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Core Competencies

Person centered thinking is a set of principles and core competencies that is the foundation for person centered planning.  Person centered thinking tools provide practical strategies for gathering meaningful information and facilitating conversations about goal setting, problem solving and action planning. This process ensures that focus remains on the perspectives of individuals affected by the issue or outcome. Person centered thinking also provides a framework for building effective relationships and opens the door to greater collaboration and planning in partnership. This in turn, increases the likelihood that the individual receiving services or the employee receiving supervision will be heard, valued and better equipped to attain the quality of life they seek at home and at work.

Workshop Content

The basics are taught through 12 hours of presentation and guided exercises where participants acquire basic person-centered thinking skills like:

  • The importance of being listened to and the effects of having no positive control
  • The role of daily rituals and routines
  • How to discover what is important to people
  • How to sort what is important for people from what is important to them
  • How to respectfully address significant issues of health or safety while supporting choice
  • How to develop goals that help people get more of what is important to them while addressing issues of health and safety

An important part of the in-person training is in experiencing first-hand how to both create a person centered description for another participant and to experience what it is like to have one created for you. With this foundation, each participant gains competence and empathy in their new skill set.

A Set of Skills

Michael Smull, a leading figure in The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices, describes person centered thinking as "something that virtually everyone who touches a person needs to know" because change was most powerful when all staff were using person centered thinking tools in their roles, rather than relying solely on person centered planning facilitators to create plans. In this video he reflects on the origins of this work.

Next Steps...

Trainings can be customized to fit your organization or network needs and timetable.