To ‘just be relaxed and with your own thoughts’: Experiences of aquatic activity amongst individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia

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The subjective, lived experiences of people with severe and enduring mental ill health during leisure remain a relatively under-researched area. Research suggests, however, that such participants value the empowering nature of tailored leisure activities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five individuals, or ‘clients,’ diagnosed with schizophrenia, along with two of their support workers. A Foucauldian theoretical framework guided analysis. Clients were initially passive and dependent upon health professionals for support and guidance. Swimming in an exclusive group with other service users, however, engendered confidence and facilitated the development of supportive relationships between clients. Clients also felt empowered to make their own decisions within the enclosed pool environment. Moreover, descriptions of swimming also focused upon an ethic of self-care and positive emotions and sensations, such as relaxation, peacefulness, and ‘floating’ as an end in itself. The potential to engender similarly empowering experiences amongst other similar groups is considerable.

TidsskriftLoisir et Societe
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)175-192
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2017

Bibliografisk note

CURIS 2017 NEXS 295

ID: 185238090