POWERS is an evidence-based executive functioning (EF) and social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that was developed to help students adapt to an increasingly challenging school environment. Children learn to develop their social and emotional intelligence and their executive functioning skills through a new language related to each of the 6 core POWERS skills: Prioritize, Organize, Work, Exercise, Regulate, and Social Awareness.

About POWERS/Our Philosophy

POWERS provides children with a language and a structure by which to engage in learning the many skills that make up  executive functioning and  social-emotional intelligence. Each POWERS vocabulary word is a skill. The idea is that once we have a name for something we can label it, retrieve it more readily, and learn to apply it.

POWERS is not about telling children what to do, it is about teaching them to notice what works for them, to see cause and effect and how to “connect the dots.”

The POWERS curriculum integrates reflective learning and mindfulness in order to help children regulate their emotions and improve their ability to self-monitor. The POWERS Program empowers children to learn to better manage themselves.

We offer virtual and in-person, one-on-one POWERS Coaching as well as POWERS Parenting and POWERS for Educators workshops throughout the year. We find that we are most successful in helping children when we partner with educators and parents and empower them with the skills and strategies to support their children’s/students' learning and growth.


An executive functioning and social-emotional learning curriculum developed since 2010 by Dr. Tamar Kahane to help students learn to become independent and adapt to increasingly challenging times and expectations.

An evidence-based program that has been piloted with 150+ students in two middle schools and studied in collaboration with Columbia University.
Designed to target the various aspects of EF and SEL that are crucial for successful performance in school, at home, and beyond.
A curriculum that has already helped over a thousand children learn to better manage themselves and succeed to their potential.
For parents and teachers to support executive functioning and social-emotional learning .
For teachers to help empower their students with skills and strategies to be successful, organized, and emotionally and behaviorally regulated in the classroom.
Mindset shift for parents, providing skills to raise internally motivated and self-driven children.
A shared language that enables us all to grow and become the best managers of our own lives.

Why POWERS? Why now?

Raising children has always had its significant challenges but during these past couple of years, during the pandemic, it has only gotten harder. Monitoring and balancing screen time creates additional stress and challenges for parents with their children. During the best of times, children struggle in school because of difficulties with organization, remembering assignments, planning ahead, keeping track of work, or managing their time but recently this has become even more prevalent. Often these struggles impact their home and social life as well. At the heart of these struggles is a difficulty in executive functioning (EF), which is a term that describes the mental processes we use to help us organize our world. In addition, it is more critical now than ever to fortify our children with social-emotional learning (SEL) skills. With the increasing pressure on kids to perform, parents and educators have understandably become more hands-on. We have grown habituated to telling children what to do, when to do it, and even sometimes doing it for them. These approaches work in the short term but inadvertently prevent our children from authentically learning to reflect on their own behavior, to connect the dots, to see cause and effect, to learn to plan, and to make good choices for themselves.

POWERS’ underlying philosophy is hinged upon a paradigm shift. Rather than tell children what to do, we need to teach them to notice for themselves what works and what doesn’t in their lives. Rather than being their “bosses”, we need to help them to learn to become effective managers of themselves.

Difficulties with executive functioning make it difficult to categorize and organize information in our brain and so the term POWERS is a helpful tool in and of itself. The name POWERS is a color-coded acronym to help children to remember the six basic core EF and SEL skills -Prioritize, Organize, Work, Exercise, Regulate, and Social Awareness.

POWERS provides children with a language and a structure by which to engage in learning the many skills that make up executive functioning and social-emotional learning. Each POWERS vocabulary word is a skill. The idea is that once you have a name for the skill, you can label it, readily retrieve it, and learn to use it.

Very often people confuse knowledge and skills but there is a critical difference. Knowledge is easy to acquire. Skill is not! With repeated practice and hard work, POWERS enables children, parents, and educators to acquire skills and be more effective in reaching their own goals.

What is Executive Functioning?

Executive Functioning (EF) is what enables us to manage our world. It is what allows us to plan,  organize, strategize, pay attention, and remember details. EF skills allow us to self-monitor. They are the skills necessary for organizing our lives and achieving our goals. They enable us to sequence the steps needed to execute all of the projects that we are faced with - from simple tasks like getting ready for school or work in the morning to more complex tasks like longer-term school or work projects.  

EF skills are primarily mediated in the prefrontal lobe which is the last part of the brain to develop. In fact, it doesn’t fully develop until we reach our mid-twenties. While some children struggle significantly with developing EF skills, all children can benefit from the support that increases awareness and facilitates the development of these EF skills. Weaknesses in executive functioning can make it very challenging to succeed in school, at work, and in our role as parents. 

Children with ADHD as well as many other learning difficulties struggle with executive functioning and especially benefit from targeted intervention to support growth in this area.  The POWERS program, a meta-cognitive approach to teaching children to develop self-awareness and learn to self-monitor, has been proven to be a very effective intervention.  

EF skills are now more critical than ever. Developing these skills will ensure a child’s ability to succeed in an overstimulated world of phones, video games, tablets, and streaming TV and videos. Our current reality during this pandemic, with all of its challenges, has also only intensified the need for us to teach our children how to self-monitor and self-regulate emotionally, behaviorally, and academically. 

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which individuals develop emotional and social awareness and the ability to communicate most effectively. It is what allows us to develop a sense of self, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and empathize with others, and develop and maintain supportive relationships. SEL can also help address various forms of inequity and empower children and adults to create safe, healthy, and just communities. SEL enables us to make responsible decisions, learn to lead meaningful lives, and be contributing members of society. SEL needs to be an integral part of education and POWERS is both an SEL and an executive functioning curriculum.

Evolution of POWERS

In 2010, Dr. Kahane pioneered a creative technique to teach executive functioning called the POWER Program based on developing awareness and a language that targets the multitude of skills that make up EF. Initially, POWER was run as a summer program at the Center and offered for children who struggled with executive functioning deficits. Hundreds of children with ADHD and other identified learning difficulties participated in the program. Following requests by many parents, the program was expanded to children who did not have identified EF struggles. As POWER continued to evolve a booster program was developed to provide children with an opportunity to practice applying these skills during the school year.  Later, POWER was implemented at a summer camp for gifted children at Lehman college where it received high accolades. This further confirmed how important these skills were for all children. With this in mind, the  POWER curriculum was reworked and further developed to become an SEL and EF school-based curriculum.  In 2019 -2020  this curriculum was piloted in the Bergen County school system where it was incredibly well received by administrators, teachers, and students. During the course of this pilot, a study was run with the help of Columbia University researching POWER‘s effectiveness in six public school classrooms. The results of this research confirmed that POWERS is an evidence-based approach to helping children with executive functioning and emotional and behavioral regulation.

In 2022, in keeping with one of our core beliefs, a growth mindset, we have continued to evolve, adding an S to POWER and have renamed it POWERS. The S stands for social awareness which we feel has become increasingly critical to target and teach to children. We believe that if we can intervene early on in teaching children to perspective take, practice empathy, and learn to notice the difference between mindfulness and judgmentalism then we can help create a safer and more equitable world. 

Columbia University Study

The POWERS Curriculum was piloted in a number of schools in New Jersey where a preliminary study was done under the auspices of Columbia University demonstrating the effectiveness of POWERS. The study was subsequently published in a prestigious journal and is titled “Effectiveness of the POWER Program in Improving Physical Activity and Executive Functioning in Fifth Grade Students” (Journal of School Health, July 2021). 

Read the full study.

See POWERS in action at the Washington School in Bergen County, NJ.

"The road to POWERS has truly been a life-long mission and passion project. I feel deeply that as parents and educators, the greatest gift we can give our children is the skills to authentically learn how to manage themselves (socially, emotionally, and academically). If we can do this before they go off to college, then we can sleep at night knowing that they are safe and fortified to become contributing members of society."

- Tamar Z. Kahane, Psy.D

About our Founder

Tamar Z. Kahane
P S Y . D .
Dr. Tamar Z. Kahane is the founder and clinical director of The Kahane Center, LLC, an integrated mental health center providing comprehensive psychological and neuropsychological services. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been successfully treating adults, families, adolescents, and children for over 25 years.  Dr. Kahane trained at the Kennedy Center of Albert Einstein Hospital and at St. Luke’s - Roosevelt Hospital after receiving her doctorate from Ferkauf School of Graduate Psychology of Yeshiva University and her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University. Prior to founding the Center, Dr. Kahane served for seven years as the senior psychologist in a private school in Bergen County. Dr. Kahane is an expert and clinical pioneer in the field of social cognition, social skills groups, and has a sub-specialty in executive functioning. She has extensive experience treating depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, ASD, as well as many other disorders. Dr. Kahane supervises and trains psychologists and other graduate students regularly including doctoral students at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, NYU, Columbia University.  She also trains teachers, administrators, and superintendents to help them become increasingly more effective in and outside of the classroom. She has developed a unique EL/Executive Functioning and SEL/Social Emotional Learning  curriculum (The POWERS Program) that has been piloted in multiple public and private schools. Dr. Kahane also lectures regularly to parent groups and is a big proponent of integrating parents into their children’s treatment and providing them with effective tools and strategies. Towards this end, POWERS for parenting is being offered. Dr. Kahane has appeared on national television as a clinical expert in ASD and is a frequently sought-after psychological thought leader in the media.

POWERS Coaches

Julia Fisher
P S Y . D .
Dr. Julia Fisher received her doctorate from Ferkauf School of Graduate Psychology of Yeshiva University and her BA in Psychology from Cornell University. Dr. Fisher completed her APA-accredited predoctoral internship at Child Guidance Center of Southern CT, a community mental health center serving children and adolescents. Prior to that, Julia conducted child and family therapy as well as neuropsychological assessment in a range of settings including hospital, day treatment, and outpatient settings. She trained at Montefiore’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, Joan Fenichel Therapeutic Nursery, Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC, and New York City Children’s Center inpatient hospital. Her training has included a range of therapeutic approaches including play therapy, CBT, PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy), DBT, habit reversal training, and ARC (Attachment, Regulation, & Competency) trauma-focused treatment. At the Kahane Center, Dr. Fisher provides individual and family therapy, individualized assessments, and individualized, one-on-one POWERS coaching. She prioritizes collaboration with school, medical, and other providers to support children in receiving comprehensive care.
Anna Spigelman
P S Y . D .
Dr. Anna Spigelman is a licensed psychologist who specializes in providing neuropsychological evaluations to children, adolescents, and young adults. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and went on to earn her doctorate in School-Clinical Child Psychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. Prior to completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Spigelman trained at the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center at Northwell Health. She also trained at specialized schools for students with learning, attentional, and social-emotional needs including Stephen Gaynor School and Green Chimneys Residential Treatment Center. Dr. Spigelman completed her pre-doctoral internship in pediatric neuropsychology and rehabilitation at Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center. She continued her post-doctoral training in pediatric neuropsychology at the Promise Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. At The Kahane Center, Dr. Spigelman specializes in providing neuropsychological evaluations to children and adolescents with learning, language, or attentional concerns, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), concussion, traumatic brain injury, genetic disorders, complex medical conditions (e.g., blood disorders, pediatric cancers), and psychiatric conditions. Dr. Spigelman is devoted to providing comprehensive, culturally competent, and evidence-based assessments. She is passionate about educational advocacy, using the child’s neuropsychological evaluation data to ensure that the student receives an appropriate education tailored to his or her needs. Additionally, Dr. Spigelman provides individualized POWERS coaching to help students learn to develop and practice their executive functioning skills.
Lauren Charness
Ed. M., M.A.
Lauren Charness is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in the Combined School-Clinical Child Psychology program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Her doctoral research project investigates the relationship between anxiety and writing performance. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Lauren completed both a Masters of Education in school psychology as well as a Masters in Educational Psychology: Schooling from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Lauren has experience conducting neuropsychological evaluations, therapy, executive function support, and consultation in a variety of settings including schools, private practice, and out-patient clinics. At The Kahane Center, Lauren provides individualized, one-on-one POWERS coaching to help students of all ages develop their executive functioning skills to become more effective academically, socially, and emotionally.
Dani Lefkowitz

Dani Lefkowitz is a second-year doctoral student studying School and Clinical Psychology at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. Before pursuing psychology, she worked as a teacher in diverse settings; first, as a sixth-grade teacher at Success Academy and then as a fourth-grade teacher at a specialized school for children with language-based learning disabilities in Manhattan. She earned her BA in History from Barnard College in 2019. This coming academic year, Dani will be working at The Avenues School as a school psychology extern. At The Kahane Center, Dani provides one-on-one POWERS coaching to help children and adolescents utilize strategies to overcome their executive functioning challenges.