Four Foundational Philosophies & Practices

Resilience & Developmental Assets 
Over the past 30 years, resilience research has identified several key protective factors that moderate the relationship between risk factors and undesirable outcomes. Known as Developmental Assets* these protective factors are: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies and positive identity.  
If these factors have not been developed, the person is more at risk for dangerous behavior. Resilience and healthy development can be nurtured by providing and building these useful factors through intentional programming.
*The Search Institute 

Healing Broken Circles creates experiences, programs, courses, training and other formal and informal occasions through which people can acquire the necessary resources to succeed.

The most noticeable change for me has been the increase in my self-awareness, self-confidence and self-worth. I have the capacity to learn, adapt and evolve so there is no challenge that I cannot overcome.   —Todd S.

Shared Values of the Circle of Courage

Integrating the best of Western educational thought with the

wisdom of indigenous cultures and emerging research, The Circle of Courage is composed of four elements, all of which must be present and intact for a person to be secure, confident and pro-social. When one or more is lacking, our circles are broken. The result can be dysfunction, emotional trauma, unhealthy behavior, disrespectful and hurtful acting out, lawlessness and anti-social behavior.

The work of Healing Broken Circles is to provide room, be it literal, or in the head or heart, so that people can heal their circles and learn more about themselves and the world. 


Belonging (Attachment) — establish trusting connections

“We are .. wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we …. break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others.” Brene Brown
Mastery (Achievement) — solve problems and meet goals

“Dude, sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.” Jake the Dog

Independence (Autonomy) — build self control and responsibility
“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”  Rumi
Generosity (Altruism) — show respect and concern
Her doll broke. I don’t know how to fix dolls, I just helped her cry.” A fourth grade girl comforting a friend

Trauma-Responsive Approach

Longitudinal research has solidified the link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and poor outcomes later in life, including an increased risk for both victimization and incarceration. While a great deal of focus is on prevention and interventions in childhood, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has outlined specific ACEs remedies, as well as a set of key principles necessary for a trauma-informed approach.


At HBC, we develop our programming in partnership with the population we serve. Because of this, our work is uniquely responsive to the needs of our population. For over a decade, we have been implementing the principles and remedies now recommended by the HHS. 


Principles: Safety, Trustworthiness, Peer support, Collaboration and mutuality, Empowerment: voice and choice, Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues.

Remedies: create safe-haven, develop supportive community, practice self-regulation, "jump-start" interrupted personal development, recognize traumatic stressors, de-stigmatize, understand brain plasticity, create opportunites for positive self-identity, therapeutic practice and to engage with wider community in a pro-social and a supportive manner. 

Healing Broken Circles creates respectful and restorative environments where people can heal their circles.

Healing Broken Circles recognizes signs and symptoms of trauma and responds with proven pathways to recovery.  

Before getting involved with HBC I didn't realize how separated from other people and society I was. Having the opportunity to reconnect with the community and to not be so isolated is the biggest change in me. You can get lost in here very easily. Having people there to light the path so you can find your way back is a comfort. —Andrew B.

The fatherhood project is what I needed so I could have confidence to reconnect with my son. I never would have been able to talk so good to his mother without the skills I have learned.  —Tyler P 

Because of  HBC, I have been able to actually use the talents I have. But more importantly I have been nudged to stretch my capabilities. I didn't know I could do a decent job with event planning or emceeing events. I found out I can hold my own in a discussion with university professors. . . and, I can still mop a mean floor. —Wayne

When they found out I couldn’t read, they jumped right in to help me. Now I am set up with someone who is my coach and is helping me with this. I will know how to read by summer, I promise. —Darryl H

I feel safe in Lifeline, so I can learn better. —T.S.

Strength-Based Programming

At the foundation of the strength-based approach is the belief that people have unique talents, skills and life events, in addition to specific unmet needs, and that insight into strengths allows for partnerships that develop interventions to nurture growth and change. Rather than focusing on weaknesses or deficits then, strength-based practitioners collaborate with participants to discover strengths and talents and to build on them.



Healing Broken Circles uses an approach based on positive attitudes about people’s dignity, capacities, rights, uniqueness and commonalities. Our work is to provide people with programs based on personal integrity, courage, empowerment and respect.

© 2017 Healing Broken Circles, Inc.