What is Recreational Therapy (RT)?
1. Recreational Therapy (RT) is therapy.
2. Therapy Dictionary Definition: "therapeutic medical treatment of impairment, injury, disease, or disorder."
3. Recreational Therapy is a type of medical therapy that is, "therapy based on engagement in recreational activities (as sports or music) especially to enhance the functioning, independence, and well-being of individuals affected with a disabling condition."
4. ""[Physical therapy] will help you function with mobility, [occupational therapy] will help you with your daily living and [...] recreational therapy helps people get back to being themselves.""
5. Recreational Therapists, "Simply put, they help patients help themselves."
6. What are the qualifications to be a Recreational Therapist?
Nationally, "Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) governed by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), is the most recognized credential."
In Texas, "the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist/Texas (TRS/TXC) governed by the Therapeutic Recreation Consortium of Texas."
At Inclusion Therapies, our Clinical Director, Robert D. Broadhead, earned a graduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation (Master of Science in in Recreation and Leisure Services - Therapeutic Recreation: M.S.R.L.S.) from Texas State University "the only therapeutic recreation program in the state" and is nationally certified as a CTRS and state certified as a TRS/TXC. All of our staff therapists hold undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in the field and are nationally and/ or state certified professionals.
7. Why haven't I heard of this type of therapy before?
The field of Recreational Therapy has a smaller amount of practitioners than many other similar allied health fields (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 there were approximately 19,900 Recreational Therapists in the USA (17,000+ Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists) compared to 143,300 Occupational Therapists, 162,600 Speech-Language Pathologists and 258,200 Physical Therapists! Other similar specialized therapy fields include Art therapists (approximately 5,000 in the USA) and Music Therapists (approximately 5,000 in the USA). Other similar rehabilitation fields in Exercise Physiologists (approximately 19,800 in the USA in 2019).
The majority of recreational therapists work in inpatient settings (over 800 recreational therapists work at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs). Learn more about Recreational Therapy services at:
Duke University Health System
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Baylor Scott & White
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Central Texas Veterans Health Care System
There are small numbers of Recreational Therapists in private practice. At Inclusion Therapies we are proud to increase public awareness of the field of Therapeutic Recreation and provide Recreational Therapy services to clients in our private practice.