What is Therapeutic Recreation?

Ever think about the connection between health and recreation? Consider this: children cope better with being hospitalized when given a chance to play. People recovering from physical injuries or adapting to disabilities stay healthier longer when they are physically and socially active. Older adults maintain a sharper mind and a higher level of social involvement when they recreate. Therapeutic Recreation (TR) is an occupation that takes play and recreation very seriously. It is an established health related profession committed to promoting the connection between health and recreation involvement. It has a unique role in the health and human service system to promote play, recreation and leisure as a means to psychological and physical recovery, health and well-being among individuals with disabilities. Recreation therapists use individual and group counseling techniques and play, recreation and other activity-based interventions to maximize an individual’s functioning and promote quality of life.(http://chpsw.temple.edu/rs/therapeutic-recreation/what-therapeutic-recreation)

There are Ten (10) broad categories or areas of recreation:

– music                                    – dance

– drama                                   – writing

– sports                                    – community reintegration

– arts & crafts                        – cooking

– games                                   –

Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation programs for people with disabilities or illnesses. They use a variety of techniques, including the 10 areas of recreation. These programs help maintain or improve a client’s physical and emotional well-being.

The Therapeutic Recreation field is anticipated to grow 17% between 2010-2020. This is faster than the anticipated national growth for all occupations which is 14%.

The median annual wage of recreational therapists was $39,410 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,640, and the top 10 percent earned more than $62,670.


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