The PATH Method
Person-Centered Ways to Build Community

John O’Brien, Jack Pearpoint & Lynda Kahn

PATH Template:  note the ORDER of the steps

PATH draws on people’s capacities to imagine different futures, & to think backwards from a future possibility & tell fruitful stories about how that possibility might come to be.  

The template puts present time on the left & future time to the right. The process moves the planning circle from the purpose that calls the focus person to join in its creation to a definite future time a year or more away.

Then it shifts to a description of the present before moving back to a future point halfway to the desired future & works back to potential accomplishments in the month following the meeting & the day after the meeting.

It is much harder to explain this to planning circle members before they have experienced it than it is to guide them through it, so just jump in & do it together.

– PATH & MAPS Handbook ©Inclusion Press 2010, Page 68

PATH is a creative planning process which starts in the future and works backwards to an outcome of first (beginning) steps that are possible and positive.

It is excellent for team building. It has been used to mediate conflicts. It is loved by people who actually want to change the ways we currently work.

Groups teaching PATH as a planning process will hopefully have a copy of the book for each student. PATH is not for the faint of heart. It is very results oriented.

Our friend Dave Wetherow wrote an excellent letter to someone who was asking about becoming a ‘trainer’ in PATH or MAPS. It is an excellent explanation of how we think about this issue…. (On Becoming a PATH Trainer – Dave Wetherow)


DVD’s focusing on PATH…

A collection of 18 videos about Circles, MAPS and PATH.

A collection of 18 videos about Circles, MAPS and PATH. Some are current; some are historical. Enjoy. Note: the icon in the top left corner of the above video screen includes a listing of these videos.