As we celebrate International Recreation Therapy Month you may wonder “what is Recreation Therapy”? Well one definition is: using recreation and activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recover and well-being.
At Project Sanctuary, it’s a core model for the way we help our military families heal at our Therapeutic Retreats. There is always a CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist) at each of our retreats to guide and support these efforts.
What do Rec Therapists do?
A recreation therapist utilizes a wide range of activity and community-based interventions and techniques to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional, social and leisure needs of the people they work with to help the individuals and families develop skills, knowledge and behaviors for daily living and community involvement.
Why is Rec Therapy important?
Research supports the concept that people with active, satisfying lifestyles will be happier and healthier. Rec Therapy provides services which are based on the individual’s interests and lifestyle to better engage in therapy and apply these functions to improve their quality of life.
How is Rec Therapy different from other therapies?
Rec 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 individuals may participate fully and independently in chosen life pursuits. One differentiator of Rec Therapy from others is the use of recreational modalities in the designed intervention strategies. Project Sanctuary incorporates activities like horseback riding, zip lining, water rafting, crafts, rock wall climbing, snowmobiling and other forms of recreation at our retreats to help make these connections and development.
What are the outcomes of Rec Therapy?
Current research indicates a significant number of positive health outcomes resulting from participating in RT/TR programs including physical, psychological and cognitive improvements was well as increased engagement in recreation and community activities creating a more well-rounded lifestyle. At Project Sanctuary, recreation therapy helps our military families reconnect, open lines of communication and share an experience together that they might otherwise not have engaged in.
What are a Rec Therapist’s education, qualifications and credentials?
A qualified recreation therapist is someone who is nationally certified as a Certified Therapeutic Retreat Specialist (CTRS). Qualified professionals are certified through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), which requires a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university, a formal internship and the passing of a national certification exam. These credentials need to be maintained every five years through a recertification process. Course work in academic programs include physical, biological and behavioral sciences and recreation and leisure theory. Project Sanctuary is proud to have CTRS staff at all of our retreats.
For more information on the benefits and recreational therapy programs that Project Sanctuary offers, email us at [email protected]or visit our website at https://projectsanctuary.us/therapeutic-retreats.