Alissa Perrucci

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    Decision assessment and counseling in abortion care

    Alissa Perrucci University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco CA, USA - perruccia@obgyn.ucsf.edu

    In this session participants will learn an approach and framework for conducting pre-abortion decision assessment and counseling that is applicable across all types of decision conflict and ambivalence as well as decision certainty. I will outline the components of this model of counseling and how it corresponds to the process of informed consent in the practice of medicine. I will also describe my philosophy of education and training for counselors in this field. Decision assessment and counseling is an approach and framework that is grounded in patient autonomy and agency and follows the fundamental principle that the patient has the answer to her dilemma. The approach emphasizes techniques for active listening, bracketing of assumptions, and self-reflection. The framework provides a conversational map as well as specific skills for working with challenging patient statements. Participants will be able to describe the components of the framework, analyze their own style of counseling in the context of this model, and plan for implementation of new skills for working with emotional, spiritual and moral conflict with pregnancy decisions.