Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Essential Lifestyle Planning as polytheism

Essential Lifestyle Planning (ELP) is a conceptual name given to a category of thinking and doing in the social services also called Person-Centered Thinking (PCT.) Blogging from the 2006 ELP Trainers Conference, I can report that this remains to me an intriguing, flexible and useful line of work. Agendas from the conference and some shapr insights that I hear here are being posted on the East LA Vendor Learning Community weblog.

One of the concerns that I have had and continue to have about the change process is how we prevent person-centered thinking from locking in as a secular faith. There are many holy words in PCT, rites (tools,) and styles of worship. There are anointed clergy, renegade evangelists and false prophets. The concern is that so much of every religion is hypocrisy and one of the challenges we face is how not to be superficially devout.

I have no doubt that person-centered people-first language and rigorous use of the tools can produce lives as restricted and support as meaningless as is currently practiced in our worst instutions. At the end of the day, the change we seek is to listen and respond and provide meaningful assistance and nothing about ELP makes that inevitable unless we're listening, responding and providing meaningful assistance. I have no doubt this religion will continue to spread and evangelize, but I wonder who will be saved.

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