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To be successful in supporting people staff and organisations need to establish a good balance between what is important to and for a person.

In services, staff are often directed to ensure people are kept healthy and safe, in person centred thinking this is often referred to as being 'important for' someone. What is 'important to' the person and embraces the important people, places, possessions, rituals, routines, faith culture, interests, hobbies, work etc. which makes the person who they are.

This tool will help services


  • To support the person in ways that makes sense to them.
  • To develop fuller and richer lives
  • To find ways of supporting the person to be healthy and safe


A template (see graphic) for the important to/for  tool you will find on the website and here.

The short description of the method in the minibook person centred thinking you find here.

An explanation of the important to/ for tool and examples you can also find on the website of Helen Sanderson Associates