MBA’s Group-Based Curriculum
The MBA curriculum represents the best practices and thinking from 23 years of organizational-direct service experience with incarcerated and post-incarcerated youth. Developed by experts in the fields of Corrections, Youth Development, Mindfulness, and Social and Emotional Learning, the 10-session curriculum is a proprietary rehabilitation program designed specifically to meet the social and emotional needs of highly-at-risk youth.
The curriculum utilizes a universal class structure that includes periods of check-in, meditation practice, and group discussion. Presented in youth vernacular and employing concepts relevant to their lives, it is broken into 10 stand-alone modules as part of an inquiry-based prospectus that addresses the specific challenges incarcerated youth face.
MODULE 1: MINDFULNESS AND MENTAL TRAINING
The objective of this module is to orient participants toward building a cohesive group atmosphere, to define mindfulness, and to learn and practice some introductory mindfulness techniques.
MODULE 2: BASIC GOODNESS/ TRUE NATURE
The objective of this module is for participants to begin exploring the difference between “who we are and what we do.” That is, the difference between inherent value and the fact that sometimes human beings make mistakes.
MODULE 3: IMPULSE REGULATION
The objective of this module is for participants to explore the relationship between impulses/urges, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Participants are taught a number of techniques to regulate impulsive thinking and behavior.
MODULE 4: EMOTIONAL AWARENESS
The objective of this module is for participants to explore how emotions play a critical role in both behavior and psychological well-being. Participants learn how to become mindful of and articulate a wide range of emotions they may experience.
MODULE 5: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
The objective of this module is one step further than in the pervious module. Whereas in the previous model the objective regards education, this module focuses on participants learning tangible mindfulness-based emotional intelligence and regulation skills.
MODULE 6: INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
The objective of this module is for participants to learn the difference between, and impact of, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. Mindfulness-based activities emphasize previous concepts such as emotional intelligence, impulse regulation, and basic goodness as applied to interpersonal relationships.
MODULE 7: EMPATHY
The objective of this module is for participants to define the role of empathy in their lives and strategize its relevance. This module comprises of specific mindfulness and experiential activities geared toward fostering empathy within the group.
MODULE 8: FORGIVENESS
The objective of this module is for participants to contemplate the role of forgiveness in their lives, to learn how to use forgiveness as a well-being strategy, and to practice forgiveness-related exercises directed toward the self and others.
MODULE 9: TRANSFORMING NEGATIVE CORE BELIEFS
The objective of this module is for participants to learn what a core belief is — below the surface, identified by its effects. They will then identify their own negative core beliefs, and begin to learn exercises to challenge them, in efforts to develop deeper self-awareness.
MODULE 10: CAUSE AND EFFECT
The objective of this module if for participants to learn how their actions, thoughts, decisions, and words, create consequences. They will learn how environmental causes and conditions affect outcomes, thereby developing personal responsibility, so they become skilled at discerning what they can and cannot take personal responsibility for. The cultivation of this module is youth exploring how they want their future to be based on what present moment responsibilities they will take.