50th Anniversary Messages

Gordon Training International is 50!? It’s a milestone for sure. And in this day and age, it’s not often you hear of an organization lasting this long. We think we have because of the incredibly profound effect it has on people’s lives.

Here is a video we made with greetings from people from around the world for GTI’s anniversary:


Below are messages that were sent to us from Gordon Model instructors from around the world in honor of our anniversary.

P.E.T. was a life saver for me as a young mother of two toddlers and a new baby in 1978. I was seeking a way to raise and parent my precious children that was very different from my own childhood experiences.

P.E.T. was totally aligned with my desires and values for child rearing. So it was a perfect match. In a way, Tom Gordon became my substitute dad guiding me in my parenting. Becoming a P.E.T. and later an E.T.W. instructor helped to learn and integrate the model.

After all these years, I still really enjoy teaching Be Your Best and seeing the transformation that happens in participants lives.

Thank you, Linda, for your contribution to the Gordon model; it has enhanced the skills and concepts, in my opinion. – P.E.T. Instructor, Australia

“It is impossible to express briefly all the emotions that we both feel due to the honor of dissemination of the Gordon Model in Poland as the GTI representatives. We feel happiness, joy, gratitude, respect, peace, confidence, etc.

We are happy to be the ones who introduce Gordon programs to our country.

We feel happy that we can teach the No-Lose strategy to parents, teachers, children, teenagers and others in order to fill their hearts and minds with peace.

We are happy “to live by Gordon” in our family.

Thank You Thomas, thank You Linda, Michelle, Steven and everybody in the world who contributes to spread the Gordon idea. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” – P.E.T., T.E.T., and Y.E.T. Representative, Poland

“You (Gordon Training) have planted the seed of something very special in my heart and in my brain. It is one of my aims of my life to carry on this special way to as many people as possible.  Years ago your (Gordon) Model was very, very important for the relationship to my wife. Now it is important for our three children and in a few weeks I will start to train about hundred people in our company. I am convinced that many colleagues will change their way to communicate and have relationships. For all your books and the various effectiveness trainings I will say, thank you!” – Gordon Trainer, Austria

“The task today on us is greater than ever, we have to prove that it wasn’t just ‘Tom’s idea’, but a new philosophy, an unstoppable movement in personal relations sparked by Tom. I will continue to help to complete ours.” – L.E.T. Trainer, Hungary

“I trained as a Be Your Best and P.E.T. Instructor some years ago. Using the Gordon Model skills has made an enormous difference to me in both my family and work environment.  l am so much better able to help others with their issues, my patients, their families, and my children in particular.Together with other colleagues, we used the Gordon Model as a guide to help introduce a communication course for health professionals in our hospital. Over 200 hundred staff including doctors, nurses , radiation therapists and others have done the program . This has been very well received, and certainly has made a difference to our hospital.” – P.E.T. and Be Your Best Instructor, Australia

“All of you at the Gordon Institute have been my greatest inspiration for which I am forever grateful. I think that one of the best things I have done in my professional life is to learn Effectiveness Training [Gordon Model].” – P.E.T. Instructor, Iceland

“Because of the Gordon Model I have learned, I have improved all of the relationships in my life – and, of course, I therefore feel better about myself, too. On top of that, because of teaching your courses and seeing people change their lives, I gained enough confidence in myself to go back to college and finally graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Now I am working on a Master’s Degree in counseling psychology at the University of San Francisco and I know that I am driving my classmates crazy because I am continuously saying things like, ‘one of the things that I learned from the Gordon Model is ….’ or ‘l learned this from model ….’ or ‘The model taught me this ….’ They are tired of hearing about the ‘model’ and I don’t care. Your programs have taught me so much and changed my life and improved my life in so many ways that I just have to say your name and acknowledge you as the source of my insights every time that it is true – which is a lot. lf I wrote you a ‘Thank You’ letter everyday for the next year, it would not be enough. Gordon Training, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For all that you have done for the people of this planet — and for me, because l, too, am one of those persons who has been fortunate enough to be touched by your model . THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! A million times THANK YOU!” – P.E.T. Instructor, USA

“We can thank God for Dr. Gordon and the teachings that will live on forever. The Gordon Model makes this world a better place.” – L.E.T. Trainer, USA

“As an educator, I would never have been motivated to achieve what I have without the impetus of the practical yet highly spiritual power and the organization of truths that Thomas Gordon and Gordon Training offers. Personally, I think he earned the Nobel Peace Prize recognition as having done more than anyone else in promoting equality and peace since Mahatma Gandhi. God bless you all for what you do for the world!” – P.E.T. Instructor, USA

“Apart from my faith and belief system, the Gordon Model has been the major influence and influencer in my life. Dr. Gordon’s creative genius not only affected my personal life, he informed my priesthood and my priestly practice as well. The Gordon Model concepts are the basis for sound communication in my married life. I could not have survived in marriage without the principles and processes he so clearly enunciated.” – P.E.T. Instructor, New Zealand

“All that you have shared with me and the world has had a profound effect on my life and on our family. Without the gift of the Gordon Model, our family would not be what it is today. ln fact, without it, my wife and I would not be getting ready to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary!  The world is a better place.” – P.E.T. Master Trainer, USA

“When I came to know your special skills, I was a very busy and committed mother of three little daughters, a wife lacking time, a busy housewife and a hard-trying and well-doing teacher. I somehow managed to get round with all my ‘duties’ but didn’t know how to rewind-or fill up my energy. I was just giving at that time not knowing how to ‘recover’ emotionally. Then my husband had the idea of attending a P.E.T. class together and it was the best thing that could happen to us, me, our family, my friends and my students. Now I am still a busy mother, wife, housewife and teacher but things have changed a lot to the better. Things don’t tear me apart any more. I know when to say ‘No’, how to regain energy, how to speak to my children when they are up in arms, how to handle my students so to have them work voluntarily and the magic is this:  The spirit of your skills has spread and is spreading.  I do laugh deeply in my heart when my daughters handle each other and their friends GORDONWISE without having attended a course. And I do enjoy the fact that there is hardly any ‘misunderstanding’ between me and my husband because we know about the things that help relationships grow and grow and grow.  The best thing is: it works. Thank you for enlightening my life that much.” – P.E.T. Graduate, Germany

“Your work has touched the lives of thousands of people in our country alone. For me personally it brought up thoughts of how much I and my family owe Tom and the Gordon Model. I spent most of my childhood in boarding schools and realized after we had our first child how ill-equipped I was for the most important job of my life. There are few things that have touched my life either personally or professionally as profoundly as Tom’s ideas.  The world is a better place because of the Gordon Model.” – P.E.T. Trainer, Australia

“Through Tom’s and your (Gordon Training’s) inspiration, we in turn have been empowered and motivated to share his message for peaceful and enriched relationships to many, many thousands of people here in this country. Tom’s wonderful and precious gifts have rippled their benefits through this country for more than a quarter of a century. I believe his legacy is to have been the architect of peaceful, loving methods of communication for all and especially families. What he has designed and created will continue to enrich the lives of children not even born as yet.” – P.E.T. Trainer, The Netherlands

“The Gordons lived above us in an Army barracks on the University of Chicago campus. We all had small babies and cocker spaniels. We bred them and produced puppies which we sold to make money for our holidays. When I got my Master’s degree with Carl Rogers, Tom was my supervisor and friend. I became a family therapist and a P.E.T. Instructor and established my private practice by teaching P.E.T. classes.  I have taught the course to many groups of couples and still am teaching the P.E.T. skills.  The hundreds of people I’ve taught helped transform my own life and my relationships. I have a P.E.T. Instructor as a daughter and they run their school 3, 4, 5, year olds using the skills.  SO my life has been so greatly enriched by the unique and wonderful contributions that Tom and the Gordon Model have made.” – P.E.T. Instructor, USA

“The Parent Effectiveness Training course has been one of the most important and helpful things in my life. The principles have proved to be the most sound and reliable in my parenting and all my other relationships. I grew up in a family who spoke aggressively and argued with each other all the time. I was desperate to learn a better way of parenting and relating to others. Of all the books I read P.E.T. was obviously the one that would help most. I am now a P.E.T. Instructor and the more I deliver the course the more my own skills improve and the more it becomes clear that it is a wonderful course. All my clients find it helpful from the very beginning. I am enormously grateful to Tom Gordon for your (GTI) work.” – P.E.T. Instructor, Australia

“I have dedicated the major part of my career to teaching Parent Effectiveness Training, Leader Effectiveness Training, Teacher Effectiveness Training, and Youth Effectiveness Training. I had my most rewarding professional experiences teaching to parents how to reach out to their children and entertain the relationship they deeply desire. I have used so very often this model to know what was going on in my relationships and the skill to improve them. I discovered your creative work–courses for parents, teachers, etc.–when I was studying for my Master’s degree in human behavior at USIU. In the 24-hour P.E.T. course, I learned more than in my whole program. Or maybe I discovered what made sense in all the courses I had taken. Then I knew, when and how to listen, when and how to assert myself and when and how to come to an agreement. Dr. Gordon is one of the major figures of humanistic psychology as he was interested more in health than pathology and he studied and taught about the most crucial experience in everybody’s life relationships. Tom gave away to the people concepts and skills that were, up to him, reserved to professionals. He turned these into concrete, practical, daily use oriented learning activities. He designed courses that anybody could take at night and use the following morning at the breakfast table. He trained a group of professionals and community workers who act as trainers, bringing the good news – Yes! There is another way and you can learn and apply it in your personal and professional life – to rich and poor neighborhoods, on all the continents.” – P.E.T. Instructor, Canada

“Most of my close relationships are warm, loving and joyful. My interactions with children are usually beyond all expectations and happily mutually satisfying. I owe this to me.  That is the quintessential gift that the Gordon Model gives me–myself as I really want to be, and the ability to know others as they really are.  Thank you for the skills to find and respect myself and others.” – P.E.T. Master Trainer, USA

“All that you have shared with me and the world has had a profound effect on my life and on our family. Without the gift of the Gordon Model, our family would not be what it is today. ln fact, without it, my wife and I would not be getting ready to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary!  The world is a better place.” – P.E.T. Master Trainer, USA

“Dr. Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training course has been the most helpful thing I have ever learned. Millions of people can be grateful to him for his work which has made their lives and relationships so much better than they would have been without it.” – P.E.T. Instructor, Australia

“I have no counseling qualifications, except my dedication to, and use of, the P.E.T. skills. I believe I have helped many, many people – by just describing how to listen to their children, to try putting themselves in their child’s shoes. This can be a real shift in thinking for these parents, and they often seem very grateful. I recommend the e-book from your website often!  ln fact, the whole service for whom I work has a similar attitude – respectful parenting, without punishment. This is another way your philosophies are permeating our world – all for the benefit of the family.  So many people, so many children, so many families – we have made such positive changes in our lives – thanks to you at GTI!” – P.E.T. Instructor, Australia

“It was 1974, I was a young mother beginning to act out on my child the things that had been done to me and that I always said I wouldn’t do to my child. Suddenly I was given a way to speak from my heart without hurting others, and to keep an ethical connection as well as a heart connection with the most precious person in my life, my son. Suddenly the light went on in my head that children are people and that they need the same things that all of us need–respect, attention, real dialogue. My child thus benefited from Tom Gordon’s wisdom, and my open and profound relationship with this child pierced my whole life and transformed everything. Tom Gordon’s work is part of what will save the world.  It is a deceptively simple model that takes a lifetime of practice—I am still working on it. Those of us in the first generation, stumbling along with our l-Messages and Active Listening and awkward attempts to hang in there to a resolution in conflicts, have already produced a second generation for whom this whole model comes naturally. How wonderful it will be when everyone can know in their bones from their earliest experience that they are cherished, respected, welcome, and heard.  Thank you, Thomas Gordon and Gordon Training. You are one of my “chosen ancestors”—those who light my life by your example.” – P.E.T. Graduate, USA

“The cynics told me that my dream of a respectful relationship with the kids in the school was a pipe dream. It was ‘for the birds’. ‘Come down to earth’ they said. Then a psychologist from Columbia University mentioned in a lecture I attended that Tom Gordon’s ‘system’ was the best you could find. When I finally got to the USA in 1981, I knew I had found what I always desired. Since then, it has been one of the very major influences of my life, and I continue to teach and promote it. I must tell you about the fire and joy in the 6 participants in my workshop last week. They all agree that the philosophy is what most corresponds to their deepest heart. They just want to go out and spread it. And it is my desire now, more than ever, that the Gordon Model will be held in respect for what you have given people all over the world. They talk grandiose words about peace and staying away from drugs, but you have given them the tools to do it.” – P.E.T. Instructor, USA

“Your courses have given thousands of people specific skills to improve relationships and to build their own self esteem so that they are able to enjoy being who they are and enjoy others for who they are.” – P.E.T. Instructor, Australia

The ‘Gordon Model’ has changed my life and the lives of my family in many important ways. I also like to believe that we have been instruments in helping your ideas reach others. I hear many stories from participants in my classes about how people use the skills at work, but more importantly how they have used the model to improve their relationships and lives of home. Recently, I conducted an L.E.T. class for a group of supervisors and managers at a Sheriff’s Department in Vancouver, Washington. One of the participants was a woman with a teenage daughter. Their relationship had been very ‘rocky’ for sometime. On the last day of class, she told me this story. Her daughter asked her if she could have her tongue pierced. Mom said ‘No.’ The daughter became upset and defensive. Her mom said, ‘What I normally would have done is argue with her, lecture her, and defend my reasons for saying no. But, this time, because of the class, I chose to listen. I used the Active Listening technique that I had just learned.  My daughter was still angry and ran off to her room. I was a little disappointed. But, in a few minutes, she came out and sat beside me on the couch. She cuddled up (something she never does). She started to talk. She told me about stuff that was going on at school, how sometimes she didn’t like herself or the way she looked, how she wanted to be more popular, how she didn’t feel like she fit in. In other words, she told me she was a normal teenager going through normal teenage stuff. Again, I resisted the urge to lecture or to tell her how she ‘should’ feel.  I listened. At the end, she had given up on the idea of getting her tongue pierced. She knew I would still say no. But, she asked, ‘Can I dye my hair purple?’ I hugged her and said, ‘Yes! Three days ago, I could never have hoped that this conversation could possibly go so well.’

I hear many such stories. So, please take heart that we are all out here working to change the world, class by class, person by person. So, thank you for giving us the tools to make it happen.” – L.E.T. Master Trainer, Arizona, USA

We are up to a fresh new start with P.E.T in Bulgaria, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Gordon model. It is exciting, isnt’t it? Our great thanks to all the Gordon Training staff, Linda Adams, Steve Emmons, and Marcus Talvio for the rewarding, challenging and beneficial experience we have had with them during the P.E.T. instructor training and hard work together.

We believe that Gordon educational model is not a revolution, it is a revival of the universal human being skills, vitally essential nowadays it the world of crisis not only in economics but in human relationships also.

Happy Anniversary Gordon Training International. – P.E.T. Representative, Bulgaria

I’m so grateful that P.E.T., a truly excellent program called Oya-Gyo in Japanese, was created. It’s amazing it has been offered to the world for as long as 50 years. Unfortunately the world is still full of difficult issues; there are too many harried parents and children. It seems we have yet to learn to utilize the wisdom of P.E.T. Here in Japan our instructors have been working sincerely and energetically. Each one of us is just a drop of water but I hope we’ll make an ocean together. – P.E.T. Instructor, Japan

To 50 years of the still best and state of the art communication training and problem solving tools. – T.E.T. Representative, Switzerland

We celebrate great idea, a great founder, a great change in thinking and feeling, agreat new kind of relationship, agreat increasing of understanding, a great heartful community, a great appriciation to each other, a great celebration for us all, a great congratulation! – P.E.T. Representative, Austria

50 years ago the world was a different place. It is so hard to imagine that it was a world of nuclear conflict, Cold War, colonies, segregation, lack of human rights, and so on. It was a world or power.

Assertiveness, cooperation, respect of needs, win-win was the language of the week. The world was yet to realize, that the world of power was beginning to end. It is only in the present that we realize how much courage it took to challenge the ruling disciplines, values, to question the existing paradigms.

It was through 50 years of persistent modeling of partnership that brought us to being witnesses to the current expansion of freedom. We watch dictatorships fall, new partnerships emerge. The world has become a better place.

Thank you, Tom, for starting it. Thank you L.E.T., P.E.T., T.E.T and other communities for expanding it, GTI for carrying it, for creating a platform for learning and sharing it. Isn’t it great to be part of making a new world? I love every bit of it. – L.E.T. Licensee, Hungary

On the occasion of the P.E.T. 50th anniversary, I on behalf of all the members of P.E.T. China and also my own name, would love to extend our sincere thanks to Gordon Training International.

I feel really blessed to introduce P.E.T. to China. I am truly very grateful to Dr. Thomas Gordon that created this effective communication system. Many families benefit more having happiness and harmony, and between the people benefit more having love and respect.

Also I’m very grateful for the support to P.E.T. China by Linda and Michelle and Steve and Mel. The mission of the members of P.E.T. China is to take the leading in becoming the effective parents for a hundred million Chinese. The members of P.E.T. China will move forward towards the goal to spread PET idea throughout China. – P.E.T., T.E.T., Y.E.T. Representative and L.E.T. Licensee, China

In Romania many parents still believe that beating a child is a gift from heaven and they raise their children consequently. Sad, but true!

Still, teaching Parent Effectiveness Training we were lucky to work with parents who believe that LOVE and COMMUNICATION are torn from heaven. And we were happy to see that these parents are prepared to treat their children as persons with independent will and personal needs, not as string puppets who are supposed to be silent and obedient.

There were times, many times, when it was difficult even for these loving parents to understand how to deal with anger and resolve conflicts so that no one loses. We worked together with paper and pen. And with lots of patience. And we played just as children do and we practiced the skills together. And then again they practiced the skills home together with their children. And in the end they laughed and said that from that point on their relation with their children are so very different, so very much improved and satisfying.

So, we are happy to be able to make a difference in the world with Gordon model! Make a difference in those families’ lives and among the parents who still believe that beat and punishment are torn from heaven. Yes, we are happy! – P.E.T. Representaive, Romania

NAMA Chemicals in Saudi Arabia decided some years ago to became a learning organization (as per Peter Senge). NAMA created a process called AMAN (which is the mirror writing of NAMA) and which targets to see the company from inside out – through the eyes of the employees. The backbone of this program became the slogan: NAMA wants to become a learning organization – and a learning organization is a listening organization. What better approach to become a listening organization than using the active listening in the L.E.T.? That is what NAMA did. Over 200 employees have participated and finally NAMA has translated the L.E.T. workbook into Arabic to assure that also the non English speaking employees can take advantage of the benefits which the L.E.T. brings to all its participants. – L.E.T. Licensee, Saudi Arabia

By serving the Gordon model, I get immense pleasure and satisfaction not only from my involvement in teaching it, but more so from the daily positive responses and feedback I get from enthused parents. They feel the workshop has changed their life with more rewarding relationships, less tension and when problems occur, these are solved in an effective, fast and responsible manner. It is really an honour and a pleasure to be part of an effort that is striving to make the world a better place. – P.E.T., T.E.T. Representative and L.E.T. Licensee Greece

Congratulations GTI! 50 years is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the extraordinary inspiration of Dr Thomas Gordon in creating such a timeless method of effective communications. I have been a proud Australian P.E.T. instructor for 35 years and more recently an Australian National Instructor. I never tire of sharing this wonderful method when I hear and see the results of parents and children’s lives changing for the best. The skills have been a compass for my personal relationships and loving peaceful relationships the outcome with my husband and two wonderful sons. The ripple effect of Dr Thomas Gordon’s insight is incalculable and I feel so blessed for now and reassured for the future of increasing world peace because of GTI. – P.E.T. Representative, Australia

P.E.T. – The single biggest ‘AHA’ moment in my life.

P.E.T. – I can’t remember life before it, and dread to think how it would have been without it. Actually , I do remember encouraging one of my kids to hit the other one, so goodness knows where that would have ended.!

P.E.T. has enabled me to create the family and relationships I’d dreamed of, which I wasn’t managing on my own. – A family where we can be secure in the knowledge that it’s ok to be open and honest, and we will be heard and respected.It not only gives invaluable information and powerful skills, but crucially a structure, so I know what I’m supposed to be doing, even if it’s hard!

P.E.T. – Learning it has been invaluable, passing it on is sometimes hard, but always a privilege. – P.E.T. Representative, United Kingdom

Second Wind Co., Ltd. (established in March 2004) went into a licensing agreement with GTI in April 2005 to market L.E.T. and its associated business workshops in Japan. Since then, we have trained about 700 business professionals throughout Japan. We believe that the Gordon Model is a powerful tool not only in business situations, but in all situations, and we receive very positive feedbacks after each and every L.E.T. workshop.- L.E.T. Licensee, Japan

The Center for Continuing Education of Adults (CEPA) was established at the initiative of MIC Estelle Fontaine, a nun from Canada. Since 1978, she has taught PET throughout the country. The nuns and priests were the first to benefit from these courses on Interpersonal Communication.

On 28 April 1990 “World Day of Communication”, the first CIP course for the general public was organized. At the end of that first session, a few people got together and created the association CEPA. Today, that center is part of the works of the Sisters MIC. Since then the center has continued to teach this course as the representative of GTI in Madagascar.

From 1978 to 2011, three hundred ten (310) interpersonal communication sessions have been held. 7502 people were directly involved in training. Assessments are a part of the program after each training. The following stories illustrate some of that appreciation:

“I have applied the techniques and methods with my children. They are happy and have told me how lucky they are to have a mother like me who is understanding and communicative ”

“At work, active listening and working with resistance helped me a lot. It helped me to find the behavior to push my team to perform better and especially to encourage them with what they do. Our yields are increasing and our relationship is better. ”

“At first it is difficult to apply the CIP communication techniques. But as with any change, you first have to practice every day to get used to it and then teach your colleagues on new ways of speaking and addressing difficult situations. People are surprised that little by little things work. It is a question of will and perseverance ”

For over 30 years, CEPA provides training on the CIP and this year 2012 applications haven’t lessened. Much remains to be done, especially at a time when misunderstanding and intolerance is at its peak, where the social and political crises destroy the bonds at the expense of the person-centered values. – P.E.T. Representative, Madagascar

This year you are celebrating 50 years of Effectiveness Training and Gordon Training International. It was Easter 1979 when I met Thomas Gordon for the forst time, 33 years ago. I remember our meeting vividly. He told me about the beginning of his courses for parents in 1962. Also how he engaged Dorothy Briggs at his first Instructor. In the course of time I had many chances to meet Tom and exchange experiences and knowledge.

As it was Tom who started it all, I am congratulating him in the first place. And secondly I congratulate you, Linda, and your team for continuing so effectively what Tom started after he went along.

I am wishing you equal success for the next 50 years! – P.E.T. Representative, German-speaking Switzerland