Friendships between therapeutic recreation specialists/recreational therapists and service recipients


  • James B. Wise, PhD, CTRS



friendship, humanistic perspective, therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy, virtues


Sylvester concluded a virtue-based conceptualization of therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy (TR/RT) by identifying moral habits deemed crucial to excelling as professionals. One of the virtues is forming friendships with people receiving TR/RT services. Though intriguing, Sylvester’s conclusion has not garnered much interest from TR/RT scholars so the purpose of this paper is to generate greater awareness of and engagement with the topic. The goal is achieved by connecting the topic to a theoretical framework utilized in the profession, reviewing a historical discourse on friendship, and supplementing that account with contemporary findings. This paper concludes by listing some potential benefits of and impediments to developing friendships, and briefly discussing how professionals can foster friendly, therapeutic environments when friendships are inappropriate or impossible to form.

Author Biography

James B. Wise, PhD, CTRS

Professor, Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota


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How to Cite

Wise, PhD, CTRS, J. B. (2020). Friendships between therapeutic recreation specialists/recreational therapists and service recipients. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 19(2), 8–14.