February is Therapeutic Recreation Month

Recreational therapy is a recognized human service profession that utilizes recreation involvement as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery, and well-being. Recreational therapy has been a recognized form of health care and human service provision for over four decades. (NCTRC, 2011). We aim to increase the quality of life of our clients through enhancing leisure skills, or the techniques one uses in order to enjoy free, unstructured time. In turn, these skills can further help an individual turn her or his life around and provide an outlet for positive coping.

At my job, recreation therapy is one of three disciplines found under the Expressive Therapy department, alongside art therapy and music therapy. Interventions are often experiential and focus on many topics, including: positive coping, leisure education, analyzing personal leisure, expressive techniques, communication, self-awareness, problem-solving and more. Therapeutic recreation interventions are designed to provide opportunities to practice life outside of treatment, and often provide many opportunities for patients to have fun, for laughter itself can be therapeutic.

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