EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE
The MAT Life Skills Program approach is informed by a combination of proven therapeutic frameworks such as:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy -
dentifying the causal relationships between emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
Individual Psychology -
Positive reinforcement, collaborative problem solving, empathy, choices & natural consequences.
Trauma Informed Practice -
Repairing regulatory abilities: sensory integration, sensory processing, executive functioning and sense of agency
Mindfulness Therapy -
Developing awareness, acceptance and action in of events and behaviours.
All the games, drills and exercises practiced in the MAT Program are directly linked with one or more of the theories mentioned above providing the benefits of these therapeutic frameworks in an active and fun modality. An EXAMPLE of this integration can be seen below:
Name of the Activity: Samurai Patrol
Execution: Group activity. Instructor explains what a samurai is and how they used to patrol castles in groups and had to be very attentive to the instructions given to them. Instructor chooses several directions (room sides) and gives them names (i.e. castle, ocean, forest, etc.) and when saying those names students must move towards that direction (fast pace but not running or crashing into each other, it is a team exercise not a race).
link to life skills:
Knowing that it is important to rely on others as well as being able to stand on our own.
Practicing responding to change and making decisions under pressure.
Provides opportunities for students to move from one state –excited (moving fast) to calm and focused (standing still) and to discuss with students about these feelings and where they are experienced in the body.
Research shows that when children/ young people have their bodies and sensory systems engaged through high levels of physical activity that leads to lower level activity they are able to focus for longer periods and therefore able to take in new information
Link to Evidence Based Theories:
Repairing regulatory abilities:
- Manage and alternate level of arousal according to the demands of the activity (Strydom n.d.).
- Returning to a comfortable physiological and emotional state following arousal (Wolpow et al. 2009 as cited in Brunzell et al. 2016, p. 66).
Establishing positive relational interactions between peers. Strong relational interactions “serve as co-regulatory factors e.g. regulating the stress response systems and healthy neuroendocrine and neurophysiological states” (Brunzell et al. 2016, p.72).
LINKED TO AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM
In addition to this, all the activities performed during the program are directly linked to the criteria of the Personal and Social Capabilities Curriculum including:
Recognise personal qualities and achievements
Understand themselves as learners
Develop reflective practice
Appreciate diverse perspectives
Contribute to civil society
Express emotions appropriately
Develop self-discipline and set goals
Work independently and show initiative
Become confident, resilience and adaptable
Make decisions under pressure
Negotiate and resolve conflict
Develop leadership skills
The Top 5 areas where the MAT Program had stronger impact for students in 2018 as requested by schools and agencies:
(a) Helping young people to be able to recognise their emotions
(b) Providing them with strategies to express their emotions appropriately
(c) Supporting them in becoming confident, resilient and adaptable
(d) Developing pathways for effective communication
(e) Showing positive ways in which to negotiate and resolve conflict
Thank to all of you who competed a Feedback Form after our program. Your comments and inputs are extremely valuable to improve our program for the benefit of young people.
The summary of our 2018 RESULTS can be see below:
From a scale of 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 10 (Strongly Agree) please answer the following statements”
a) The program met the objectives as defined by the school/agency - RESULT: 9
b) The program is effective in engaging (disconnected/at risk) students - RESULT: 9
c) The program has made a positive impact on challenging/concerning behaviour - RESULT: 8
d) The program has made a positive impact on student participation in learning - RESULT: 8
e)The program has made a positive impact on student attendance - RESULT: 7
f) The program is valued by staff as an effective way of teaching Personal & Social Capabilities - RESULT: 9
g) The students applied the skills learned during the program at school or at home - RESULT: 8
But the the best part is the TESTIMONIALS of the schools and young people who benefit from the program!
For further information, yearly reports and studies made on the MAT Program please visit: www.tessainc.org.au/reports/