The Five Circle approach to counselling

The Five Circle Approach

The Five Circle approach to counselling originated with the Waverley House (CWR) training centre and is also taught by the Manna House Counselling Service in Northampton, in the United Kingdom.

This theory is based on a Christian worldview and defines five areas in which people can experience problems, all of which interact. The five circles are:

  • The physical circle – what is happening to your body
  • The emotional circle – how you are feeling
  • The volitional circle – what you are wanting to achieve
  • The rational circle – how you are thinking about life
  • The spiritual circle – what is happening in your spirit.

In practice I add an extra circle:

  • The social circle

between the physical and emotional circles. This circle looks at what is happening in your relationships.

This approach aims to identify what is happening with you in each of the circles and then to find ways to help with any problems, starting with the spiritual circle and working outwards.