About Us

Guiding Principles

We believe that a circle represents many aspects of our mission at Full Circle. We have worked to create a circle of support where children and families experiencing loss can find hope and start the healing process in a safe, trusting environment.

Creation of the Full Circle Group Model
With curriculum designed by a regional bereavement expert, Allyson Drake, MEd, CT, using a model from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Full Circle incorporates best practices for helping families grieve. All groups emphasize the importance of teaching coping skills and feelings identification as well as how to effectively support others while healing themselves.

Our goals are to help grieving individuals:

  • Strengthen Family through Grief: increase communication between family members to strengthen family ties so they can support each other during grieving
  • Learn Coping Skills: identify healthy ways to deal with traumatic events and their long grief journey
  • Reduce Isolation: build support networks within and outside of the family
  • Heal through Creative Expression: use creative expression to strengthen communication and process feelings

In other words, anyone is welcome inside the circle, regardless of where they are on their grief journey.


Our Approach

Allyson Drake, M.Ed., CT, Founder

Full Circle was established in September 2008 by Allyson Drake, M.Ed., CT, as a comprehensive grief resource center for children, adults, and families.

Full Circle is very unique in its approach to bereavement care:

  • We are the only organization in Richmond to provide bereavement groups for extended families along with concurrent peer groups. Families learn to grieve together rather than in isolation.
  • We are the only organization to provide professionally-led suicide loss groups and perinatal loss groups. Our goal in the two years is to add a homicide loss group and a group for those who have lost a loved one to overdose.
  • We are also the only organization in Richmond to provide bereavement support to grieving students at their inner-city school or community organization. The need is so high that we are focusing our efforts on traumatic death.
  • We combine professionally-designed grief support programs with creative expression in the form of art, music, play, dance and journaling to trigger discussions that may not have occurred otherwise.

Our approach provides children and adults with a safe, nurturing, and caring environment to express their grief and their feelings. It’s a place where healing begins.

At Full Circle, families and individuals find:

  • Trained, nurturing grief counselors
  • Supportive peer groups
  • Creative outlets
  • Acceptance of experiences and feelings
  • Opportunity to play
  • A chance to remember and commemorate their loved one

We believe in the:

  • Power of the group process
  • Benefits of creative expression
  • Importance of groups being facilitated by experienced professionals
  • Need to assist the entire family, not just the child
  • Importance of providing grief support to all individuals, regardless of ability to pay

Grief Counseling and Groups

Full Circle offers a variety of programs for families and individuals to provide support, resources, and help during the grieving process and beyond.

Counseling Groups for Adults and Families:

  • Hands On Healing Group for children ages 3-18 and their families
  • Perinatal Loss Group for parents who are grieving the death of a baby
  • Suicide Loss Group for adults grieving a loss by suicide
  • Overdose Loss Group for adults grieving the death of a loved one due to an overdose

Outreach Groups for At-Risk Youth:

  • Groups held at inner-city schools and community partner sites: ChildSavers, Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Friends Association for Children, and Virginia Home for Boys and Girls

Grief Education:

  • Bereavement training for local professionals and community members
  • Publishing and continuously updating the area’s first and only comprehensive Bereavement Resource Manual

For more information on available programs, please click the links below.

Educational Services

Hands On Healing Group

Memory Wall

Overdose Loss Group

Perinatal Loss Group

Suicide Loss Group


 

Board Members and Advisors

Full Circle is honored to have dedicated people serving on our Board of Directors, our Junior Board of Directors, and as Strategic Advisors. Please click the link below for a list of current Board members and advisors supporting our mission.

Click here to meet our Board of Directors and Junior Board Members

Meet Our Staff

Learn more about the heart and soul of Full Circle – clinical team, development team, and operations team.
Click the link below for more details.

Click here to learn more about our Full Circle Founder and Professional Team

 

Allyson Drake, M.Ed., CT, Founder/Executive Director
Britt Cowart, LCSW, Clinical Case Manager
Maryse Eubank, M.Ed., Suicide Bereavement Services Manager
Stacia Macklink, LSW, ACSW, Clinical Director for Family Programs
Delaney Mescall, MSW, Director of Operations and Communications
Carrie Schaeffer, LCSW, Perinatal Bereavement Services Manager
Melanie Schiraldi, Financial Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allison Schooley, M.Ed., CT, Events and Volunteer Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”

Source: The Wonder Years