February is National Recreational Therapy Month
February is National Recreational Therapy month, and Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health wants to help generate awareness about the positive impact therapeutic recreational programs and services can have on health and wellbeing.
National Recreational Therapy month is sponsored by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), which represents the interests of therapeutic recreation specialists, also known as recreation therapists.
“Many people know what physical therapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists do, but they might have a more difficult time understanding what a recreation therapist does every day,” explained Denise Griffin, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist® (CTRS) located in Devereux Texas’ League City center. “This annual observance introduces people to the benefits of recreational therapy, and it helps the recreational therapy community increase awareness of what they do and how it benefits individuals.”
What is Recreational Therapy?
Recreational therapy is defined by ATRA as a health care and human service discipline that delivers treatment services designed to restore, remediate and/or rehabilitate functional capabilities for individuals with injuries, chronic illnesses or other types of disabling conditions. In addition, recreation therapists plan, direct, deliver and evaluate recreation-based interventions for individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions.
“As a recreational therapist, I provide a non-threatening, fun way to aid in skill-building and physical and emotional well-being activities for individuals who need my help,” said Griffin. “I also provide structure and safety within the environment, allowing individuals to feel comfortable trying new activities – with support.”
The Devereux difference
At Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, recreational therapy is a critical factor when it comes to helping the individuals we serve improve their overall health and development. Just a few examples of recreational therapy offered at Devereux include aquatics, music and dance classes, arts and crafts, sports and games.
“These activities offer an outlet for stress and provide a fun way to work on skills needed for a productive and healthy lifestyle, such as improving socialization, task orientation/completion, and physical fitness,” said Griffin.
“Devereux’s focus on the whole individual includes all aspects of a person’s life. Balance is key; physical and emotional health are very much connected, which is why we are so focused on the body and the brain,” said Devereux Texas Executive Director Pam Reed. “Recreation allows individuals to express emotions through active and passive activities, learn about fun and enjoyable things they like to do with leisure time, explore a hobby, and learn to work independently and as a part of a team. In many ways, recreation therapy can be the modality that pulls everything we do together. During challenging times, recreation can remind individuals about the power of having fun and smiling again!”
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