Person Centered Thinking

Person centered thinking is a set of principles and core competencies that is the foundation for person centered planning. Person centered Planning is a guided process for learning how someone wants to live at home, at work or in the community and developing a plan to help make it happen. 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.

Benefit to Individuals - Being person centered means treating others with dignity and respect and empowering them to set and reach their own personal goals. A person-centered approach recognizes the right of individuals to make informed choices, and take responsibility for those choices and related risks. It builds on the strengths, gifts, talents, skills, and contributions of the individual and those who know and care about the individual. Families report that person centered thinking tools help them think about what is important to their son or daughter and assist them in formulating a plan to access supports and services.

Benefit to Organizations - When applied to an organizational setting, person-centered thinking becomes a process of building and sustaining an organizational culture rooted in principles of developing employees, encouraging engagement and making decisions that are aligned with values of respect, trust and partnership. 

In Vermont, we have two goals in advancing Person Centered Thinking throughout our system. The first goal is to build a permanent infrastructure of credentialed facilitators of Person Centered Thinking so that learning opportunities are available and accessible to all organizations and at all professional levels within the long term supports and services sector in the state. The second goal is to create a sustainable learning community for person centered practices.

Person Centered Thinking in Vermont