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Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a type of healthcare designed to aid in the well-being of patients through active involvement in recreation and leisure activities. The role of recreational therapy is to improve or maintain physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning, in order to facilitate full participation in life.

Recreational therapists work with various groups of people, but mainly focus on patients who have disabilities, illnesses, or other conditions. These therapists use a wide range of techniques including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being.

By focusing on the whole person, not just the illness or condition, recreational therapists help individuals reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic physical and mental abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.