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Recreational therapy, also referred to as recreation therapy and therapeutic recreation, is a treatment service that provides treatments and recreation activities to individuals with illnesses or disabling conditions to improve or maintain physical, mental and emotional well-being and help reduce depression, stress and anxiety.
Recreational therapies help patients recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities, build confidence and socialize more effectively. Treatments may incorporate arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music and community outings.
Recreational therapy embraces a definition of “health” which includes not only the absence of “illness”, but extends to enhancement of physical, cognitive, emotional, social and leisure development so the individual may participate fully and independently in chosen life pursuits. The unique feature of recreational therapy that makes it different from other therapies is the use of recreational modalities in the designed intervention strategies. Although many of the treatment goals that a recreational therapist may work towards are similar to other disciplines on the rehabilitation team, the way a recreational therapist achieves those goals is what distinguishes this unique service. Incorporating client’s interests, and the client’s family and/or community makes the therapy process meaningful and relevant. Recreational therapy is extremely individualized to each person, their past, present and future interests and lifestyle. The recreational therapist has a unique perspective regarding the social, cognitive, physical, and leisure needs of the patient. Recreational therapists weave the concept of healthy living into treatment to ensure not only improved functioning, but also to enhance independence and successful involvement in all aspects of life.
Benefits of Recreation Therapy for Persons with Addictions
1. Improving social functioning.
2. Developing effective problem-solving skills.
3. Improving use of free time and leisure planning.
4. Improving self-esteem, self-actualization.
5. Developing exercise and relaxation skills.
6. Increasing ability to have fun while sober.
7. Decreasing loneliness
8. Increasing ability to choose non chemical alternatives for achieving goals.
9. Increasing involvement in active vs. passive activities.
10. Increasing ability to cope with stress without chemical use.
11. Reducing boredom.
12. Increasing skills for socializing drug-free.