Therapeutic Recreation

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Therapeutic recreation is a treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life. According to WHO- The world health organisation, health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health. Health promotion represents a comprehensive social and political process, it not only embraces actions directed at strengthening the skills and capabilities of individuals but also the action directed towards changing the social, environmental and economic conditions. The Ottawa Charter identifies three basic strategies for health promotion. These advocacy’s for health to create the essential conditions for health indicated above enabling all people to achieve their full potential, and mediating between the different interests in society in the pursuit of health. In order to promote healthy lifestyles in a population or an individual a number of models have been created. For this study both the Leisure Ability Model and the Health Protection/Health Promotion Model are being looked at and compared. The first of these models being looked at is the Health Protection/Health Promotion Model. This model, created by Austin 1991, sees the purpose of therapeutic recreation as facilitating the client to recover following a threat to health such as drug addiction, alcohol addiction, psychiatric disorder etc, also known as health protection, and to achieve optimal health through health promotion. Hence for this reason this models chief aim is “to use activity, recreation or leisure to help people to deal with problems that serve as barriers to health and assist them to strive for their highest levels of wellness”, (Austin, 1997). There are four major concepts that underlie the Health Protection/ Health Promotion Model (HPHPM). These are the Humanistic Perspective, High-level Wellness, The Stabilisation and Actualisation Tendencies and Health. Humanistic Perspective- Those who embrace the humanistic perspective believe that each of us has the responsibility for his/her own health and the capacity for making self-directed wise choices about our own individual health status. Because an individual is responsible for their own health it is important to encourage individuals to become involved in decision making and to gather maximum knowledge to improve their health. Austin encourages that the population are “active participants in the world, rather than passive puppets controlled by the environment”. The humanistic perspective focuses on the positive image of what it means to be human. Human nature is viewed as basically good, and humanistic theorists focus on methods that allow fulfilment of an individual’s potential. High-Level Wellness- The term high level wellness was first coined by Dr. Halbert Dunn in his book in 1961, he defined it as “…an integrated method of functioning which is oriented toward maximizing the potential of which the individual is capable”. Dunn’s concept of high level wellness is, like the humanistic perspective is a holistic approach that goes beyond the absence of physical illness to include both psychological and environmental wellness. For this reason Austin surmises that high level wellness goes beyond traditional medicine and toward helping people to achieve as high a level of wellness as they are capable of achieving. Austin further goes on to compare the similarities between high level wellness and therapeutic recreation as both have been heavily influenced by the humanistic perspective. Stabilisation and Actualisation Tendencies- These are two motivational forces which the Health Protection/ Health Promotion Model are based on. Stabilising tendencies helps to maintain a steady state of an individual. It looks at keeping the stress levels of an individual’s life at a maintainable level and not to let the stressors in a person’s life to spiral out of control leading to health risk behaviour (HRB),...
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