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Restorative Integral Support

Integral Theory offers a comprehensive map useful in considering various dimensions of complex social problems faced in the 21st century. Restorative Integral Support (RIS) is a flexible, holistic model that brings attention to the way in which leadership, service systems, and collective contexts work together to build resilience and promote recovery from ACEs


RIS applies the All Quadrants All Levels (AQAL) framework from Integral theory to the human services. Basically, AQAL is a conceptual tool that helps map out the "whole picture" of any given problem. The framework consists of four distinct yet interconnected quadrants (see image to the right).

The upper quadrants represent the individual level of thoughts and behaviors ("I" and "IT"), while the lower represent the collective level of communities and systems ("WE" and "ITS"). Click here to learn more about AQAL and Integral Theory. Additionally, check out this article that was the basis of the ACE Response website and further explains both Integral Theory and the RIS model. 

The RIS Model:

  • Guides post-disciplinary team responses and coordination to address and prevent trauma
  • Helps identify two or three "hotspots" considered most crucial that can be addressed within practical limits
  • Brings together a variety of best practices with practice wisdom in the local context
  • Facilitates ACE-informed program development
  • Focuses on strengthening social networks to mobilize resilience
  • Develops recovery-oriented systems supporting a culture of recovery
  • Raises societal awareness and includes policy advocacy
  • Involves integrated data collection through Service Outcomes Action Research (SOAR) to inform program development

RIS responses to ACEs may begin to look like "communities of care" guided by an integrally informed team, each with expertise in a particular area who perceives their role within the depth and breadth of an Integral perspective.

The RIS model was designed to support agencies and helping professionals working with any high ACE Score population and was first applied to help people experiencing homelessness at the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS).

COTS employs the RIS model and demonstrates the way in which social networks can be intentionally developed to help people move forward and transform their lives, effectively breaking the ACE trajectory. Supported by the integration of available research, RIS also expands intervention options in a time of fewer resources. Service Outcomes Action Research (SOAR) can be enacted from an Integral perspective to generate data that continually informs the RIS model that supports ACE-informed programming.

Chugachmiut, a non-profit organization serving the Native people and communities of Alaska's Chugach Region, offers another example of how the RIS model can be used to guide ACE Response. Read how RIS was used at Chugachmiut to conceptualize an ACE-informed approach to the serious problem of suicide among Alaska Natives in this article by Chugachmiut Executive Director Patrick Anderson.

Read how the RIS model can also be applied to guide structural and policy changes while supporting a multidimensional understanding of boys and men of color affected by racism and ACEs in this article

RIS Tools and Resources