Centering personal autonomy in conversations about
parenting, pregnancy, and sexual health
WHAT IS PATH?
The PATH Framework is a person-centered model designed to help health care providers and staff engage in conversations with people about their sexual and reproductive health. It can be used with clients of any demographic without judgement.
Developed iteratively over many years and based on input from countless patients and health care providers, PATH incorporates both novel and time-honored counseling skills and is centered around a series of effective questions. Use of the PATH framework facilitates listening and encourages providers to continuously check their own biases.
Healthcare providers respect patients' lived experiences and preferences by supporting patient autonomy through person-centered questioning and counseling skills.
In health care visits people are rarely directly asked about their reproductive desires. This may be attributed to time constraints or lack of provider skill. Perhaps it also reflects underlying bias about who should and who should not have children.
If reproductive desires are brought up, it is frequently in the context of “planning,” a binary frame that neither acknowledges nor respects the nuanced nature of people’s attitudes and feelings having, or not having, children. PATH allows the person to interpret the questions and respond to them in a way that is relevant to their own lives. This affords an opportunity for people to consider, often for the first time, their reproductive desires and facilitates an honest dialogue between people and their providers.
TRAIN WITH US
Train With Us
PATH is both a series of questions as well as a comprehensive, dynamic framework to approach discussions around sexual and reproductive health. Our trainings bring together these topics in engaging, collaborative formats.