ATHENA - If an individual, business or organization needs to change its thinking, Larry Nye thinks his company can help.

Nye is owner-manager of Joseph's Principles, an Athena firm comprising five former counselors at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution. They employ the curriculum they used successfully in prison to change inmates' thinking to help individuals and groups work through problems.

"We're a 'thinking change' organization," said Nye, adding that his company promotes the products of Gordon Graham & Co., a nationwide firm. Graham is known for developing self-improvement programs for youth and adults such as "Breaking Barriers," "A Framework for Change 2000+" and "On Solid Ground."

Joseph's Principles normally offers the program in 2 1/2-day or 20-hour seminars, plus a half-dozen follow-up sessions and site visits, if a business is the client. More comprehensive classes also are available. Fees generally are negotiated, Nye said.

Jim Schroeder, a general building contractor, and his wife, Becky, the office manager for their business, took "Breaking Barriers," which he described as similar to a college course with about nine three-hour sessions.

"In business we get stuck inside of a box," Schroeder said, adding that he had allowed himself to be influenced by others' thinking.

He said the seminars "opened my eyes to resources that were right in front of me, and to ways of thinking that I had ingrained in myself that were a bad practice. I had some fouled thinking."

Schroeder also said the seminars have given him a new outlook.

"You've got to be excited about your business," he said. "I was beginning to convince myself that I didn't like the contracting business. I wasn't able to think outside the box."

Joseph's Principles may be contacted by calling Nye at 566-3938 or via e-mail, larrynye@uci.net.

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