Recreational therapy is a systematic process that utilizes leisure as the primary means for intervention with the intention of improving or maintaining physical, cognitive, social, emotional and/or spiritual functioning. By utilizing leisure as the primary modality of treatment, recreational therapists tailor programs to meet each participant’s unique interests, strengths, and needs. As an evidence-based practice, recreational therapists may employ activities including but not limited to sports, games, drama, music, movement, and arts & crafts.
Furthermore, recreational therapy embraces a humanistic definition of ‘health’ which is not only defined as the absence of ‘illness,’ but extends to the enhancement of strengths, utilization of facilitators, and incorporation of past, present, and future goals. This framework allows therapists to apply functional interventions that are motivating and efficacious to the development of the individual as a whole.