Mental Health

Kidpower strategies as tools in the prevention & healing of trauma

Mental Health

Kidpower strategies as tools in the prevention & healing of trauma

For decades, mental health providers have integrated Kidpower into their standard practices with adults, teens, and children because the Kidpower approach consistently complements their therapeutic work.

They also refer clients to Kidpower because – though Kidpower is not therapy – people so often experience Kidpower as therapeutic, enhancing their sense of agency, self-confidence, and overall well-being.

For mental health practitioners in educational contexts from early childhood through university – including counselors, wellness coordinators, and PBIS/MTSS professionals – Kidpower is a singularly powerful tool for providing:

  • large groups of students, classes, and teachers with broadly relevant preventative skills training
  • small groups of people with shared needs with consistent yet tailored guidance; and,
  • individuals who have special mental and behavioral health needs with one-on-one, adapted guidance.

Explore the resources below – and contact us with any questions!

Licensed clinical social worker John Luna-Sparks tells how Kidpower works as a powerful tool for mental health practitioners – and includes a success story about using Kidpower to help a traumatized client.

Why Kidpower?

Learn more about how Kidpower skills and methodology relate to core concepts of mental and behavioral health – and contact us with any questions!


Effective advocacy and self-advocacy skills empower individuals to ask for what they need – and to persist in the face of resistance – in order to support safety and well being for themselves and their loved ones. Confidence and competence using self-advocacy skills can enhance the feelings of mastery, control, and autonomy central to mental and behavioral health.


Kidpower’s success-based, strengths-based approach emphasizes the power of the individual – and builds upon what they CAN do using examples that are important and relevant to them.

Our skills and strategies are practical tools for fostering feelings of worthiness as well as self-confidence in assessing options, pursuing goals, addressing concerns, and taking calm, confident action.


Changing behaviors – such as by stopping problematic behaviors or starting healthful ones – requires time, practice, and effort that is harder to sustain without an individual’s own inherent sense of determination to make a change.

Kidpower offers the practicable boundary-setting, self-advocacy, emotional regulation, and emotional safety skills necessary at every step in the process of changing behaviors. In addition, our step-by-step, success-based approach to teaching and practicing skills celebrates growth while rejecting the shaming, blaming, and judgment that so often inhibit intrinsic motivation.


For decades, parents and educators have used Kidpower to support the growth of healthy, lifelong coping behaviors as early as the first years of life. This can prevent harmful coping behaviors from taking root.

If harmful coping behaviors do take root, replacing them with healthy coping strategies requires more than a commitment to change – it requires an opportunity to practice, not just discuss, replacement behaviors. Kidpower skills and strategies support individuals in this process – and serve as tools for mental health practitioners guiding others.


Kidpower has decades of experience translating emotional safety strategies into teachable, coachable practices using speech and movement. Our methods help participants acknowledge and honor emotions while also building strategies to stop their emotions from ruling their behavior.

Plus, our trauma-informed, strengths-based, success-based approach allows for easy adaptation based on individual needs related to trauma and recovery as well as to mobility, speech, cognition, sensory processing, and health.


Strong social support can be protective, buffering people from the potentially harmful, lasting impacts of trauma, toxic stress, and other significant life challenges. Connection can also be a powerful support through grieving, healing, remission, and recovery processes. Conversely, dysfunctional connections can give rise to additional trauma, toxic stress, and mental, emotional, and physical harm.

Kidpower’ boundary, advocacy, and positive communication skills help people build healthy relationships, assess existing relationships, make health changes within meaningful relationships, and create physical and emotional distance in relationships that are leading to harm. The skills we teach equip people to move beyond much of the conflict, anger, resentment, and related anxieties that so often prevent them from thriving in connection.


Becoming self-aware of habits, ending those that are harmful, and building healthful habits requires more than a desire to change – it requires new skills. Kidpower makes the social-emotional safety skill-building process more accessible by making it easier to practice behaviors, break them into smaller pieces, make them relevant, celebrate growth, and incorporate mistakes and setbacks as part of the learning process.

Kidpower combines the social-emotional safety skills central to communication, advocacy, and healthy connection together with a success-based, step-by-step way to practice them instead of just talking about them. Whether building new habits to stop overcommitting, or to end cycles of violence, or to avoid addiction relapse triggers, or to foster progress toward wellness in other ways, Kidpower strategies help translate intention into action.


Throughout the process of healing from trauma and harm, Kidpower skills ranging from boundary setting to self-advocacy and emotional safety empower people to create the conditions for the self-care, support, exercise, rest, and time they might need to regain a sense of control, balance, and well-being.

Conflict can arise when someone’s healing process does not match their friends’ or loved ones’ timelines and expectations. Practicing Kidpower boundary setting, emotional safety, and assertive advocacy skills can prepare people to manage these conflicts while creating the conditions they need for their own healing.


We believe no one is ever too young to begin learning ways to use their own power to be safe and to get the help they need. Supporting confidence and mastery of age-appropriate social-emotional safety skills can prevent problems and build confidence, autonomy, agency, connection, and trust – which in turn support thriving.

For those coping with the impacts of trauma, addiction, mental illness, or other life challenges, learning, practicing, and applying Kidpower strategies can help people in the process of regaining a sense of control and mastery over their own activities, behaviors, thoughts, and lives.


Kidpower offers practical, teachable skills that can enhance resilience by helping people take charge of emotional and physical safety and well-being for themselves and their loved ones in the face of adversity, trauma, and other major life challenges.

The goals of building healthy coping strategies, strengthening relationships, prioritizing self-care and wellness, and building confidence are easier to achieve with the boundary setting, advocacy, and emotional safety strategies Kidpower teaches. Professionals commonly integrate the Kidpower Positive Practice Method into their standard practices because it makes the skills easier for people to learn and apply in their own lives.


Kidpower’s goal is to teach skills for people to be safe with people – including with themselves. So, self-care, self-compassion, kindness to oneself, and putting one’s own safety ahead of anyone’s embarrassment, inconvenience, or offense has always been central in our work.

Self-awareness, boundary setting, self-advocacy, and emotional safety strategies are crucial for the self-care necessary for mental and behavioral health for people of all ages and abilities.

Take Charge of Your Mental Health

Our core skills for taking charge of your own mental health are now easier to access and share as a module of cross-referenced short articles thanks to funding from the AEO Foundation!

Mobile-friendly and designed for older teens and young adults, they are relevant for all ages. Take a look – and use the downloads to share and post in your business, lobby, store, school, common area, waiting room, or office!

Mental Health Resources

ArticlesVideosCoursesBooks • Contact Us

Find videos, lessons, practice guides, and activities you can use now in the Online Learning Center – or choose a printed publication you can use to help your students learn age-appropriate, ability-appropriate social-emotional safety skills! Contact us with any questions or needs.

Mental Health Articles

Videos about mental health and emotional safety

Online courses featuring mental health tools

You’ll find an ever-growing array of self-paced courses – including the one featured below! – in the Kidpower Online Learning Center. Start using them on your own or to help your students, clients, loved ones, or others build skills to be safe.

Curriculum books with mental health and emotional safety tools

Starting Strong Safety Lessons & Teacher's Guide

Starting Strong Safety Lessons

These 12 cartoon-illustrated social safety stories are tools for parents, teachers, and other caring adults to empower younger children with skills that can help prevent and solve problems with people. Skills include boundary setting, stranger safety, getting help from busy adults, strategies for stopping bullying, and more!

Starting Strong Safety Teacher’s Guide

This Teacher’s Guide for the Kidpower Starting Strong Safety Lessons book provides recommendations for coaching the skills in daily life; using crafts and activities to revisit the skills; at-home lessons for families; and adaptations for learning differences.

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Kidpower Confident Kids Safety Lessons & 10 Assignments

Kidpower Confident Kids Safety Lessons

Prepare children to take charge of their emotional and physical safety with peers, acquaintances and strangers with these 15 ‘People Safety’ Group Lessons, with cartoon illustrations.
Learn More & Buy on Amazon | Buy Digitally
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Kidpower Confident Kids 10 Assignments

10 short, cartoon-illustrated assignments that can be used in a classroom, youth group, or family to introduce and reinforce key Kidpower “People Safety” Skills in English and Spanish.
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Unlimited Adaptability Workbook

Educators and parents committed to protecting people with disabilities or special needs from bullying, abuse, and other maltreatment will find a wide range of resources for coaching, sharing, learning, and adapting safety skills for all ages and abilities in this volume of social stories and coaching guides.
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One Strong Move

This cartoon-illustrated book provides important self-defense lessons showing how to avoid and escape from an attack for adults and teens and for use by adults in teaching children.
Learn More & Buy on Amazon | Buy Digitally
Your Amazon purchases help Kidpower!

Kidpower Children's Social Stories

Book 1: How To Avoid Trouble, Protect Your Heart’s Safety, And Set Boundaries. For Children From Ages 3 to 10.

Book 1 focuses on how to be and act aware, be safe with touch, set boundaries, be safe with words, move away from trouble, and check first with adults before doing something new.

Book 2: How To Get Help, Stay Safe In Public, And Protect Yourself From Safety Problems Like Bullying. For Children From 3 to 10

Book 2 focuses on how to get help, stay safe with private areas, stay safe with strangers and in public, be powerful with your voice and body, and stop bullying by taking charge of safety.

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Kidpower Youth Social Stories

Book 1: How To Avoid Trouble, Protect Your Emotional Safety, And Set Boundaries. For Youth From 9 to 14

Book 1 focuses on awareness; safety with touch; boundary setting; safety with words; moving away from trouble; and thinking and checking first.

Book 2: How To Get Help, Stay Safe In Public, And Protect Yourself From Safety Problems Like Bullying. For Youth From 9 to 14

Book 2 focuses on getting help with safety problems; staying safe with private areas; staying safe with strangers and in public; being powerful with your voice and body; and stopping bullying by taking charge of safety.

Learn More & Buy on Amazon
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Kidpower Comprehensive Curriculum Teaching Books

The six new books in our Kidpower Teaching Book series make it easy and fun for educators, parents, and other adult leaders to use our “People Safety” curriculum with children and youth in their classrooms, youth programs, and families.
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Fullpower Social Safety Stories for Teens and Adults

Book 1: How to Avoid Trouble, Protect Your Emotional Safety, And Set Boundaries

With part 1 of our 2-part series of social stories for teens and adults, learn and share strategies for being safe with words; being and acting aware; moving away from trouble; and setting clear and respectful boundaries.

Book 2: How To Get Help, Stay Safe In Public, And Protect Yourself From Bullying & Abuse

With part 2 of our 2-part series of social stories for teens and adults, learn and share strategies for getting help, staying safe in public, and protect yourself from bullying, harassment, and abuse.

Learn More & Buy on Amazon
Your Amazon purchases help Kidpower!

We’re here to answer your questions, suggest resources, and give you more information about how to take or plan a class. Contact us today using the form below.

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