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Philosophical Position

  1. ATRA acknowledges the significance of leisure and recreation as integral components of optimal health and well-being of individuals with illnesses and disabling conditions. 
  2. ATRA believes health extends beyond just the absence of illness to include enhancement of physical, cognitive, social and affective development, such that persons may participate fully and independently in chosen life pursuits.
  3. ATRA recognizes well-being according to the WHO/Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, that in order to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment.
  4. ATRA endorses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Call to Action (2015). ATRA aligns with First Nations, Inuit and Métis sharing a common understanding of well-being or wellness as something that comes from a balance of body, mind, emotion and spirit. 
  5. ATRA recognizes the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health that disability is not defined by mortality or a problem but rather any health condition which disables a person’s ability to participate actively in achieving a productive and fulfilling life. 
  6. ATRA believes that Recreation Therapists have the opportunity and responsibility to address broader social and environmental complexities, co-morbidities or dual diagnoses occurring as a result of initial diagnosis, disability or illness in order to be active in preventing further impact of illness, injury or disease. A
  7. ATRA believes that the profession of therapeutic recreation can be harmful to the public if practice is not current, does not follow defined standards of practice or practice does not utilize the most up-to-date evidence for safe and ethical intervention. 
  8. ATRA promotes patient/resident-centred treatment, whereby assessment and intervention are systematic, individualized and based on patient/resident needs, strengths and goals, leading to outcomes that are meaningful and relevant to the patient/resident and their family, support and community. 
  9. ATRA defines community as within one’s environment, for example: the community in which the patient/resident lives, or the patient’s/resident’s definition of their community. 
  10. ATRA believes Recreation Therapists provide an essential service in health settings within a continuum and collaborative model of care.