kitchen table consulting

ideas, Concepts, and Mental models



Whole  Person, Whole  Family,  Whole  Community.... 

Aspects of Well-Being



© Diane Brandon, M.Ed.

diane dot brandon at gmail dot com


Developed with gratitude to those who created other wellness models before me, and with thanks to my son, who created the graphic image for me.

The wholeness/wellness model above is based on many others I learned about over the years. (See information about some of them at the bottom of this page.) The graphic was a collaboration between myself and my son, River Brandon, and existing images created long ago by others. I thought about the ying-yang symbol, the way it indicates movement, and wanted to expand it to enough segments to include multiple aspects of well-being. I looked at flower images, and "chops" (signatures) in Japanese art work. River drew several images based on ones I'd found, and this is the one that we both liked best. We used 8 topics at first, and then my friend Jacquelyn (Mariani) Brenner suggested adding a ninth, cultural wellness. The model supported wellness work at Plymouth State College and at York Hospital, and was adopted by many others, with variations in content. If you use this image in your work, please use the credit information below the image. And if you'd like to read my longer story about how this wellness work evolved, click here.


Wholeness – Wellness Model

Aspects of Well-Being

The descriptive words below are just intended as examples of what might be included within each aspect or dimension of well-being, at the individual level and at the community level. You can add to the list, or change it, for your own use. It's helpful to ask yourself, or the person you are working with, questions about each aspect. Some sample questions are linked here.



Individual level: Purpose, values, intuition, virtues, spirit, inspiration, love, honor, service, wisdom, truthfulness, faith, caring, courage, kindness, trustworthiness

Community level: Spiritual gatherings, meditation, houses of worship, religious organizations, inspiration


Individual level: Mind, thinking, memory, analysis and synthesis, imagination, intelligence, learning, knowing, reading, writing, communication, education

Community level: Educational institutions, libraries, bookstores, places to have conversations, media (newspapers, television, films, etc.)



Individual level: Feelings, serenity, joy, happiness, love, concern, security, safety, fear, anger, anxiety, pain, grief, sadness, stress, balance

Community level: friends and family, neighborhoods, a culture of care and respect, nurturing and welcoming places to gather, therapists and support groups



Individual level: Body care, hygiene, nutrition, exercise, weight, sex, vision, hearing, coordination, strength, endurance, gracefulness, speed

Community level: Health care resources (practitioners and facilities), recreation programs, walking and biking trails, a healthy environment, sources of healthy food and water


Individual level: Relationships, family, friends, loved ones

Community level: Neighborhood, the social order, governance, community, civic activity, organizations, clubs, places to gather, activities


Individual level: Arts, media, communication, mores, traditions, “roots,” diversity, race, tribe, region, nationality, language, religion, gender, age

Community level: Arts and cultural organizations, historical societies, community arts, cultural gatherings and events, foods, clothing, housing styles


Individual level: Career, work, job, employment, vocation, training, homemaking, parenting, interests, talents, abilities, credentials

Community level: Worksites, career centers and counselors, job training programs, learn & serve programs, volunteer programs, educational institutions

Material and Financial

Individual level: Food, clothing, housing, transportation, resource management skills, income

Community level: Financial institutions and businesses, consumer education (purchasing, selling, banking, credit, retirement), income support programs, public assistance (heat, food, clothing, etc.), home ownership programs, shelters, transportation systems


Individual level: surroundings, comfort, sound, odors, lighting, aesthetics

Community level: Air, water, soil, climate, conservation, weather, flora and fauna



Other wellness model Images


"If one imagines each aspect as a spoke on a wheel, Wellness helps a person extend the physical, social, occupational, and intellectual aspects out as far as they can be developed and practiced. Therefore, a wellness mindset seeks to grow in each dimension, not just one, so that the wheel rolls smoothly."
- National Wellness Conference

Judy and Michael Bopp have a model I like in their book: Bopp, M. & Bopp, J. 2001 Recreating the World: A practical guide to building sustainable communities. Four Worlds Press.

Glen MacWilliams found this Pain Model/Wellness Model article more than a decade ago. The source appears to be The North American Coalition on Religion and Ecology, or The Wellness Foundation, but my websearch hasn't identified the models anywhere online. Page 1 (pdf) Page 2 (pdf)

See other models at: