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Recreational Therapy


What is
Recreational Therapy?

"Recreational therapy provides treatment services and recreation activities to individuals using a variety of techniques including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings. Recreational therapists treat and help maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients by seeking to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively."

- National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC)

"You can discover more about a person in an

hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

Therapeutic Areas of Focus

Recreational therapists at New Leaf purposefully utilize recreation interventions (i.e. games, sports, social outings, etc.) with the intent to assist individuals with various needs and abilities to achieve and maintain their highest functioning level by focusing on the following areas:


The ability to have all the body systems function efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively during both work and play.


The ability to communicate needs and respond in appropriate ways while coping with various feelings and emotions.


The ability to utilize the mental aptitude to process information, make decisions, ask questions, organize facts, and more.


The ability to complete tasks and enjoy life without the need for assistance, prompting, or redirection from others.


The ability to create, enjoy, and maintain healthy and meaningful relationships with other people in one's own environment.


The ability to live in harmony within oneself and with others and to successfully find a meaningful purpose in life.

Therapeutic Interventions

Below are some examples of the many therapeutic interventions and activities individuals are able to engage in while spending time with their recreational therapist.

Physical Activity

Each client will have full access to a local gym during sessions. They will have access to treadmills, stationary bikes, workout machines, free weights, and pools (equipment and pools may vary based on gym location).

Leisure Awareness

Some individuals have trouble coming out of their comfort zones to try new and exciting activities. Interventions we utilize to incorporate leisure awareness are card and board games, bowling, library visits, video games, mall visits, and more.

Group Outings

Group outings promote socialization with peers and healthy relationship building. These include but are not limited to sporting events, amusement parks, concerts and musicals, Skyzone, laser tag, sensory friendly movies, museums, and festivals.

Aquatic Fitness

Aquatic activities have many therapeutic benefits and is a great way to incorporate low impact exercises, especially for those with lower body discomfort. Pools assist in building strength, increasing flexibility, relieving pain, and much more.

Cognitive Functioning

Board games, card games, multi-step crafts and activities, and obstacle courses are just some of the many interventions our clients engage in to address problem solving skills, concentration, memory, academic skills, and more.

Adaptive Sports

Adaptive sports promote not only inclusivity but independence as well. Some adaptive sports our clients engage in with their therapist may include but are not limited to wheelchair basketball, chair yoga, and sitting volleyball.

Health and Wellness

Diet and nutrition awareness, healthy coping skills, and positive self care are some of the many areas we focus on. We have connections with dietitians, PT, OT, massage therapists, and other professionals for input and potential collaborations.

Community Integration

Community integration enables our clients to fully participate in life at the same level as every other member of society. All community activities have the ability to be therapeutic, which contributes to overall health and wellbeing.


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