The CSS® Framework is built on six well-established principles:
- Ecological Systems Theory
- Erikson’s eight-stage Psychosocial Life Span Development Model
- Strengths-Based Approach
- Social Learning Theory
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- Problem-Solving Therapy
The first four of these theories share some conceptual similarities that transcend theoretical bounds – they explain and conceptualize human behavior as occurring within and across social contexts.
The last two theories are cognitive behavior therapy and problem-solving therapy. These two approaches are widely used across settings and many of the techniques are scalable thus creating accessibility. They both focus on changing unhelpful patterns in cognition (thoughts and attitudes), behaviors and emotions so that the individual can develop personal coping strategies to solve current problems.
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 found 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” of the CSS® framework – the client. The individual, the family, the school, diverse work settings or the community – all of these can be the client. The person delivering the intervention engages with the client and operationalizes the CSS® goals, all at the appropriate level.
6. RUMERTIME® Process
The RUMERTIME® Process is a five-step 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 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 individuals RUMERize when a triggering event occurs in their life and activates negative thinking, behaving and feeling patterns.
Individuals interrupt this pattern of negativity as they:
- Recognize, Understand, Manage, Express, and Reflecton their
- Thoughts, Interactions, Mindsets, and Emotion as they relate to the event.
The CSS® Framework is based on an agricultural metaphor – SEEDS, 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.