Home » Your Health » 6 Health Facts about Recreational Therapy

6 Health Facts about Recreational Therapy

When you face physical or mental barriers, the key is become empowered to move forward in a healthy way. That’s the philosophy behind recreational therapy, let’s dive into the topic a bit more.

Therapeutic recreation (in which recreational therapy is practiced) can address a variety of limitations posed by an illness or disability, according to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). Here are six facts about the field and how it can benefit patients…

1. Recreational Therapists are Everywhere

While recreational therapists are traditionally found in hospitals, they are increasingly being hired to assist in mental health facilities, schools and even hospices, according to ATRA.

The practitioners are typically employed by public healthcare institutions but lately there has been more demand for this type of therapy in private practices, as well as delivering services right to a patient’s home, adds the organization.

2. Treatment is Personalized

Therapeutic Recreation Ontario notes that this field of healthcare involves closely working with the patient, sometimes over a long period of time. The process starts with a needs assessment to determine “appropriate personalized interventions,” notes the source.

The therapist connects with the patient on a personal level so they can guide the course of treatment together, and a number of factors are considered from current abilities to culture to the guidelines of the agency where the therapist is working. This helps establish realistic goals for the patient to work towards, adds the organization.

3. Treatment Comes in Many Forms

One of the great things about therapeutic recreation is that there are so many ways to deliver it, as evidenced by a long list of activities suggested on RecreationalTherapy.com. These can be simple games or more involved physical activities.

For example, on the list of almost 500-suggestions for therapeutic delivery, there are memory games (with the help of DVDs) for Alzheimer’s patients, as well as ideas for creating crafts. There are also low-impact variations of popular sports such as a version of bowling that uses plastic cups and a beach ball. The latter activity is ideal for patients in a wheelchair, it adds.

4. The Goal is Restorative

No matter what program is delivered to the patient by the recreational therapist, the end goal is to help them function on a higher level following an injury or due to an illness. The idea is to improve an individual’s overall physical and mental well-being through a variety of activities.

This differs from diversion activities, which is sometimes confused with therapeutic recreation, notes Neighbourhood House in Utah. This practice involves using games and hobbies but doesn’t have a goal of rehabilitation, adds the source. It also brings up bowling, which seems to be a popular sport among recreational therapists. “A Recreational Therapist can assist a client who may have balance issues and need to regain strength. Bowling incorporates both these skills,” it adds.

5. Practitioners are Highly-Trained

ATRA notes a “university education is essential to full-time employment in the recreational therapy field today,” and some students go on from a bachelor’s degree to achieve a master’s or doctorate in the practice.

According to the organization, therapeutic recreation is highly recognized in America, with more than 80-universities in the U.S. offering bachelor degree programs. This can provide peace of mind to patients, knowing the practitioners have gone through extensive training and are certified.

6. It’s Effective for Psychological Issues

According to a study published in the Journal of Nursing and Health Science, recreational therapy has been proven to be effective, in this case the focus is on depressed patients. Depression can severely limit a person’s sense of well-being, which can lead to other limitations and negatively impact quality of life.

The study of 100-subjects in a control group and an experimental group found that there was a marked improvement in physical, intellectual and spiritual states of those in the experimental group following therapy.


More on ActiveBeat
  • Reasons You’re Waking Up In The Night
    We've all been there before, lying awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering why you're unable to sleep.
    Your Health
  • The Best Anti-Aging Foundation For Mature Skin
    Aging is inevitable, but that doesn't stop us from trying to slow the whole process down or at least look good while we're doing it!
    Your Health
  • Low Impact Joint-Friendly Forms of Exercise
    One of the biggest constraints against working out is bad joints. Lots of people, particularly older adults, suffer from either bad knees, hipsm or ankle joints that scream in pain...
    Your Health
  • The Best Face Washes for Sensitive Skin
    The struggle is real for people with sensitive skin who are looking for a good face wash that won't irritate their skin, especially since most products contain an array of...
    Your Health
  • Best Natural Remedies For Gout
    Gout is a type of arthritis that causes a great deal of pain and discomfort in the joints.
    Your Health
  • Foods Good For Your Kidneys
    The kidneys have an extremely important job. We all have two bean-shaped organs located below our ribs and on either side of our spine.
    Your Health
  • A Breakdown Of The Myers-Briggs Personality Types
    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that examines all the different personality types and how a person's personality can dictate their strengths and...
    Your Health
  • Common Health Problems Related to Fingernails
    If you can't quite put a finger on what's ailing you, perhaps you should take a closer look at your fingernails.
    Your Health
  • The Best Mascaras for Long Lashes
    Most women dream about having longer and fuller lashes. One can only hope! It's also one of the main reasons we invented mascara in the first place.
    Your Health
  • Plants That Repel Mosquitoes Naturally
    There's nothing more frustrating than that familiar buzzing followed by the itchy prick of a mosquito while you're trying to enjoy a nice evening or day outside.
    Your Health
  • Foods That Can Help Boost Memory
    Our diet affects much more than just our physical appearance and wellbeing. It also have a major impact on our mental health -- everything from our mood, concentration, to how well...
    Your Health
  • Mesothelioma Stages: What to Expect
    Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that is often caused by asbestos exposure. It's an "aggressive, malignant cancer caused when inhaled asbestos fibers lodge in the lining of...
    Your Health
  • Symptoms of Sugar Withdrawal and How to Cope
    There are so many amazing health benefits that come from cutting out sugar. Not only does it reduce a person's risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, it also helps them lose...
    Your Health
  • Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers
    For most people our teeth are really important to us because it's one of the first things we notice about another person's appearance.
    Your Health
  • Anti-Aging Diet: Best and Worst Foods to Eat
    None of us can avoid aging or even slow it down, but there are things we can do to make the process a little smoother.
    Your Health