwhelming and/or too strenuous. We may check your resources as well.


Thrive Training, February 26 - March 2, 2018

Learn More



Thrive Training, July 30 - Aug. 3, 2018



Hope College

141 E. 12th St.
Holland, MI 49423



Lodging will be available onsite at the Haworth Inn & Conference Center. Reservations need to be made by phone at 616-395-7200.

Mention THRIVE for discounted pricing for the reduced rate of $129 per night Sunday – Thursday nights and $169 per night Friday or Saturday nights. This hotel room block expires June 20th, so register before June 20th to secure this special rate.


Gerald R. Ford International Airport is 45 minutes from Hope College. Hope College offers a shuttle for hire.

Registration Details

Registration includes lunch and afternoon snack for each training day. (Breakfast is included in your hotel room reservation)
Early Registration Deadline – Thursday, May 31st, 2018 (Save $25/person with Early Registration)
Final Registration Deadline Track 1 & 2 – Thursday, June 28th, 2018
Final Registration Deadline True Identity - Thursday, July 19, 2018

Full payment must accompany your registration unless you make credit card or payment plan arrangements with Jen Coursey at 866-420-2403. Except in the case of an Act of God, all payments will be refunded after June 28th, 2018 in case of cancellation of THRIVE.

Refund Policy

Before June 14 - 100%
June 14 – June 28th - 50%
After June 28th - 0%


Registration & orientation time begins Sunday evening
from 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Monday thru Friday
Breakfast 7:30am – 8:30am
Sessions 8:30am – 11:45am
Lunch 11:45am – 1:15pm
Sessions 1:15pm – 5:15pm


True Identity
Individual: $800
Track 1
Bonded Pair: $1,475
Individual: $825
(Includes Thrive @ Home Online Courses) 
Track 2
Bonded Pair: $1,400
Individual: $825
(Includes Thrive @ Home Online Courses)
Track 3
Bonded Pair: $1,400
Individual: $825
(Includes Thrive @ Home Online Courses)

Bring a new bonded pair to Thrive and receive a $75 discount off your registration price!


Got questions about Thrive Training?

Visit our customer service contact page and fill out the short form and one of the Thrive team members will get in touch with you.