An Analysis of Selected Ethical Issues in Therapeutic Recreation


  • Charles D. Sylvester


Professional Ethics, Confidentiality, Social-Sexual Relations, Accountability, Client Autonomy, Teaching Professional Ethics


Ethics is a necessary part of professional practice. Attention to professional ethics in therapeutic recreation, however, has been insufficient. This article examines selected areas of ethical concern, including: (1) confidentiality, (2) social sexual relations, and (3) client autonomy. Emphasis is placed on the special implications each issue holds for therapeutic recreation. Recommendations are offered for the revision of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society Statement of Professional Ethics. In particular, education concerning professional ethics is urged for students and professionals. A model of the ethically enlightened professional is also suggested as an ideal for therapeutic recreators to emulate.



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