Working as a recreational therapist can be, on the one hand, a fun and rewarding experience that provides joy to all involved. On the other hand, however, it can be demanding and difficult work, and every individual will not be suited to it. It is important that those considering recreational therapy as a career know themselves very well, know the ins and outs of the career very well, and can honestly say that their own goals, temperament, and personalities are well matched to the field.
What are the various types of recreational therapists?
While all recreational therapists have the same goal in mind: to help their clients achieve optimal emotional health, not every recreational therapist will work in some way. All recreational therapists are trained to provide treatment service and recreational activities to the clients for whom they work. These recreational activities may be designed to help clients or patients overcome depression or anxiety or they may be a type of “physical therapy” that can aid to recover lost or never developed motor skills and the like. Therapists may choose to work with individuals with a specific handicap, disability, or illness, or with a specific age group. They may use a variety of recreational activities including, but not limited to swimming, arts and crafts, the dramatic arts, dance, music, or activities that can be done in a large group. Often times, recreational therapists will either have one specialty subject area in which they choose to work with their patients or they will have a well rounded knowledge of a variety of activities. If one loves a particular art or activity, recreational therapy is a great way to use that love to help those in need.
Where do Recreational Therapists Work?
Recreational therapists have a wide range of choice when it comes to choosing a place of work. Many therapists choose to work in hospitals or rehabilitation centers, making these healthcare establishments the most popular type of employment for recreational therapists. Others, however, choose to work in specialty programs, such as eating disorder clinics or other clinics dealing with the treatment of a specific type of illness. In addition to this, recreational therapists can be employed in the school system in general or in one particular school, at special needs summer camps or after school programs, in adult special needs programs, or any other place that has a need for recreational therapists. Some even work on one with their clients.
Most recreational therapists tend to pick one field of work and stick to it, but that is not a hard and fast rule. Some individuals, especially those who like a change of pace every once in a while, enjoy exploring different work environments and working with different types of individuals. It can take a little while for one to find his or her perfect place of work, but in the end, it will be well worth it. Not only do most recreational therapists report being extremely satisfied with their career choice, but they also get to do what they love all day long.