3.5 Steps in family planning counselling: the GATHER approach
When you counsel a new client in your village about family planning, you should follow a step-by-step process. GATHER is an acronym that will help you remember the 6 basic steps for family planning counselling (see Box 3.2). It is important to know that not every new client in your village needs all the steps — you need to use the GATHER approach sensitively so that it is appropriate to each client’s need. Within your community you may need to give more attention to one step than another.
Box 3.2 Family planning counselling — the GATHER approach
G Greet the client respectfully.
A Ask them about their family planning needs.
T Tell them about different contraceptive options and methods.
H Help them to make decisions about choices of methods.
E Explain and demonstrate how to use the methods.
R Return/refer; schedule and carry out a return visit and follow up.
It is important to give more emphasis to the points under each counselling step.