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Recreational Therapy (RT)

"Recreation Therapy Puts the “Fun” in Functional" 

- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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FAQ: 
Recreational Therapy

What is Recreational Therapy (RT)?

Recreational Therapy (RT) is medical therapy to treat a broad array of mental/behavioral and physical rehabilitation/chronic disease and disabilities. Recreational Therapy 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."

What are the Qualifications to be a Recreational Therapist (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist)?
College degree, internship and exam.
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 master's degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Texas State University and is nationally certified as a CTRS and state certified as a TRS/TXC. All of our staff hold degrees in their field and our therapists are nationally and/ or state certified professionals.

What does a Recreational Therapist do?

Recreational Therapists follow the APIED process:

A- Assessments

P - Planning

I - Implementation

E - Evaluation

D - Documentation


Recreational Therapists treat health and wellness conditions in the Flourishing Through Leisure Model by focusing on five domains (or dimensions) of well-being: 

1) Psychological/emotional - Psychological and emotional strengths help us perceive the world around us, and feel and regulate a range of emotions.

2) Cognitive - Cognitive strengths are those that help us think and learn.

3) Social - Social strengths are those that help us relate to others and belong to valued social groups.

4) Physical - Physical strengths are those that help the participant “act” and “do” in their daily life with no barriers.

5) Spiritual - Spirituality is defined as having strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of life (Seligman, 2002). 

Anderson, L., & Heyne, L. 


View Educational Video Sponsored by the United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration:

How May Recreational Therapy Help Me?
Why Haven't I Heard of Recreational Therapy Before?

Small Specialty

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). In fact, the entire state of Texas only has one master's degree in Recreational Therapy program at Texas State University. 
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 Therapists162,600 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 include Exercise Physiologists (approximately 16,500 in the USA in 2022).

Usually Provided Inpatient

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 outpatient 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 outpatient private practice. For aspiring Recreational Therapists, the Texas Education Agency has a Health Science Career Cluster plan.


How is Recreational Therapy (RT) Different from Recreation?

Recreational Therapy is as different from recreation (fun leisure time) as traditional talk therapy is different from talking. 

Recreation is having fun. 

Recreational Therapy is an allied health profession in which a Recreational Therapist uses activities to treat client's health and wellness.

Why Should Inclusion Therapies be my Recreational Therapy (RT) Provider?

We encourage everyone to seek rehabilitation and wellness services with the Recreational Therapy (RT) practice of their choice.

If our service model (monthly membership required, services online or in-person at our Lake Travis center, etc.) fits your needs; we would appreciate the opportunity to serve as your outpatient RT provider. 

We invest in our facilities, activities, technology, and continuing education. Our providers carry professional liability insurance and we strive to adhere to best practices at all times.

Do I Need a Referral for Recreational Therapy (RT) from my Primary Care Physician?

Not with our membership (private pay). Referrals may be required by a third party payer (insurance company, etc.).

Do You Accept Insurance?
We do.

The issue is if the insurer accepts us (and will pay for our services). 

To ensure we are able to afford to offer services, we have a monthly membership program.


Is Recreational Therapy (RT) in Addition to Other Therapies?