Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life excerpt “Our Anger – Our Choice”

09/08/17 0

The Lionheart Foundation’s Power Source Program for At-Risk Youth is a trauma-informed, social-emotional learning program gives highly at-risk adolescents effective ways to acquire basic emotional literacy skills – the absence of which have been shown to be pivotal in emotional, academic and social difficulties and the presence of which serve as positive anchors in the present and into adulthood.  The centerpiece of the program is a book: Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life written by Robin Casarjian and Dr. Bethany Casarjian.  Below is an excerpt from the book. To learn more click here:  https://lionheart.org/youth_at_risk/the-power-source-program/

Our Anger, Our Choice

When you hold on to anger, it’s like saying to another person, “Here, you can have my power. Here, you can have my happiness. I’ll just give them to you.”  If you are angry at a person, imagine walking up to them and saying that.  Sound ridiculous?  Well, if you’re holding on to your anger, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Each time our anger is triggered, we have a choice.  We can throw gasoline on the fire by the things we tell ourselves.  Or we can choose to cool ourselves down with calming thoughts and anger management tools.  In the end, It’s a choice you make.  It’s a choice about real power.  Remember, anger sucks our energy and power away from us.  Nobody feels good walking around angry.  You might fool yourself into thinking you do.  But try feeling in charge of yourself for a while and you’ll never want to go back.



Program for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

09/08/17 0

In 2016, Lionheart created an unprecedented 14-session program, based on HOH – The Houses of Healing Self-study Course for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement was carried out, with great success, to 460 prisoners in three Supermax prisons in CA over the past year.

In solitary, there is usually no programming available and prisoners naturally degrade psychologically.  Research indicates that the prolonged isolation associated with solitary confinement adversely impacts individuals’ physical and mental health.  The HOH Self-study Course for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement  will not only offer a connection to the larger world with weekly mailings over a period of six months, but will also deliver a program shown to reduce depression, anxiety and anger, the psychological symptoms associated with solitary confinement, while bolstering emotional competency skills.

Effective rehabilitation programs offered to inmates are key to helping them manage the extreme circumstances they encounter in segregation, their successful reintegration into society while reducing incidents of recidivism. The HOH program for prisoners in solitary confinement fills an enormous gap in programming and has met with great success in CA prisons with 160+ men (to date) reporting dramatic changes and a significant reduction in the negative and potentially debilitating effects of isolation on their emotional and physical well-being.

To learn more about the Houses of Healing Program click here:  https://lionheart.org/prison/project/

Houses of Healing (Bulk Orders)

Houses of Healing Program for Prisoners in Solitary

24/07/17 0

Lionheart’s Houses of Healing Self-study Course for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement to SHUs (Special Housing Units – another name for solitary), offers social-emotional programming to prisoners who need it most.   In solitary there is usually no programming and prisoners naturally degrade psychologically. Lionheart created this unprecedented 14-session program – The Houses of Healing Self-study Program for Prisoners in Solitary (HOH SSP)- that has been piloted in three supermax prisons in CA over the past year with great success. Approximately 450 men in solitary voluntarily registered, reflecting the enormous need and desire for support. Of the 160 prisoner evaluations returned thus far, 100% indicated that they would recommend the program to others. The vast majority indicated having a greater sense of hopefulness, gaining practical skills to manage the intense stress of solitary, and gaining insights that are helping them heal from both the trauma of solitary and what is usually a trauma-impacted early life.  Lionheart is in the process of seeking further funding to expand the program in other states.

The Power Source Workbook Now Available

20/01/17 0

The Power Provides educators, clinicians and youth workers with a skill-based, ready-to-use program that requires minimal preparation or additional training. The Power Source Workbook blends reading from the Power Source book with proven change-promoting exercises and approaches. Circles based on a restorative justice model are used are used to process and guide participants through the material while mindfulnessbased exercises increase emotional regulation skills. Intended for each participant to keep his or her own copy. Can be used individually or in groups.  Read More:



New: Power Source Workbook Available in January 2017

30/12/16 0

The Power Source Workbook provides an engaging, practical, and tested resource to accompany the book Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life. This new addition to the Power Source programming family provides high-impact, evidence-based, social-emotional programming for adolescent students who have already demonstrated or who are vulnerable to risk-taking behaviors. The workbook exists in an easily delivered format, placing minimal planning or training requirements on staff. Carefully constructed to address the developmental tasks and challenges facing high-risk youth, the workbook focuses on increasing self-regulation capacities as well as increasing life and work readiness skills.  Contact: questions@lionheart.org

Power Source Parenting Course in Teen Living Center

16/12/16 0

Dr. Bethany Casarjian has just finished another class with young mothers at one of a number of teen living centers in Boston.  The class is based on Lionheart’s “Power Source Parenting Program”.  The young mothers participating in many of the classes, offered for Free, have demonstrated gains in parenting sensitivity and attunement, greater levels of parenting competence, increased levels of attachment to their children, greater levels of perceived support from their partners, and improved knowledge of parent/child roles.

Lionheart is committed to securing a loving start for children at risk and has donated more than 20,000 free copies of the book, Power Source Parenting: Growing Up Strong and Raising Healthy Kids, to thousands programs nationwide.

To learn more about Power Source Parenting follow the link below:  https://lionheart.org/youth/the_power_source_parenting_program/


What young mothers have to say:

“I learned how to actually bond with my daughter because we always had a little issue where she wouldn’t listen to me. And she’s starting to listen to me now. The sheets you guys give us on learning how to talk to them, hold them, play with them, look them in the eyes… like she likes that. She likes the attention.  My temper is just a bit off.  When she doesn’t do something, I get really angry. Like I don’t hit her, but I yell. And now I’ve learned how to talk to her.  Everyone liked this group. It was just helpful because we all have kids and we all have trouble handling them. It made it a lot easier.  I just want to say thank you. It really helped me with her.”   Tiffany 16 years old

“Power Source Parenting group really helped me out with punishment. It taught me a lot about how to deal with temper tantrums and so much more.  Its like I see parenting in another way now. I don’t want my baby going though what I went through. Like no love shown to me. I want to give him all the love I got.”
Ginny 17 years old

The Lionheart Foundation, Boston, MA





Houses of Healing Course for California Prisoners in Solitary

02/12/16 0

The Houses of Healing Self-study Course for prisoners in solitary/ segregation/ SHU.  The Lionheart Foundation started receiving registrations for the course on 5/29/16 from prisoners in the three CDCR prisons where the HOH Self-Study Course is being offered as part of the Innovative Grants Program in California. To date, 436 prisoners are participating in the Self-study course.  213 in Pelican Bay State Prison.  156 in CSP-Corcoran.  67 in California Correctional Institution. Lionheart continues to receive applications from prisoners.  Lionheart’s initial proposal indicated that we would take a maximum of 150 registrations (per prison) over the grant period – with a maximum of 50 (per prison) at any one time. Registrations have far surpassed this but Lionheart has accepted all registrations so as not to turn away anyone in solitary who might be motivated to use their time constructively. Hundreds of hours of volunteer time at the Lionheart office have contributed to making the delivery of this grant possible.

We have now received more than 80 evaluations from participants who have completed the course.  Feedback has been outstanding. A full report will be issued in late Spring, 2017.  

To learn more about Houses of Healing and Lionheart’s Prison Project:  https://lionheart.org/prison/project/


Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life for at-risk adolescents

02/12/16 0

Lionheart’s Power Source Program    brings an evidence-based, trauma-informed social and emotional learning (SEL) program to at-risk youth and young adults.

Through mindfulness-based practices and a powerful platform of cognitive-behavioral skill building, the Power Source Program is designed to reduce risk-taking behavior, help youth master the developmental tasks of adolescence and increase social and emotional competency.

Available resources include:

  • The Power Source book (available in English and Spanish)
  • The Power Source Videos
  • The Power Source Facilitator’s Manual

Coming soon:  The Power Source Workbook

– Over 100,000 copies of Power Source in distribution

– Research on Power Source has been supported by NIH

Also available, Power Source Parenting: Growing Up Strong and Raising Healthy Kids –

a social and emotional learning program for at-risk teen parents


The National Emotional Literacy Project for Youth-at- Risk is sponsored by The Lionheart Foundation

PO Box 170115   Boston   MA   02117   Tel  781-444-6667    Fax  781-444-6855    www.lionheart.org

Coming Soon: The Power Source Workbook

02/12/16 0

The Power Source Workbook

A Trauma-Informed, Social and Emotional Learning Program for Adolescents

Increasingly, research is confirming what most of us know intuitively — that it is our social and emotional competence such as understanding and managing our emotions, developing and sustaining healthy relationships, and creating and following through on goals that largely predicts the quality of our lives. Helping youth develop the social and emotional skills covered in this workbook is a major contributor in launching them toward trajectories of success and well-being. These skills not only impact adolescents physical and mental health, but their educational outcomes and work-place readiness as well. The good news is that these skills are not capacities you are either endowed with or you’re not; they are entirely learnable. And that’s where the Power Source Workbook comes in.

The Power Source Workbook can be used by youth in:

  • High schools serving trauma-impacted youth engaging in health-risk behaviors;
  • Secure and non-secure detention centers;
  • Diversion and alternative to incarceration programs;
  • Residential treatment centers and facilities;
  • After school and community-based programs.

The Power Source Workbook is designed to be used:

  • in group settings;
  • one-to-one (with a staff/facilitator and a youth);
  • by youth working individually.

The Power Source book and workbook build youths’ capacity to:

  • Develop a cohesive and healthy sense of self and future orientation in the wake of trauma;
  • Recognize the emotional, social, and situational factors that lead to risk-taking and develop health-promoting behaviors in their place;
  • Increase interpersonal skills including managing conflict, repairing relationships, taking responsibility for one’s actions, self-advocacy, and seeking help;
  • Acquire the Social and Emotional skills associated with workplace readiness success;
  • Select positive peers and acquire the skills to maintain those relationships;
  • Identify individual and situational factors leading to substance use and learn alternative coping strategies;
  • Build skills to tolerate and manage distressing emotions such as anger, disrespect, shame, and fear.


A typical group-based session of Power Source Workbook includes:

  • reading a selection from the Power Source Workbook;
  • a mindfulness activity;
  • completing the content of the worksheet/s;
  • and sharing their answers in a Circle.


Table of Contents

     Who Is the Power Source Workbook for?

     Using the Power Source Program

     The Parts of the Power Source Workbook


Mindfulness Activities

     The Supplemental Workbook

     Making the Biggest Impact

Facilitator Presence

The Importance of Praise

Looking at Ourselves with Compassion

  • Using mindfulness skills ourselves
  • Looking at the connection between our own stress, triggers, and trauma history
  • Secondary Trauma

Coming Soon! The Power Source Workbook

30/11/16 0

The Power Source Workbook: Lionheart’s Clinical Director of Youth Programs, Beth Casarjian has created a new resource.  The Power Source Workbook will be available soon.  This workbook will give youth a resource whereby they will be able to work through the Power Source program on their own or in groups. This will reduce the need for a trained facilitator who is willing to do the preparation to facilitate a manualized program. In addition to mapping on to the content in the Power Source book, there will be an increased focus on work readiness.  To read more about The Power Source Workbook, please click on the following link:  https://lionheart.org/new-power-source-resource-the-power-source-workbook/


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