Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Circles of Support

  • Amy J. ArmstrongEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_390


Circle of friends


Researchers have long indicated the importance of social relationships and supports to the well-being and inclusion of human beings (Rath and Harter 2011). A circle of support is a group of people that forms a community around a specific individual (focus person) with significant disabilities to assist him or her to achieve personal goals (Falvey et al. 1994). It is one of many tools addressing life planning from a functional or strategic assessment approach known as person-centered planning. Person-centered planning replaces more traditional assessment approaches associated with the medical model of services. Circles of support originated in Canada and have experienced widespread use in North America. Circles view people as individuals and assist them to attain self-determination focusing upon empowerment and not dependence of the individual (O’Brien and Lyle O’Brien 1998). It is capacity oriented and identifies strengths, preferences, likes, and...

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References and Readings

  1. Falvey, M. A., Forest, M., Pearpoint, J., & Rosenberg, R. (1994). All my life’s a circle. Using the tools: Circles, MAP’s and PATH. Toronto: Inclusion Press.Google Scholar
  2. O’Brien, J., & Lyle O’Brien, C. (Eds.). (1998). A little book about person centered planning. Toronto: Inclusion Press.Google Scholar
  3. O’Brien, C. L., & O’Brien, J. (2000). The origins of person-centered planning: A community of practice perspective. Retrieved from http://thechp.syr.edu/PCP_History.pdf
  4. Rath, T., & Harter, J. (2011). Wellbeing: The five essential elements. New York: Gallup Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation CounselingVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA