Part of the Full Circle difference is the feminist holistic counseling offered; but why choose Feminist-holistic counseling versus traditional therapy? It will help to read the answers to the following question to determine what’s best for you.

Illness or Wellness based?

Traditional psychotherapy is illness-based and anchored in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel). In this model, symptoms that clients present indicate some degree of mental illness and help therapists diagnose the client and provide treatment based on that diagnosis.

Feminist-Holistic counseling at Full Circle, is wellness-based and symptoms are viewed as coping mechanisms that indicate imbalance in life. Because we don’t subscribe to the traditional model, nor the premise that clients are deficient, incapable or sick, our clients often feel more hopeful and capable regarding positive change and life improvements. And with hope, anything is possible.

I am convinced that when we as women reclaim our full ancient powers and when men awaken to their loving and caring nature, a balanced society respecting all life is possible.

~ Jane Evershed

Getting Treatment or Engaging in a Growth process?

Psycho-therapy is literally translated to mean the healing, treating or fixing of the psyche or mind. In this model and mindset, because clients are viewed as sick or somehow deficient, it follows they would need to rely heavily on an outside authority, the counselor, for their cure or treatment.

Feminist-holistic counseling at Full Circle is an interactive process between the client and counselor in which the client is seen as he expert on her/himself and as such is the most essential part of her/his own growth process and journey toward healing and greater wellness. The best “authority” on you is you, and the only change possible begins with your own internal awareness, motivation and follow-through.

Therapist as “expert” or guide?

The traditional “therapist as expert model” is hierarchical or a top-down medical model system, within which the therapist is “at the top”, or the one who can best treat or cure the disease. This system increases the power imbalance within the counselor/client relationship and encourages the client’s reliance on external answers and solutions, effectively disempowering clients.

In the Feminist-holistic counseling model at Full Circle the counselor is a guide, someone involved in the mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas with the client who is at the same “level” as the counselor. The counselor intentionally works to decrease the inherent power imbalance between client and counselor and empower the client by valuing client input and knowledge. Once the power balance is decreased, your intuitive wisdom, authentic voice and ability to heal are highlighted and can create rapid and lasting positive change in your life.

Diagnosis Driven or Relationship based?

In traditional psychotherapy, the diagnosis is often the central component, directing and determining the course of treatment. The client is clinically labeled and classified, (as required by insurance companies for reimbursement purposes). Classification often leads to comparing to others with similar symptoms and treating clients accordingly; for example, the mindset of “this is the way all clients with depression need to be treated”.

The Feminist-Holistic Counseling at Full Circle acknowledges that a diagnosis can be useful, sometimes even essential in providing helpful information to both client and counselor. However, a trusting, honest, supportive client/counselor relationship is the most essential component of the counseling process…it becomes the cornerstone around which every other piece of the process fits. Because the focus in on the client, not the diagnosis for insurance purposes, you will feel safe and supported, seen and heard as an individual with unique wants and needs within the counseling relationship.

Narrow theoretical focus or wide-angle, cultural focus?

In traditional counseling practices, therapists often employ one preferred counseling orientation or theoretical base (brief therapy, EMDR, etc.) and use it across the board for most every client seen. Therefore, if a therapist’s counseling orientation does not match a client’s particular wants, needs or issues, the effectiveness of therapy is greatly diminished.

Feminist-Holistic Counseling is eclectic, meaning that client’s needs are met using a wide-angled wellness and cultural perspective, along with proven therapy techniques from many counseling theories, in order to best meet each client’s unique and individual issues. You can rest assured we will find the tools and teach you the skills that best fit you and your particular needs.

Mind-body split or holistic focus?

The focus in traditional therapy is most always narrowed to mental health only, addressing mostly thoughts and feelings. Other factors contributing to overall wellness are typically not acknowledged or addressed.

Feminist-holistic therapy does not endorse the “mind-body split” philosophy of the traditional medical model. We at Full Circle understand that physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, as well as cultural, societal and environmental issues are intertwined and all impact our over-all wellness. We address each of these issues as needed, ever aware that we are working to empower you to make changes personally, inter-personally, spiritually, environmentally and socially.

Inside or Outside the Medical-model Insurance-driven system?

In most traditional agencies, clients are routinely given a diagnosis that remains in their permanent medical records in order to meet demands of a third party payment system (insurance company or HMO). Client’s treatment details may be shared as required by insurance companies who control what is “covered” or reimburse-able within the counseling process.

Counseling sessions at Full Circle, within our Feminist-Holistic model, can be practiced outside the medical-model system, with fee-for-service as alternative payment option, thus eliminating the need for third party/insurance company involvement or interference. In this case there is no need for diagnosis, nor any disclosure of personal information to insurance companies. Rather the client maintains complete control of her/his counseling process.