Currently I have a practice I call FullThought. I teach or facilitate circle conversation anywhere people are living, striving, struggling and working together. I came to this work after 24 years in social work. When I first entered the field of social work I began to work with young people and families entrenched in our juvenile justices systems. This work continued for most of my time in the field. For many years I experienced our contributions as social workers simply as compassionate witnesses to the lives of young people and families being altered forever by the harsh course of corrections. In my work at the Hmong American Partnership we began hosting and promoting families circles with the families of the young men we served. We asked families to use the circle process to grapple with questions such as: ”What does success look like for our family?”
”How are we going to get there?” ”What has happened that led us to these circumstances?”
”What harm has been done?” and ”What are we going to do about it?”
For the first time in my career I began to see transformation and healing.
With FullThought I am working to make these practices contagious and more readily available to all. I see the possible applications as endless and see our work in FullThought as the work of introducing the circle process we use, not making ourselves a fixture in the lives of the families or businesses we serve. Most people who use our services are in a position to embrace our approach as there own when our time is done.
FullThought continues our work with families. We are available when a family is navigating change or looking for enrichment and opening gentle channels of communication. In business settings we help strategic decisions making or problem solving. We can be brought in as an executive coach when a leader is struggling to get the team reporting to him/her functioning at a more cooperative and productive level but is looking for a new tool, not a personality over haul.
I have experience with Circles for families, businesses and community.
I have worked with the following groups doing Circles:
Hmong American Partnership
Unity Church East
Girl Scout Troop 53200
Crazy Horse School
Ramsey County Juvenile Services
Ramsey County Human Resources
The Metropolitan Council
Center For Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT)
Save Our Sons (SOS)
Butler Family Foundation
Great Rivers iRace Conference
Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota
Minnesota Minority Education Project (MMEP)
Dakota County Juvenile Services
St. Paul Public School, Journeys
St. Paul Public School, Humboldt, Jr. High
St. Paul Public Schools, The Lab
Merrick Community Center
Neighbors For Clean Air, Portland
Community School of Excellence
Northdale Middle School
Youth Service Bureau
Metro State University
The College of St. Catherine
Areas of Interest and Service
FullThought teaches and facilitates focused circle conversation. We believe good outcomes come from thoughtful planning of a circle and a disciplined approach to hearing all voices.
We draw our clarity on the objective of a circle.
Guide the design of questions.
Logistics planning and details.
Laura LaBlanc, President, brings 30+ years of community leadership to her work as founder of FullThought. LaBlanc is widely recognized for launching innovative and successful approaches to addressing complex contemporary issues facing families, youth, neighborhoods and diverse populations. From her extensive facilitation work, she has developed a strong faith in the genius of different thoughts, cultures and life experiences ñ and has seen first hand the transformative power multiple voices can bring to problems big and small.
As a mother, stepmother and grandmother, LaBlanc is committed to work that improves the world in which our children grow, develop and come of age. The formation of FullThought is an effort to create a place to share and make contagious the simple truth about the power of listening and simple mechanisms of conversation that allow it to happen.
“Lack of understanding causes businesses, families, and communities to perish. Therefore, potential perishes. Laura reverses this pattern in her important work.”
Melvin Carter, Jr. – Founder of Save Our Sons