In an ever-changing world characterized by rapidly expanding knowledge and technology, diversification should be part of every professions quest to thrive. We can no longer operate in our closed cubicles and speak in esoteric tongues. Companies and industries, which fail to innovate and adapt, run the risk of becoming obsolete and possibly collapsing. Therapeutic recreation (TR) is at a crossroads. Leadership and other pressures within the field are moving us towards a narrow and more specialized model. A vibrant future may lay in a clinical focus, but the value and power of therapeutic recreation services may have a more extensive role to play in todays changing world. Further limiting the provision of our services is not in harmony with trends towards diversity. Creating, growing, and adapting services, whether in therapeutic recreation, community or business settings, requires the ability to lead with an out of the box perspective in order to flourish.Traditionally, TR serves individuals and groups with disabilities and illness, using a variety of recreational modalities to promote positive change, higher quality of life and overall well-being. TR programs often provide powerful life changing experiences (Lundberg, Taniguchi, & McCormick, 2011). Ideally, the benefit of TR services and the potential to promote quality of life should be available to all people with disabilities and illness. In the context of diversification, we might also consider the value of TR services beyond our historical client base. The efficacy of TR services should not be limited to a select few. Although the traditional view of TRs applications is focused on individuals with physical and/or psychological disabilities, these same applications potentially have a more comprehensive application. This brief addresses the possibility of such non-traditional applications.
Author Mark A. Widmer, Mat D. Duerden, Stacy T. Taniguchi
Volume Vol 47, No 1 (2013)