Q. Critically Evaluate the Use of: the Leisure Ability Model and the Health Promotion/Protection Model.

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Therapeutic Recreation Assignment Shane O`Rourke
Year 4 Rec Man
20006284

Q. Critically evaluate the use of: The Leisure Ability Model and the Health Promotion/Protection Model. Justify the use of one of these models for an individual with Spinal Chord Injuries.

Before discussing both models we must understand what therapeutic recreation (t.r) is. Morrow (1980) defined t.r as "a process wherein recreation experiences are used to bring about a change the behaviour of those individuals with special needs"

The main use of t.r is to prevent illness from occurring or if illness is already present to improve the life of the individual.

The Leisure Ability Mode (LAM) which was draw up by Peterson and Gunne in 1984 focuses on leisure as a prevention of illness rather than the use of medication.

The main function of the L.A.M is that the end product of t.r services for clients should be and improved independence and satisfying leisure functioning (Peterson and Gunne 1984)

By empowering clients and giving them the skill, knowledge, and ability to participate in leisure it is hoped that the individuals overall quality of life can be improved.

(Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) stated that "people who learn to control inner experiences will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can hope to come to being happy"

From this statement it is clear that empowerment and the passing on of the correct skills and knowledge by the t.r specialist is the key to the L.A.M and the clients overall health.

Factors discussed by Gunne and Peterson such as Learned Helplessness, Intrinsic Motivation, Internal Locus Of Control and Personal Attribution as well as Choice and Flow all play a major part in the overall workings of the model.

I will now discuss a number of these factors and evaluate the positive and negative effects they can have on clients.

Learned Helplessness; According to Iso-Ahola (1980) T.R is a means to aiding individuals in achieving psychological satisfaction from their leisure participation.

"People generally expect their leisure and recreation participation to be psychologically therapeutic, the term T.R is restricted to the process whereby a therapist actively strives to remove the psychological barriers hindering clients from experiencing satisfying leisure and recreation experiences. Participation in free time activities in itself is meaningless. The most important consideration is what the clients by themselves and with the help of a T.R specialist are able to derive psychologically from their recreation involvement."

For a T.R specialist removing psychological barriers which stop individuals from participating in leisure can be a tough job especially if the individual has very negative experiences in relation to leisure. However the reward if these barriers can be removed can be extremely beneficial for the client.

Seligman looked at another aspect of learned helplessness which can be a barrier; individuals believe that events happening in their lives are beyond their personal control and therefore the individual stops trying to effect changes or outcomes in their lives.

The job of the T.R specialist is to reverse the consequences of learned helplessness. They can do this by a) Increasing the sense of personal causation and internal control, b) increasing the sense of personal choice and alternatives, and, c) achieving the state of optimal experience.

Removing the psychology of L.H from individuals that suffer from it is in theory excellent, however it is flawed in a number of areas; trying to motivate someone who has very negative views of leisure can be extremely difficult, a person who has been helped all their lives by others will find it very hard to believe in their own ability never mind attempt to achieve the state of optimal experience.

A lot of work has to be done by the therapeutic recreational specialist in order to...
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