Articles

Benefits Of Engaging In Recreational Therapy Activities

Woman smiling with horse

Rock climbing, running marathons, and yoga. These are a few of the ways UMFS Recreation Therapist Liz Creasman engages with young people. 

Liz earned her Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Tourism Studies with a focus in Recreation Therapy. She also minored in Studio Art. In 2017, she completed training to become a yoga instructor. 

The Recreation Therapy Program at UMFS allows Liz to combine her passion for empowering teenagers, background in mindfulness-based practices, exploration of community resources, and nonprofit experience.

The program brings activity and excitement to residents at the UMFS Child & Family Healing Center. 

Read on to learn more about Liz’s thoughts on recreation therapy and its therapeutic benefits. 

Benefits Of Recreational Therapy Activities

Recreation Therapy is an activity-based approach to improving physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Examples of engaging activities can include sports, music, art, and other leisure activities.

Rock-climbing recreational therapy activity

Encourages healthier minds and bodies

Recreation therapy incorporates personal skills and interests. By partaking in activities they enjoy, participants can engage physically and cognitively. This increased engagement has been  shown to decrease feelings of isolation in participants. It also helps them explore different kinds of activities they might like.

Inspires participants to have fun and find time to play

The key word in recreational therapy is “recreation.” Through the program’s activities, participants are encouraged to have fun and focus on the activity at hand. Taking a moment to have fun gives them a break from their daily routines and encourages them to take time to play. 

Helps participants learn new skills or modify old ones

By talking with participants, we find out which activities they might find enjoyable. We can also encourage them to participate in activities that once gave them joy. Tapping into new skills or relearning old ones can give recreational therapy participants a sense of accomplishment.

How Recreational Therapy Activities Work At UMFS

The process of offering recreation therapy includes: 

  • Assessment
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation
  • Documentation

This process is tailored to the needs of our residents and designed to improve their quality of life.

At UMFS, we start by conducting an initial assessment when a resident joins our program. This assessment helps us learn about their leisure and social skills. Through discussions and interviews, we give them opportunities to talk about their leisure interests or needs. This technique helps with planning interventions to address lagging skills.

Art as a recreational therapy activity

How UMFS Approaches Recreational Therapy

At UMFS, we’ve created the theme “Saturday is the Best Day and Sunday as the R.E.S.T. Day.” Saturdays focus on intentional fun. At the same time, we also focus on activities that will improve time management, community integration, and positive experiences between staff and residents. On Sundays, it’s time to R.E.S.T. (Restore, Energize, Spirituality, and Togetherness). 

We’ve also established the Safe Socialization Committee to address residents’ needs for safe opportunities to interact with other peers. Every month, we plan and facilitate a special event based on interests and cultural awareness.

Does Recreation Therapy Sound Right For You?

Increasing leisure awareness and social skills allows for improved relationship building and community integration. Broadening these skills promotes self-esteem and future planning.

If you think you or a loved one could benefit from a recreational therapy treatment, contact UMFS today. Give us a call at 855.367.867 or email us at info@umfs.org. You can also find out more about our services by following the link below.

Learn More About The Services We Offer

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