What are the limitations of the Inclusion Web?

It cannot ascribe meaning

The Inclusion Web can only describe – it cannot ascribe meaning. Those supporting people to complete the Inclusion Web will need to ask them separately if the change results in an improvement for them. Only the person themselves will be able to safely ascribe meaning to the changes that occur. However, for people who use services, an increase in the average number of people and places and in the spread of contacts around the Inclusion Web is usually positive.

It cannot rate the importance of the contact 

The Inclusion Web will prompt a discussion about which people and places are most important to the person, but it does not collect numerical data on the degree of importance for the person. We know that they are significant enough to get a mention, but there is no suggestion that they are matched in any way. So consider, for example, changing jobs where you ‘replace’ two long standing work colleagues with two new acquaintances. Your Inclusion Web numbers might show no change, but you have lost your regular contact with two close friends and gained two superficial links – not the same at all. These nuances are not captured.

It cannot prioritise goals

Similarly, the Inclusion Web provides a good focus for discussing and recording information about the person’s ambitions. We do not yet know if people generally choose a single life domain to work upon or prefer to tackle several life domains simultaneously. We might assume that the biggest changes will occur in the areas that are highest priority for the person themselves. However, the numerical data that is collected by the Inclusion Web process does not record any information about the person’s priorities.

It cannot warn you when to put it aside

On occasions it may be unwise to use the Inclusion Web with a particular individual. It has been suggested that anyone who is both profoundly isolated and seriously depressed may find the Inclusion Web makes a stark and graphic representation of their isolation which may then exacerbate their negative feelings. So it may be unwise to use it with people who have serious suicidal intent or who have recently experienced bereavement. However, some people (even in the midst of crisis) will appreciate the honest conversation that arises out of completing the Inclusion Web, and this will help them plan for the future. This emphasises the need for the person who is supporting the process to be experienced enough to exercise skill and sensitivity in the interaction.