Recreation Therapy

Medical Reviewer: Cara Stewart, CTRS, CBIS
Last Updated: November 19, 2020

What is recreation therapy?

The recreation therapy program at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital evaluate patients on his or her interests and goals that pertain to leisure. The recreation staff then take the patient’s leisure interests and incorporate them into therapy with the goals that the patient, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy have set for them during their stay.

Recreation therapy services

  • Arts and crafts
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Adaptive sports
  • Cards and board games
  • Computers (Including eye-gaze system, touch screen computer, iPad)
  • Cooking and baking
  • Exercise and sports
  • Gardening and yardwork
  • Outdoor Activities (including putt-putt and yard games)
  • Community reintegration outings
  • Pet therapy
  • Reading and writing
  • Trikes and handcycles
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Video games (Wii, Xbox)

How is recreation therapy different from other therapies?

Although all forms of therapy promote the overall health and well-being of the patient, recreation therapy achieves this through recreation and leisure activities. Our CTRS’s at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital delivers direct patient care using recreation and leisure activities as the primary modality, with a goal of health restoration, remediation, and rehabilitation for persons with limited functional abilities due to illness or disability.

What are the benefits of recreation therapy?

Recreation therapy is the purposeful use of recreation and activity interventions to improve a patient’s functioning in the following domains: physical, emotional, social, cognitive, spiritual and leisure.

Who is appropriate for recreation therapy?

Persons of varying abilities and ages are appropriate to receive recreation therapy services while staying at our inpatient hospital.

Where is recreation therapy provided?

Recreation therapy is provided to patients staying at our inpatient hospital on all of our units. We have a designated recreation gym on the east side of the 2nd floor that is utilized for our patients staying with us.

Community reintegration

One of our main goals is to help our patients return to an active lifestyle. One of the integral ways is through community reintegration. We offer an opportunity for our patients to return to the community by attending outings led by the recreation therapy staff. Some of our outings include, but are not limited to:

  • Adaptive Sports and Recreation events
  • Banks
  • Department stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Home evaluations
  • Museums
  • Restaurants
  • Sporting events
  • The zoo

Training and qualifications of recreation therapists

Our Recreation Therapists have a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. All of our recreation therapists also have a national board certification, which is a Certified Recreation Therapeutic Specialist (CTRS). We attend annual recreation therapy conferences to maintain our continuing education for our CTRS as well as the most innovative recreation modalities to serve our patients.

Connect with us

If you are interested in learning more about our Recreation Therapy Department, please contact Nikki Kiley at nikol.kiley@brooksrehab.org.

For an internship in Recreation Therapy, please check out our internship page and application.

Medical Reviewer

Cara Stewart, CTRS, CBIS

Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital Recreation Therapy Program Coordinator