The Circle of Courage

Description: circleofcourage-plain

The Circle of Courage® is an evidence-based psycho-educational model for reaching and teaching youth with moderate to severe mental health and behavioral disorders.  A proven approach that integrates research on positive youth development with the best of positive thought, wisdom and practice of both Western and first-peoples/indigenous cultures, this unique model aligns nicely with the philosophies and writings of other cultural groups. (See part 2 of the video series.)


The "medicine wheel" that symbolizes the model reflects the intertwining components of human character that are essential for healthy emotional development: Being prosocially connected to important others (Attachment/Belonging), taking pride in one's competent/strong areas, with a willingness to undertake the learning of new skills and knowledge bases (Achievement/Mastery), possessing the ability to self-manage one's actions and make good choices (Autonomy/Independence), and possessing a helpful inclination (Altruism/Generosity).  These four dimensions of the personal character are inextricably intertwined, each one responding to and affecting the others and the whole.



Dr. Mac's four videos explaining the Circle of Courage model:

Part 1 (7:09) : Dr Mac explains the history of the model .


Part 2 (8:57): Dr. Mac provides an overview of the model and it's global applicability to youngsters of all cultural backgrounds.


Part 3 (15:23): Dr. Mac provides an in-depth look in to the different components of the Circle of Courage model.


Part 4 (9:13): In this final segment, Dr. Mac addresses the assessment of a youngster's character, & how caring adults can intervene using the C of C model as a guide. It is available to to you with the purchase of the "YAF-QC Combo Package" OR "The Total Package". (see below)




PBIS pyramidPBIS tiers addressed by this intervention approach: All 3 tiers. (But one of the few programs effective with Tier 3, intervention-resistant youngsters.




Assessment instruments that support & improve upon

the “Developmental Audit® process






The “Circle of Courage” (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & VanBockern, 1990) as explained by Dr. Mac in his four part video description of the model is a popular evidence-based psycho-educational model for re-orienting the errant self-concept, values, beliefs, and actions of youngsters with severe emotional and behavioral disorders.  Effective application of this approach is dependent upon the correct identification of strengths and weaknesses in a young person’s character makeup.  This character assessment is conducted via a process known as a “Developmental Audit®.


The Developmental Audit is a rather vague and nebulous procedure conducted by individuals with advanced training in the model.  From the results of the Developmental Audit, a general plan of action is devised for reorienting the errant mindset and aberrant behavioral pattern of the misdirected youngster at-risk for poor life outcomes.  Basic information regarding the Developmental Audit process can be found at: &



Dr. Tom McIntyre (Dr. Mac) has developed two instruments that are designed to expand the accuracy and usefulness of the Developmental Audit procedure. They can be used in isolation as an audit assessment, or in conjunction with information gained in the advanced training provided only by Starr Global Training Network.



1. The “Youth Audit Form” collects essential information that guides ensuing discussions regarding remediation.


2. The “Quadrant Checklists” contain a vast collection of itemized behavior descriptions that are indicative of strength, distortion, weakness, or absence in each of the four areas of the Circle of Courage medicine wheel model.  This extensive 4-part assessment instrument allows for the gathering of more detailed identification of a youngster’s character qualities and his/her levels of strength/integrity. The garnered information provides direction for the errant youth's remediation.



These two instruments provide much-needed guidance to professionals who are conducting assessments of character that are based on the Circle of Courage® model.  They can be used in conjunction with the Developmental Audit® by professionals who have been trained in that procedure, OR administered in their own right for character assessments. With your YAF/QC package, you can now engage in detailed assessment that leads to more effective intervention.





Buy Now Youth Audit Form (YAF) $19.99


Buy Now Quadrant Checklists (QC)$89.99


Buy NowThe YAF/QC COMBO Package $99.99

A $10 savings! when you purchase the Youth Audit Form AND the Quadrant Checklists together.

AND you get the exclusive video (part 4): "How to Assess & Intervene using the Circle of Courage model"





Forms for setting up school-wide Positive Behavior Support systems


using the Circle of Courage® model


From your professional readings you know that the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) model has a massive mountain of evidence showing that disciplinary referrals decline and student/faculty pride/happiness increase. The PBIS model provides a general framework for a comprehensive school-wide system for addressing behavior. The Circle of Courage fills out the PBIS model with more substance, serving all of the student body, regardless of their needs. But where do you start?


Problem solved! Dr. Mac has created a packet of template forms that guide Circle of Courage/PBIS implementation. PBIS pyramid Circle of Courage Materials 2Circle of Courage Materials


These electronic forms can be modified to better the match the characteristics of your setting!

The packet includes:

- Directions for the use of the form packet and individual forms

- Code of Conduct principles (not rules, PRINCIPLES!)

- Teacher's 5-step intervention procedure when students display errant behaviors

- Referral to the Dean form (Teacher's report about the incident)

- Description of Dean's 4-step intervention procedure when students are referred by the teacher

- Student Response form (Student's report about the incident, and suggested responses)

- Dean's Intervention Report form (Dean's report on meeting with student and decision regarding action)


Purchase "THE TOTAL PACKAGE" (below)

& you'll receive the packet AND YAF/QC Combo Pack (with exclusive video) for less than $200!

Purchasing them separately would cost $300. Buy "The Total Package", & you earn A savings of $110!... more than 1/3 off !











Circle of Courage Materials

* "Circle of Courage" and "Developmental Audit" are registered trademarks

of the non-profit Starr Global Training Network,

a company that provides research, publications, and training

through Reclaiming Youth International.

For information visit


Dr. Mac advocates for the use of the Circle of Courage model.

However, he is not associated in any way with the Starr Global Training Network.










The Behavior Transformation Guide Related to the Youth Audit Form & Quadrant Checklists is another professional development training packet and instrument created by Dr. Tom McIntyre.  The “Readiness for Change” assessment instrument does just that: It determines a youngster's stage of willingness for change toward adopting more prosocial behavior.  The accompanying intervention strategies packet allows you to move the youngster toward higher levels of motivation to change his/her behavioral pattern for the better. Click on the image for more information.








Other Resources


The Book That Started It All

(This text describes the Circle of Courage Model)

Circle of Courage Model Text







Become the Captain of Your Classroom with


Helping you steer kids in the right direction.


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