What is Therapeutic Recreation?

RiversideEkkoRRI-9Therapeutic Recreation (TR) is a process of evaluating the recreational needs of a person with a
disabling condition and providing activity based interventions based on those needs.  The purpose of the TR process is to improve or maintain physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills in order to facilitate full participation in life activities.  The goal is to improve functioning and independence in activities, while reducing or eliminating the effects of illness or disability. TR services are provided by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS).

Recreation Therapists are recognized as a qualified health provider by the Joint Commission, Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) legislation.

What is a CTRS?

A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist has acquired a body of knowledge that includes philosophy and practice of a wide range of disabling conditions.  CTRS’ address the whole person, based on their interests, abilities and associated life factors.

Qualified professionals have completed a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, an internship and successful completion of a national exam.  Upon achieving these criteria, certification can be granted through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Recreational Therapists assist patients to develop skills, knowledge and behaviors for daily living and community involvement. TR works with the patient and their families, in some cases, to incorporate specific interests or community resources into therapy to achieve positive outcomes.

Why is Therapeutic Recreation Important to our Patients?

Research supports the concept that people with active, satisfying lifestyles will be happier and healthier.  TR provides services, which are based on the individuals’ interests and lifestyle, which may allow them to engage in therapy and apply functional improvement to other areas of their life.  At Riverside Rehabilitation Institute, TR uses a variety of treatment activities in the course of achieving functional improvement.  These activities include: crafts, woodwork, table games, puzzles and gardening.  Our therapy environment contains a large screen TV, library, pool table, air hockey, Wii, visits from a certified therapy dog and a computer with Internet access. There are also a variety of areas to access the outdoors and there is a wheelchair accessible vehicle available for community reintegration activities.

For more information on Therapeutic Recreation visit the National Council of Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) at www.nctrc.org and the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) at www.atra-tr.org.