A recreational therapist uses a variety of interventions and techniques to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social and leisure needs of their clients. They often use art, athletic, dance, music or recreational therapy or remedial gymnastics to aid in the treatment of mental and physical disabilities. They work to help clients restore, remediate or rehabilitate so that they can function independently and to help reduce the effects of illness or disability.
Recreational Therapists work with a wide range of people in a number of fields including geriatrics, mental health, addictions, general medicine, physical medicine, pediatrics and rehabilitation.
Most recreational therapists work in traditional inpatient hospitals or health facilities but an increasing number are being hired in residential facilities, community mental health centers, adult day care programs, substance abuse centers, hospice care, and community centers and in the school system.
- Supervised practical training is usually required for occupations in this unit group.
- Creative or technical ability in the field of specialization is usually required.
- Certification or membership with the appropriate national professional association or provincial counterpart may be required.
- Recreational therapists usually require a bachelor's degree or college program in recreation with a specialization in therapeutic recreation.
- Athletic therapists usually require a bachelor's degree in sport studies or exercise science with a specialization in athletic therapy or a college program in sports injury management.
- Art therapists require a graduate degree in art therapy.
- Dance therapists require a bachelor's degree in psychology, dance, drama or movement therapy or an approved graduate program in dance, drama or movement therapy.
- Remedial gymnasts require completion of an approved college program in remedial gymnastics.
- Art therapist
- Art therapy consultant
- Athletic therapist
- Dance-movement therapy researcher
- Drama therapist
- Movement therapist
- Recreational therapist
- Remedial gymnast