- WHAT IS A MAP? – MAPS begins by asking the assembled group to think about what, in general, are the qualities a good Map? This step helps to set the context for the session – it is about creating a good map together for the focus person’s future journey
- What is THE STORY SO FAR? – this step asks for the story or the history of the focus person and their family from the beginning to the present day- this step of the MAP will take about 15 – 20 minutes and asks the group to describe the milestones, turning points, high and lows – the key moments – of the MAPmaker’s life so far. It is a step that invites the group to reflect on what the past can teach us about the focus person’s gifts and capacities. It chronicles what has and has not worked in the past and what the story so far tells us about things we may need to do differently in the future. This step also gives a sense of the present situation of the focus person.
- What is THE DREAM? – this step invites images and words that express the most motivating future imaginable for the MAPmaker. What key elements will give their life purpose, meaning and direction? What does the focus person really want from their life? What does the dream tell us about the MAPmaker’s gifts?
- What is THE NIGHTMARE? – this step asks – What is the worst imaginable future this focus person faces? What would make them feel trapped and powerless? No more than 5 minutes will be spend on this step of the MAPS process – its purpose is to acknowledge the nightmare, not to dwell on it. A MAP is more effective when it shows us where to avoid.
- NAMING GIFTS – this step asks the group – When is the focus person at their best? In what ways do they make a positive contribution in other’s lives? What word or image best sums up the MAPmaker’s most essential gift? What supports and opportunities does the focus person need from others in order to make this contribution?
- WHAT WILL IT TAKE? – this step asks the group – What will we need to move away from the nightmare and towards the Dream – this step asks the group to identify what they will need to begin this move– ‘needs’ may be to do with connections the group needs to make, know-how it needs to discover or resources it needs to attract.
- What ACTION AGREEMENTS can we make now? – this step asks for specifics – What will our next steps be? Who will do it? (And who will act as a support or a ‘coach?) By when will it be done? How will we check progress?
The MAPS process ends with a round of feelings, appreciations or reflections from the group on the work they have just done together; the completed MAPS is photographed, taken down from the wall, rolled up and presented to the focus person and their family.