Core Concepts

Biopsychosocial-spiritual Matrix

The biopsychosocial model is a framework/model that states that interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors determine the cause, manifestation, and outcome of health and well-being. Many add a “spiritual” component to this concept. A new addition to thinking looks at this model as a “matrix.”

Biopsychosocial & Spiritual approach for understanding well-being can be conceptualized in the idea of a “Matrix Model” – a model for understanding the interaction among these component factors of the human experience and linked to the associated social work concept of “the person in the environment.” Shawn Shea (Happiness IS) – calls the “human matrix” a set of systems whose ultimate composite functioning creates something new, something completely unique, a distinctive, one-time only pattern with each passing second. It consists of five “wings”: Biological, Psychological, Interpersonal/Social, Environmental, and Spiritual. Each of these wings, in the ideal state, must be in healthy balance with all the others. Shea notes “All wings of the human matrix intersect and are interdependent upon one another.”

Theory of Change:

Theory of Change (ToC) is a methodology for planning, participation, and evaluation that is used in the philanthropy, not-for-profit and government sectors to promote social change. Theory of Change defines long-term goals and then maps backward to identify necessary preconditions and actions that bring about change.

Logic Models

A simplified picture of a program, initiative, or intervention that shows the logical relationship among the resources invested, the activities that take place and the benefits or changes that result.

Results-based Program Management:

Results Based Accountability is an outcomes-based quality improvement framework that enables organizations to measure whether their service users are better off.  It is also used by communities, states, governments etc. to improve the wellbeing of whole populations.

Trauma Informed Care:

According to our current understanding of the concept of a trauma-informed approach, “A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed:

Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery; recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.”


Resilience is a process involving internal and external factors that promote and sustain adaptation in the face of adversity – trauma, tragedy, threats or stress, family/relationship problems, health problems or workplace/money issues, etc. Resiliency is the outcome, defined as the demonstration of actual functioning in the face of adversity.