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What is Recreational Therapy?

"Recreational therapy is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illnesses and/or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery, and well-being."

- American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

- Plato

Therapeutic Areas of Focus

Recreational therapists at New Leaf purposefully utilize recreation interventions (i.e. games, sports, social outings, etc.) with the intent to assist individuals with various needs and abilities to achieve and maintain their highest functioning level by focusing on the following areas:


The ability to have all the body systems function efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively during both work and play.


The ability to utilize the mental aptitude to process information, make decisions, ask questions, organize facts, and more.


The ability to create, enjoy, and maintain healthy and meaningful relationships with other people in one's own environment.


The ability to respond in healthy and appropriate ways while coping with various feelings and emotions.


The ability to complete tasks and enjoy life without the need for assistance, prompting, or redirection from others.


The ability to live in harmony within oneself and with others and to find a meaningful purpose in life.

Therapeutic Interventions

Physical Fitness

Each client will have full access to a local gym while accompanied by their therapist. They will have access to treadmills, stationary bikes, workout machines, free weights, and pools (equipment and pools may vary based on gym location).

Group Outings

Group outings promote socialization with peers and healthy relationship building. These include but are not limited to sporting events, amusement parks, concerts and musicals, Skyzone, laser tag, sensory friendly movies, museums, and festivals.

Cognitive Functioning

Board games, card games, multi-step crafts and activities, and obstacle courses are just some of the many interventions our clients engage in to address problem solving skills, concentration, memory, academic skills, and more.

Health and Wellness

Diet/nutrition awareness, healthy coping skills, and self care are some of the many areas we focus on. We have connections to dietitians, PT, OT, massage therapists, and other professionals for input and potential collaborations.

Leisure Awareness

Some individuals have trouble coming out of their comfort zones to try new and exciting activities. Interventions we utilize to incorporate leisure awareness are card and board games, bowling, library visits, video games, mall visits, and more.

Aquatic Fitness

Aquatic activities have many therapeutic benefits and is a great way to incorporate low impact exercises, especially for those with lower body discomfort. Pools assist in building strength, increasing flexibility, relieving pain, and much more.

Health and Wellness

Adaptive sports promote not only inclusivity but independence as well. Some adaptive sports our clients engage in with their therapist include but are not limited to wheelchair basketball, chair yoga, and sitting volleyball.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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