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PATH and Community-Building: 

a hands-on course to practice PATH, Solution Circles,

and strategies for community-building


At the heart of helping people move toward lives of self-determination, connection, companionship and contribution are effective skills in person centered planning, the development of personal support networks, and strategies that define vision, invite collaboration, and build the energy and commitment necessary to work together on complex problems.

PATH and Creative Facilitation is an intensive practice-based training event based on the internationally recognized work of Jack Pearpoint, Marsha Forest and John O'Brien, John McKnight, John McGee, and Joseph Schaeffer.

PATH is simply the most powerful individual, team and organizational planning tool we've ever encountered. 

All participants leave having done their own PATH, and having co-facilitated PATHs for two other participants.  They leave inspired, energized and with actual tools to start using immediately at work and personal situations.


PATH is a systematic seven step process to define strategies for aligning and increasing the energy available to make progress on complex problems.  It is a way for a person and members of their personal network to:

  •  affirm the values that guide them

  •  vividly depict their vision

  •  feel the tension between their vision and their current reality

  •  identify the people to enroll in making progress

  •  specify how they will build the skills, knowledge and stamina necessary for the work

  •  sketch strategies that will move them toward their vision

  •  and define exactly who will take responsibility for which immediate next steps

- John O'Brien, A little book on Personal Futures Planning

Section of a PATH graphic

Click here for a more detailed description of the PATH process


Who Should Attend

The best workshops involve diverse training groups professionals, parents, extended family members, people who receive supports, circle members, and ideally a number of 'civilians' people who come from other walks of life: business people, artists, architects, leaders in civic associations, church members and clergy, elected representatives, etc.

PATH and the related facilitation and team-building tools are being forged in the disability field, but they have been shown to have real value in other areas including child protection, mental health and corrections.  Since the tools are not 'disability-specific', they are a gift to the larger civic community as well. 

Participants from human service agencies, schools, businesses, congregational, cultural, economic development and community action groups will:

  •  Learn tools for dealing with complex problems in turbulent environments

  •  Develop and communicate a compelling vision of the future

  •  Learn effective, proven methods for moving from dreams to action

  •  Facilitate goal-setting, action planning, and problem-solving

  •  Help teams move towards consensus, commitment and conflict resolution

  •  Explore community-building, capacity-finding, and strategies for finding the 'places' where individual gifts can be welcomed

When Times are Tough

This workshop emphasizes practical solutions for 'what to do 'til the doctor comes'.  PATH, Solution Circles, the Stone Game and strategies for community-building are all designed to work while the budget deficit is still looming and the 'system' isn't fixed.  It offers a new pattern language for re-energizing professionals, families, and engaging the broader community

The Presenters

David and Faye Wetherow are parents, seasoned facilitators and service innovators.  They created the first Microboards, inclusive housing and service cooperatives, and some of Canada's first individualized residential, employment and personal support services.

     "Wonderful, gentle, wise souls.  I felt safe and respected.  I was totally engaged the entire time, and that doesn't happen to me very often in a workshop context."

     "You were an integral, energizing force in my efforts to recover from chronic sadness and rage at the ways in which my son had been marginalized over the past few years."

     "PATH training was a multi-faceted gift -- not only did I come away more excited about a planning process than I had been in ages, but I also had the opportunity to experience a tiny slice of the renowned Wetherow magic -- and I'd been pining for that for a long time."


Contact us about organizing a PATH / Creative Facilitation training event in your area.