Being a Recreation Therapist

Welcome to The Real Recreation Therapist (TRRT) blog. This is a place for anyone using recreation in a healing manner–Recreation Therapists, Activity Directors, allied therapies, volunteers, or family members. The purpose of this blog is to create discussion, share ideas, explore topics, and have a few laughs.


This is brief meditation on the many roles a Recreation Therapist takes on over the course of a shift, week, month, or maybe year. This is truly a career of creativity and variety.  




As a Recreation Therapist you are…


A Teacher. Enlightening and initiating discovery about the joys of recreation.

A Leader. Running groups, supervising support staff, and making sure recreational experiences are fully felt by your clients.

Flexible. Knowing plans may not come together and last minute issues arise that you need to take in stride and adjust.

A Role-Model. Showing others how you value recreation so they welcome your instructions.

An Advocate. You are the voice for the silent and unheard voices.

A Multi-tasker. Constantly juggling events, outings, parties, groups, assessments, progress notes, program evaluations, schedules, calendars, budgets, staffing issues, and everything else arising for the day.

Patient. When those “other duties as assigned” come out of nowhere and you add them to your day.

A Counselor. Ready to be there when a client feels comfortable enough to share with you.

Uplifting. Others may spend their entire day looking forward to what you are planning.

The Driver. How many miles have you put on your company’s vehicles?

Willing to Sacrifice. In a profession that works when other people play, there are inevitably some things you miss out on the keep your residents happy.

Persistent. Because sometimes someone just needs that extra push or knowing someone is rooting for them.

A Professional. You know the power of recreation to heal, rehabilitate, and transform. You work hard to deliver those services.

Adaptable. Ready to customize the recreational experience based on your patient’s individual needs.

A Trainer. Giving insight to your staff, volunteers, or family members on how to use recreation to change your client’s lives.

A Valued Coworker. Coordinating with all your peers to make sure the residents are getting the best quality of life thus increasing everyone’s morale.

Strong. Lifting your clients up in whatever way they need.

A Coach. Teaching others to work as a team despite their strengths and weaknesses.

A Mediator. Working through behaviors, crises, and conflicts occurring even when people are having fun.

An Innovator. Constantly looking for new experiences, adaptations, and methods for your clients to grow.

A Doorway. You provide the means for someone to transform their life through recreation.

A Shoulder and an Ear. Because sometimes that all someone needs for a little while.


One idea I heard in college stuck with me all these years. I am not sure who said it or how exactly it went, I just remember one of my instructors saying it in class and the impression it left on me. But, here goes: Some other disciplines are there to heal the body and the mind, but Recreation Therapy heals the soul.


Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing this blog with you as it evolves.  I encourage you to contact me if there are any subjects you would like to see covered. It is the intention to make this blog with a variety of topics that are accessible to anyone using recreation to heal either formally or informally.


Did I miss any roles of the Recreation Therapist?


Did any roles mentioned particularly resonate with you?


Feel free to leave a comment.


Please share this with other Recreation Therapists or caregivers you feel would enjoy this post.


I look forward to hearing from you and having this blog evolve to benefit the readers.


Have a great day!

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