Therapeutic Recreation professionals focus on improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
This is achieved through assessing the needs and strengths of individuals, and implementing a wide range of programs, services, and interventions which improve the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and leisure needs of their consumers. Therapeutic recreation specialists assist clients to develop skills, knowledge, and behaviors for daily living and community involvement. Using a holistic approach, the therapeutic recreation specialist works with the consumer and their family to incorporate specific interests and community resources into a planned program designed to achieve optimal outcomes that transfer to the consumer’s real life situation.
As a Recreational Therapy major, you’ll learn how to:
- Assess individual and community needs and develop programs and services to meet those needs.
- Create well-defined goals and objectives that align with current recreational modalities and designed intervention strategies.
- Evaluate outcomes to ensure consumer needs are met and report results to internal and external constituencies.
- Improve an individual's functioning and keep them as active, healthy, and independent as possible in their chosen life pursuits.
- Incorporate the concept of healthy living into a variety of interventions to ensure not only improved functioning, but to also enhance independence.
- With a degree in therapeutic recreation, you may work with a wide range of individuals and populations requiring health services in clinical settings such as geriatrics, mental health, addictions, general medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, developmental disabilities and pediatrics.
A Growing Opportunity
Employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due in part to the aging of the large baby boomer generation, as they will need recreational therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses, as well as to help them maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.