Recreation Therapy is…

By Missy Hyatt, CTRS, Project Sanctuary Chief Program Officer

Recreation therapy is the core of Project Sanctuary’s Therapeutic Retreat program. But when I tell people I’m a recreation therapist, I get a lot of blank stares and “What’s that?”

There are a lot of ways I could explain Recreation Therapy.  The basic concept is that recreation or leisure activities can improve someone’s quality of life.

But it’s not just going for a hike or doing some arts and crafts. Physical activity can help someone regain a skill lost after an injury. A form of art can help someone reach emotional goals.

Recreation therapy is more than anyone expects.

It is holistic. We consider the entire family’s mind, body, spirit, emotions, and any possible disabilities.

It is inclusive. We provide the same experiences no matter the person’s age, race, gender, or ability level.

It is person-focused, or in our case, family-focused. We serve the family as a whole. We don’t separate the different parts of the family to provide different experiences.

It is purposeful. The activities we do are fun but focused. We plan out interventions and goals.

It is optimistic. All the programming, activities, and people who execute our program help participants remember to look on the bright side. It is all about learning new things and experiencing ways to uplift your mood and lifestyle.

Recreation therapy isn’t some mysterious or clinical therapy reserved for hospitals. It is used everywhere, all the time.

The five Certified Recreation Therapist Specialists on Project Sanctuary staff work to create an environment of healing AND learning. We want to show you what’s available to help you heal, and then support you as you take it home and implement it.