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From Treatment to Health Enhancement: Psychosocial Considerations in the Exercise Components of Health Promotion Programs

Larry L. Fahlberg and Lauri A. Fahlberg

Health enhancement has been associated with the development of empowerment and self-responsibility among program participants. However, if not well planned and implemented, health promotion programs may be at odds with the development of these philosophical objectives. In fact there has been a recognition that traditional treatment approaches may be ineffective for enhancing health. This inadequacy currently seems apparent in the exercise and/or fitness component of programs. Lack of emphasis on enhancement processes may be exemplified by symptoms such as program dependency among participants. Therefore, if empowerment and self-responsibility are philosophical objectives of a program, methods must be congruent with this philosophy.

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Exercise and Existence: Exercise Behavior from an Existential-Phenomenological Perspective

Larry L. Fahlberg, Lauri A. Fahlberg, and Ward K. Gates

The difficulty in understanding human behavior requires using whatever approaches that address the questions. Concerning such questions, four forces have emerged in psychology representing variations in ontology, philosophies of science, and concomitant epistemologies and methodologies. Nonetheless, when viewed from a metapsychological perspective, one force has predominated in exercise psychology to the exclusion of the remaining three. A recognition of the complexity in exercise behavior calls for additional psychologies that provide an expanded perspective for understanding the problems and questions that arise. Exercise dependency is an example of such a problem, and existential psychology will be introduced as a means of studying and understanding this problem. An example of existential-phenomenological research on exercise behavior is included to demonstrate the possibility of such inquiry and to exemplify contributions to understanding that might ensue.