The CSS Framework® is built on multiple well-established theories and principles:
- CR-Psychosocial Development
- CR-Cognitive Behavior Theory
- CR-Problem-Solving Theory
- CR-Narrative Counseling
- Ecological Systems Theory
- Strengths-Based Approach
- Multicultural Counseling Theory
- Social Justice Counseling
- Triadic Body/Mind/Spirit
- Social Learning Theory
Several of the theories within this multitheoretical framework share conceptual similarities that transcend theoretical bounds, they explain and conceptualize human behavior as occurring within and across social contexts.
Several other theories such as cognitive behavior therapy and problem-solving therapy are widely used across settings; while many of the techniques are scalable and generalizable and thus creating accessibility.
In designing the CSS Framework® our singular focus and attention was to ensure that we utilized theories that were adaptable to diverse cultural contexts and made room for individuals’ history, and their contemporary lived experiences.
2. Social Emotional Competencies
Social-emotional competence is a person’s ability to Recognize, Understand, Manage, Express and Reflect upon the social and emotional aspects of their life in ways that enable them to successfully relate to themselves and others. Being socially emotionally competent helps people to effectively navigate through life and its challenges while living, learning, working and loving.
There are five core social-emotional competencies that the CSS Framework® utilizes: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Management and Responsible Decision-Making Skills.
3. Social Determinants
The social determinants of mental health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age. These include the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life such as economic policies, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems.
Positive social determinants are necessary for developing the social-emotional competencies. Many common mental health disorders have risk factors that are strongly associated with various social inequalities.
4. Triadic Wellness Principles (body/mind/spirit)
Wellness is a choice of lifestyle marked by a balance of mind, body, and spirit. The CSS Framework® emphasizes balance within ourselves and in our relationships. Physical health(body), Mental health (Mind) and Spiritual health (Spirit) are all integral to living a balanced and healthy life. For example, we believe that your thoughts are at the foundation of how we interact with others, what we believe about others and situations and our feelings about self, others and situations.
5. Levels of Engagement
The level of engagement refers to the “who-client” of the CSS Framework®. The individual, the family, the school, diverse work settings or the community – all of these can beat one point or another, “ the client.” The GCSCORED personnel delivering the intervention engage with “the client” and operationalize the CSS® goals.
6. RUMERTIME Process®
The RUMERTIME Process® is a five-step culturally-responsive, social-emotional problem-solving process that helps individuals move from a position of intra- and interpersonal imbalance to balance and from unconscious living to conscious living.
Through the utilization of the RUMERTIME Process®, individuals develop the skills to Recognize, Understand, Manage, Express and Reflect on the social and emotional aspects of their lives so that they can successfully relate to self, others and situations as they grow and develop.
RUMERTIME® is an acronym and as individuals we rumerize all day, everyday, however, most of our waking hours we spend in a state of unconscious living. We operate on autopilot.
The process of rumerizing is not only relegated to the occurrence of negative events, we can and should rumerize when we have positive experiences as well. Remember the goal is to live consciously, be present in each moment, and show up for yourself. For example, when you have a positive experience and helpful emotions are evoked, we encourage you to pay attention to your Thoughts, Interactions, Mindsets, and Emotions(TIME) surrounding that positive experience, learn from it and grow from it, so that we can have many more of these experiences. The more positive experiences we have, the less space there is for negative experiences.
On the other hand, when we experience negative circumstances, negative thoughts are activated, which in turn activates harmful behaviors and beliefs. Then, because feelings are controlled by our thoughts and mindsets, they are like indicators or check engine lights, they signal to us what our thoughts and mindsets are about the particular circumstance.
We can interrupt this pattern of negative thinking and believing as we Recognize, Understand, Manage, Express, and Reflect on our Thoughts, Interactions, Mindsets, and Emotions as they relate to the triggering event.
The CSS Framework® is based on an agricultural metaphor. As we developed this framework the words chosen were very Intentional, such as the word Cultivating, which means to develop, grow, refine, tend, nurture, promote, advance, nourish and propagate. These verbs that define cultivating gives the understanding that there is some long-term work involved in this process. Then the acronym, SEEDS means Social Emotional Education in Diverse Settings. SEEDS corresponds to the five core social emotional competencies. For example, the soil and essential growth elements in the plant world are the metaphorical equivalent of the social determinants of human development.
Words matter. Agriculture does not have any inherent biases, and its language is accessible to a wide range of people without regard to gender, race, age and physical ability.
Here’s an excerpt of the table of the working definitions of the CSS Framework® and the agricultural definitions from which they were adapted.