I’ve been meaning to create this blog post for months now! In July Bonnie presented a great webinar on Person-Centered Thinking Tools – during that webinar we had a discussion about the challenges of documenting relationships. To follow up from this conversation – Donnia Melton from Mosaic and I had a phone conference and a wonderful conversation about different ways we have both tried to accomplish this.

The gist is that as we work toward supporting Individuals to build new skills – much of the time those skills are related to relationship development. Whether it is making friends, socializing, integration in the community, learning how to moderate emotions, relationships with roommates and coworkers, and pursuing meaningful relationships (romantic and otherwise). It has a much greater impact on a person’ quality of life to improve and grow the meaningful relationships around them. Now the rub…how do we document this? How to we track this? What does success look like?

Quantifying and measuring relationship success and growth is challenging at best – and more often impossible. So instead we try to look at activities and skills that are related to this endeavor.

For example: “Brianne will join a church” , “Donnie will create birthday cards and deliver them to her friends at the coffee shop”, “Allison will plan and host a dinner party” – etc… While these are great efforts in the right direction – they are frequently far from the mark. Brianne could join a church and never really make a friend there. Donnie could deliver cards but not have the opportunity to spend meaningful time with her friends. And Allison could host her dinner party yet never get another opportunity to socialize with the people she invited that time. Our documentation efforts frequently drive the actions of our frontline and they are trying to “do their job” and “get it right.”

While I don’t have an answer to this problem, I love to keep thinking on it and working on it. Any move in the right direction can only reap rewards in people’s lives. So I challenge each you to look at and think about how we document relationships – what will be the best way(s) to reach meaningful outcomes for people in the area of relationships.

Check out Donnia’s upcoming webinar for more on this topic (and others).
Person-Focused Planning and How Therap Can Help 12-11-2013 —
Donnia Melton-Togbanyahn, a Therap Regional Coordinator from MOSAIC, will discuss the tools in Therap that assist with ISP planning and ensuring it remains individually-focused.