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MAP has been developed by Jack PEARPOINT and Marsha FOREST in the mid 1980’s (see O’BRIEN & FOREST 1989). PATH followed slightly later (see PEARPOINT, O’BRIEN & FOREST 2001). Both these methods use a graphic process in a meeting where the main person has invited people that they have chosen. It is important that the person and their support circle are well supported and prepared for the meeting.

MAP is comprised of formerly eight and today six steps (see O’BRIEN & LOVETT 2000) drawing a positive picture of a person through a group of invited people (O’BRIEN, PEARPOINT & KAHN 2010, 93):

  1. Hear the story
  2. Honour the Dream
  3. Recognise the Nightmare
  4. Name Gifts
  5. Say What It Takes to receive the Gifts
  6. Agree on Action

So, this MAP group process enables 'clarifying gifts, identifying meaningful contributions, specifying the necessary conditions for contribution, and making agreements that will develop opportunities for contributions' (O’BRIEN, PEARPOINT & KAHN 2010, 16).


O’BRIEN, John (1999): Great Questions and the Art of Portraiture. Online:
O'BRIEN, John & FOREST, Marsha (1989): Action for Inclusion. Toronto: Inclusion Press
O'BRIEN, John & LOVETT, Herbert (22000): Finding a Way toward everyday Lives. The Contribution of Person-centered Planning. In: O'BRIEN, John & O'BRIEN, Connie Lyle (Eds.): A little book about Person Centered Planning. Toronto: Inclusion Press, 113-132
O'BRIEN, John & PEARPOINT, Jack (2002): Person-Centered Planning with MAPS and PATH. A Workbook for Facilitators. Toronto: Inclusion Press
O’BRIEN, John, PEARPOINT, Jack & KAHN, Linda (2010): The PATH & MAPS Handbook. Person-Centered Ways to build Communnity. Toronto:  Inclusion Press
PEARPOINT, Jack (2002): Hints for Graphic Facilitators. Toronto: Inclusion Press
PEARPOINT, Jack, O‘BRIEN, John & FOREST, Marsha (2001): PATH: Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope. A Workbook for Planning Possible Positive Futures. Toronto: Inclusion Press


Inclusion Press – Books and Material (USA)

Books and Material on MAPS and PATH in Europe

Helen Sanderson Associates – Information and examples of MAPS and PATH