A significant paradigm shift is occurring within health and human services that has the potential to shape the future of therapeutic recreation. Under the old paradigm the primary focus of health and human services was on deficit reduction (Benson, 1997; Frisch, 2006) or the amelioration of problems (Pollard & Rosenberg, 2003). Over time, however, there has been an increasing awareness that the elimination of deficits or problems alone does not result necessarily in healthy, competent, vibrant people or communities. The focus of the new paradigm is on understanding and cultivating the strengths and capacities of individuals, and the institutions and society that allow them to thrive (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002) and to move towards well-being. The profession of Therapeutic Recreation (TR) has the opportunity to play an important role in supporting clients to create a life of meaning, in spite of challenges and limitations. However, the potential role of TR in this process of building capacity and the theoretical support needed has not been articulated clearly in the field. As such, this article will introduce a contemporary service delivery model of TR (The Leisure and Well-Being Model) and will provide theoretical and empirical support for the role of TR in adopting well-being as the desired outcome of service.
Author Cynthia P. Carruthers, Colleen Deyell Hood
Volume Vol 41, No 4 (2007)