A Virtue-Based Approach to Therapeutic Recreation Practice


  • Charles Sylvester


Ethics, Virtue, Virtue-based practice, MacIntyre, Professionalism


Therapeutic recreation exists to make life better for people, raising fundamental questions of good and bad, right and wrong, which is the subject matter of ethics. Ideally aiming to do what is good and right, therapeutic recreation practice is always ethical in nature. Virtue ethics has become especially prominent in moral theory, attracting the interest of disciplines and professions. Yet virtue has received little attention in therapeutic recreation. MacIntyre’s (1984) theory of a practice was used to explore a virtue-based approach to therapeutic recreation practice. Although therapeutic recreation has the potential to become a virtue-based practice, it lacks the integrated narrative needed to discover the particular set of virtues best suited for the ends of practice. The main reason for this crisis has been the failure to establish a tradition that contains the healthy debate practices rely on. Education must address the issue, because while knowledge and skill are the pillars of a profession, virtue is its bedrock.





Conceptual Papers