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The relationship map records who is in the person’s life. Presented as a graphic of circles inside one another it records family, friends, paid support, unpaid support or work colleagues. The person is supported to write the names of people they know in each of the sections.

This tool will help services

  • To discover the important people in the person’s life
  • Find out if there are key people who may not be apparent
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Discover where there are gaps and consider what need to be done to increase who is in the person’s life
  • Consider who may be in the persons circle of support

An example of the tool you will find in the story of Thomas, who used the relationship map to find out who to ask to go with him to the Christmas party in his company.


A template of the tool you will find here.

The short description of the method in the minibook person centred thinking you find here.

An explanation of the tool and podcasts about circles you can also find on the website of Helen Sanderson Associates


SANDERSON, Helen & GOODWIN, Gill (2007): Person Centred Thinking Stockport: HSA Press.