My Life is a trialled and tested tool that has been used with people of all ages. People say that they like to see their life on a page. People who are familiar with being assessed would prefer assessors to use something similar to this.
The tool has four areas:
The place you call home and the people you share it with
The community you are part of, friends and neighbours.
Work, learning and sharing your gifts and skills with others.
How are you feeling?
How to use it.
You may notice that the tool is influenced by motivational interviewing. Each one of the sections starts by asking the person to describe their current reality. Once that is described, the person is asked to give that area of life a score. The next task is to consider a hope for this area. The person is then asked what helped them to get to the score they provided. This builds hope and confidence and strengthens importance. It reminds the person of what they’ve already achieved. If the person scores a very low score then they move straight to what might help them take the first step towards the next number.
If you are using this tool with someone you can complete the whole tool together and then ask the person where they would like to start or you can take one area at a time. That will depend on the time you have available, the length of time you are able to connect with someone and the focus of your work. You can also explore what worries the person should change not happen. This tool can be used in conjunction with the change questions.
This tool can be used with people of all ages and in both one to one and group situations.
RIPEN has used it individually with family members and then facilitated processes that enabled the creation of a family plan.
It has been used it in schools to help leaders understand how children are thinking and feeling. In those circumstances it is important that children know the score that would cause you to worry about them so that they can make informed choices when scoring.
It has been used to help people who are planning changes to their life. Perhaps considering leaving abusive relationships or contemplating other significant life changes.
People always seem to understand it and own it in my experience. They find it far more useful than the plans we give them from the assessments we do about them. They like to see their life on a page. They like to measure their own progress.
The difficulty for the system in my experience is that the way we approach change is often different to the way helpeing professionals support it. For example, in my experience people tend to overscore themselves in some areas at the start. Shame and blame gets in the way. Being able to roll with that is helpful. Having to tell someone why you disagree in order to record the risk is usually less helpful.
RIPEN still dreams that one day, tools like this will replace the cumbersome assessment processes that we use, that seem only to serve a purpose for the system and leave citizens confused and passive.