Recreational Therapy: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

It is a form of activity therapy in that therapeutic recreation can occur as casual games, trips outside the hospital to attend sports games, etc.

In recreation therapy, the patient gives art and craft, drama, music to relieve mental pain and stress.
Recreation therapy improves the quality of living life, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

These activities provide patients with the opportunity for fun and for feeling good.

Use the recreational activity as a foothold for establishing a therapeutic relationship with patients or as a platform for therapeutic encounters with frightened, withdrawn, or reluctant participants.

Recreational therapy provides them with practical leisure activities and helps them develop engaging in healthy, competitive interactions.

The goal is on the social re-education of the patient and the restoration of some function, e.g., the power of attention previously learned but lost for the time being due to some personality change because of mental illness.

I had earlier shared What Is Recreational Therapy Definition? I hope you read.

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Types of conditions that is well suited to recreational therapy?

Recreational therapy benefits forage people. It’s typically used to help people who are:

  • Being treated for cancer
  • Recovering from stroke
  • Working to improve motor skills
  • Feeling isolated or depressed 
  • Recovering from a substance use disorder

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Benefits of recreational therapy

Let’s jump into some of the science-backed benefits of its treatments.

  • Improves symptoms of depression
  • Strengthens social connection
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Improves functional independence after an injury
  • Increases strength and physical fitness

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Recreational therapy activities

Your therapist will try to match your activities to your interests. For example, some of the activities that may be part of a recreational therapy program include:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Animal interactions
  • Dance and movement
  • Gardening
  • Sports games
  • Video games
  • Board games

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Suggested recreational activities for psychiatric disorders

Anxiety disorders

  • Aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, etc.

Depressive disorder

  • anger, like jogging, walking, running, etc.

Manic disorder

  • games, likes badminton, ball.

Schizophrenia (paranoid)

  • Concentrative activities, likes, chess, puzzles.

Schizophrenia (catatonic)

  • involve the patient in social activities to give the client contact with reality, like dancing, athletics.

Childhood and adolescent disorders

  •  some activities such as painting, storytelling. For adolescent sports and games. 

Mental retardation

  • activities such as walking, dancing, swimming, ball-playing have to do for the MR patient.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does recreational therapy do?

Recreational therapists help to reduce stress, anxiety, depression. In addition, it built physical and mental ability, confidence, and self-esteem.  The activities include crafts, sports, and dance.

What is an example of recreational therapy?

Recreational therapy includes drama, dance, sports and games, music, community outgoing with various activities.

What are modalities in recreational therapy?

Modalities of intervention include crafts, music, dance, drama, games, sports like adventure programming, exercises like dance/movement, and skill enhancement activities such as Motor, locomotion, sensory, cognition, communication, and behaviour.

What is the difference between recreational therapy and occupational therapy?

Both occupational and recreational therapy helps to recover the disabilities, illnesses, and injuries.

Occupational activities improve an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks, and recreational activities focus on daily leisure activities.  

Are activities recreational?

Recreational activities emphasize outdoor activities to relax, pleasure activity, and exercise. It includes athletic or recreational sport or camping activities. 


Recreational therapy uses leisure activities to recovery from injury, illness, or disability. Activities might include dance, art, music, exercise, creative writing, and games of all types.

If you think recreational therapy benefits you or someone in your family, talk with your healthcare provider about the possibility of play to achieve your health goals.

A few other articles that you might be interested in:

I tried to cover as much as I could for recreational therapy, but if you still have a question in your mind, feel free to give us comment.

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