You Know You Are a Recreational Therapist When…

Recreational Therapy is more than just a career choice–it’s a lifestyle. As you progress in the profession, you see aspects of your working life permeate into your day-to-day routine. Despite our varied settings and participants, some Recreational Therapy moments are common for anyone working in the profession.  

The following are some telltale signs you’ve established yourself as a Recreation Therapist. See how many these sometimes humorous, sometimes serious experiences you’ve encountered.

Recreational Therapy Moments in Your Social Life

When you describe your job to someone you just met, they say something like, “Oh, you must have a big heart. I could never do that.” During that same conversation, the other person describes their job and you think, I could never do that.

Your friends complain about being bored and you offer them several suggestions and how it can benefit them.

You come over-prepared for any excursion you go on with friends.

The fluency you gained from your participants’ communication styles doesn’t transfer well to “normal” conversations.

You have to decline an invitation to go out with friends because of your work schedule. After all, we work when others play.

All your friends seek you out as an invaluable resource for party and event planning.

Recreational Therapy Moments in Your Work Life

You are referred to as the “Fun Person” at least twice a week. Then you cringe every time you hear it.

As a Recreational Therapy coach, when someone asks how your participants’ sports team did at a recent game or event, instead of talking about winning or losing, you say something like:

  • “This was the first time Tommy didn’t have a meltdown in the middle of the game.”
  • “We got back to the facility without any injury reports.”
  • “Everyone behaved, so we went out for ice cream afterwards.”
  • “The other team really needed to work on their sportsmanship.”
  • “Jenny was so proud when she scored her first basket, goal, etc.”

You know way too much about your participants eating habits and bodily functions.

While walking into your office after a couple days off, you find random recreation items on your desk.

A trip to the craft store turns into a brainstorming session for the next two months of programming.

Speaking of shopping, the workers at the local party store know you by name.

If there was an Olympic event for maneuvering a wheelchair around an obstacle course, you can guarantee yourself a gold medal.

Your random knowledge of holidays, events, and fun facts can both amaze and bore your coworkers.

Recreational Therapy Moments in Your Home Life

You either over or under decorate your home for an upcoming holiday.

Your to-do lists are filled with measurable goals and objectives.

The car you drive seems kind of childish since you are used to driving vans or a mini-bus.

When doing laundry, you pull random activity or craft supplies out of your pockets before washing.

You easily adapt to the role of the “fun parent” after having children.

When taking a trip with your family, you seek brochures about special group rates. In addition, you intuitively know the locations of bathrooms and emergency exits.

After a long week, when your significant other asks what you want to do, you tell him or her to choose.

The Telltale Recreational Therapy Moment

In the middle of an activity or outing, one of the participants asks when the next activity/outing is.

Anyone in the profession can easily relate to some of these Recreational Therapy moments. If you are just starting out in the field, just wait…they will come. And when they do, you could smile to yourself and enjoy the experience.

Tell The Real Recreation Therapist Community:

Comment below to share your thoughts…

Do any of these signs feel familiar to you?

What are some other moments when you know you’ve become a Recreation Therapist?

What do you love best about being a Recreation Therapist?


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