Jean Vanier and The Transformational Model of Rehabilitation: Principles of Care for Concerned Professionals

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Forster, Donna Marie
Modes of Rehabilitation Therapy , Jean Vanier , Transformational rehabilitation
Abstract The focus of this thesis is stress in rehabilitation professionals. Within the thesis, burnout encompasses compassion fatigue and moral stress. Therefore, burnout is the emotional and ethical fatigue which is produced through organizational and clinical expectations present when working with individuals who live with disabilities. This thesis argues that current rehabilitation service delivery models exacerbate burnout through their neglect of emotional and ethical needs in professionals. The goal of this thesis is to develop an alternative model of service delivery which addresses burnout in rehabilitation professionals. The thesis answers the following question. How does Jean Vanier's thinking about relationships between individuals, living with and without disabilities, contribute to the field of rehabilitation therapy and, more specifically, to reducing stress currently experienced by rehabilitation professionals? To answer this question and meet the thesis goal, the research is situated within a constructivist paradigm and uses a single, interpretive case study design. This research has produced the transformational model of service delivery. This model states rehabilitation is a transformational process. Whereas traditional rehabilitation views the client as the focus of the change process, the transformational model states both the client and the professional benefit from their participation in a transformational change process. The change process is directed at the personal identity of both client and professional and is characterized by increased awareness and acceptance of key aspects within self and other. Whereas in more traditional rehabilitation models, creating the relational conditions necessary for change is the professional's responsibility, within the transformational rehabilitation model, both client and professional contribute to the relationship which is characterized by commitment, co-operation and compassion. In addition, client and professional experience the outcome of transformation, maturity. A mature person is defined by his/her capacity for agency and authenticity. This thesis argues that Jean Vanier is relevant to rehabilitation professionals. The articulation of an alternative model of service delivery, based on Vanier's thinking about relationships between individuals living with and without disabilities, makes a significant contribution to reducing stress in rehabilitation professionals.
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