Recreation Therapy and the Family

How a Recreation Therapist can help!

You and your family need to know that a disability doesn't mean that you can't have a meaningful life.   Research shows that an active, satisfying lifestyle leads to greater health and happiness and that's especially true for people with physical disabilities.   Recreation Therapy uses a person's interests as a part of therapy which helps them get better doing the things they like best.  Our therapy helps clients become more active in their own home and community which helps them stay more productive and continue to improve.  We also specialize in helping people with disabilities safely integrate into the community and learn about accessibility and appropriate resources. Our goal is to work toward a lifestyle that is physically active, cognitively engaged, emotionally satisfying, and socially involved.

Ask yourself and your loved ones these questions:

  • What activities are important to you?
  • How do you enjoy spending your free time?
  • How do you think being active can help you improve?
  • What makes you happy and adds meaning to your days?
  • What do you do when you spend time with your friends and family?
  • Do you enjoy going out and spending time in the community?
  • Do you get enough physical activity since your disability?


What you might see a Recreation Therapist doing

A Recreation Therapist is trained to use a variety of activities to improve a persons functioning.  Some of the activities and interventions we use are:

  • Fitness programs
  • Swimming and aquatic therapy
  • Computer and/or PDA research and training
  • Stress management and relaxation
  • Cognitive games
  • Music
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Other adaptive leisure skills training such as horticulture, sports, and reading.


We also work towards safely integrating a client into the community and allowing them to be as independent as possible through:

  • Community safety evaluations
  • Family and aide training
  • Volunteer placement
  • Education and integration into appropriate community institutions


We may initiate a community reintegration plan by taking clients to ….

  • The Library
  • Shopping
  • The YMCA
  • A Sporting Event
  • Fishing
  • Bowling
  • A Senior Center
  • A support group


What are a Recreation Therapist's Qualifications?

A qualified recreational therapist is one who is nationally certified as a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS), usually referred to a recreation therapist.  They have completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

How to Get More Information

The national association representing Recreation Therapists is entitled the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) and their website is atra-tr.org

You can contact Home and Community Recreation Therapy (HCRT) by calling Diane Wagner-Heffner at 734-355-3899