Positive Action’s Trauma-Specific Intervention generally recognize the following:
Positive Action addresses a survivor’s need to be respected, informed, connected and hopeful throughout the entire program. Teachers teach lessons on respect and everyone practices and reinforces respect with the climate activities throughout the day.
There are multiple built-in opportunities through committees and the materials for information to pass within the whole system of the school, family and community.
The whole program connects everyone with consistency and integration at every level while putting the student at the center. Daily lessons and climate activities establish and reinforce connections through the whole system. The second part of the philosophy addresses hope by suggesting that there is a positive way to do everything. Sometimes you cannot control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. Knowing this instills hope in survivors for their own recovery.
The interrelation between trauma and symptoms of trauma such as substance abuse, eating disorders, depression and anxiety. Positive Action has outcomes in all of these areas from randomized-controlled trials that demonstrate that the program addresses the interrelation among these problem behaviors to assist survivors and others.
The need to work in a collaborative way with survivors, family, friends, of the survivor and other human agencies in a manner that will empower survivors and consumers.
Positive Action is a system that provides tools that enable and promote collaboration with everyone at school, home and in the community to empower the survivor as well as all those surrounding the survivor to provide the best possible support.
SAMHSA’S Six Key Principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach align with Positive Action:
With the implementation of Positive Action, all students are learning positive actions and are having them reinforced school-wide, which creates a positive environment that is safe, welcoming and supportive. The program extends to the family and community. The tools organize and integrate schools, families and communities at every level to create a coherent, consistent approach to providing safety to everyone.
When everyone is aware that the focus is on positivity, trustworthiness and transparency prevail.
Peers support each other as they learn more about positive actions in their relationships with others. They learn that treating others the way they like to be treated is the best way to develop quality relationships and that means supporting one another with kindness, compassion, empathy, and other supportive gestures for everyone, including survivors of trauma. It becomes a climate of positive peer support.
The content and the tools support collaboration and mutuality with the universal content, which is present in all the tools and creates a common language and shared goals—mutuality—at school, home and in the community. Positive Action also builds collaboration and mutuality into the tools to assure that these important interactions happen in a harmonious manner.
Positive Action’s slogan is “Empower Greatness.” The whole program is about empowerment by understanding how we work as human beings—that we feel good about ourselves when we do positive actions and by knowing the positive actions for our whole self: physical, intellectual, social and emotional. The tools provide many opportunities to hear everyone’s voice, including the survivor, through the lessons, the activities for school-wide climate development, family and community activities.
Positive Action promotes choice at a very fundamental level—whether to do positive or negative actions. It teaches the Thoughts-Actions-Feelings about Self Circle, which depicts the philosophy by illustrating how thoughts lead to actions and actions to feelings about yourself and back to thoughts. The Circle can be positive or negative. Positive Action brings to a conscious level making choices for positive or negative and the implications for those choices.
Positive Action has a universal philosophy and a comprehensive suite of tools. The tools are complete with lessons and activities and all the materials needed to support them, but Positive Action recommends that they be adapted to fit the needs and goals of the individual, school, family and community.
Each toolkit lesson manual has explicit directions on how to adapt the lessons and activities, but they can also be found in the Guide to Succeeding with Positive Action. The guidelines address numerous areas including cultural, historical and gender as well as how to adapt the materials for use with the different Tiers 1–3. Adaptations provide for general to very specific applications of the tools depending on the needs and goals.