The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) defines Therapeutic Recreation in addition to a treatment service for “restoring, remediating, and rehabilitating” an individual’s functioning, as an approach to living which promotes health, wellness, and participation in life. While most people are certainly capable of creating their own “therapeutic recreation”, sometimes help is needed to get back in the habit of living in and enjoying the moment. Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists can help you develop a plan for incorporating leisure and meaning back into your life.
Therapeutic Recreation can be of benefit to those trying to change unproductive habits or learn how to better handle stress in their lives. As we begin the journey of change, it can be helpful to try new activities that move us out of our comfort zones and away from old routines. New experiences that we give ourselves demand not only that we face our fears, but also that we face our capabilities to be successful. We learn through experience what we are afraid of and what we can overcome if only we give ourselves the opportunity.
Some activities great for moving us out of our comfort zones are taking a hike, painting a picture, attending a group bike ride, sleeping in a tent, taking a class, training a dog, going for a swim, volunteering in the community, completing a high ropes course, or taking up a new sport such as running. The first step is the hardest and your therapeutic recreation specialist can be a great support as you start building your confidence through participation in new leisure activities.
Our therapeutic recreation specialists are here to help you learn how to live life proactively. We will assess your current leisure lifestyle using the “Vitality Through Leisure Assessment” (VTL). You and your specialist will then work together to develop a plan. Your specialist’s role is to encourage you as you begin to try new things and develop new interests.
Individuals qualified as Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) are certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and often specialize in areas such as behavioral health, substance abuse, or addictions.
Please contact Kevin Cox, MS, MS Ed., CTRS, at 630-828-6304 for more information about how New Legends can assist you in developing and maintaining a healthy leisure lifestyle.